This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the seminal engines of the muscle-car era: Chrysler’s Gen II 426-cubic-inch Hemi V8. The first engine to employ the hemispherical combustion chamber had debuted 13 years before, in 1951, powering Chrysler’s luxurious New Yorker and Imperial models. But 1964’s 7-litre Gen II Hemi was a very different beast, one designed with a very specific goal: to win. The company offered two race versions in 1964, one for the track and another for the drag strip. Both of them exceeded expectations. In February, Richard Petty won the Daytona 500 in a Hemi-powered Plymouth (pictured above), before going on to claim the ’64 Nascar championship. In August, drag racer “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, driving a Hemi-powered dragster, ran the quarter-mile in a record 7.78 seconds at 201.34mph.
Chrysler has designed a logo to commemorate the anniversary, which has been made available on a range of wearables, via WearMopar.com. (Photo: ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)