Originally Posted by sub006
Not on the street. It took the skill and experience of a Dick Landy to get a Hemi performing 100%, and a Ronnie Sox-level shoe to pilot it. A Mopar 440 would often outrun a Hemi.
The SS454 could be set up by a good mechanic in any small town, and it drove like any Chevy, only more so when you got on it.
Heck, I saw Hemis lose street races to small-block powered Novas!
That is exactly correct!
Properly tuned and tweaked, the LS6, Mopar 440 and LT1 powered cars were virtually unbeatable street machines. Ya, Ya, Ya, Ya, Ya, I know, the LT1 ONLY came from the FACTORY in Vettes and Z28s. But there are SOME of us who are not so naive as to believe that if it wasn't installed at the factory, then it didn't exist. That belief holds water just like a SB400 does not reside in my 56.
GENERALLY SPEAKING, the HEMI was only king in the 1/4mi. But as a performance street driver, the HEMI cars were regularly trampled by their 440 brethern and their LS6 rivals.
A VERY professionally setup early NOVA (ala L79) that was tweaked in the "back room" was a kickazz SOB. Just a few years later, when "someone" dropped a 350 crank into a 327 block with good pistons and MILDLY massaged heads, and all the FACTORY exterior appearance parts, these cars were deadly on the street (remember the "offroad" cams Chevy offered???). And even later, the next trick was a SB400 crank in a 4in bore block (today's common as dirt 383).
I am one of the biggest HEMI lovers on the planet, but I have lived through the days of real world competition and I still have clear memories of HEMI's being embarrassed.