Original 1970 426 HEMI Engine for Sale in Illinois, Costs More Than a Hellephant

Are you currently working on an old-school Mopar project and looking to add the coolest Chrysler engine into the mix? You're in luck! An all-original, 1970 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8 is up for grabs in West Chicago, Illinois. But it's far from cheap.
1970 426 HEMI V8 engine 9 photos
Photo: Timothy O'Hara/Facebook Marketplace
1970 426 HEMI V8 engine1970 426 HEMI V8 engine1970 426 HEMI V8 engine1970 426 HEMI V8 engine1970 426 HEMI V8 engine1970 426 HEMI V8 engine1970 426 HEMI V8 engine1970 426 HEMI V8 engine
There's no info on which car this mill was sourced from, but the seller claims it's been completely restored by a "reputable local shop." He also claims that it still feaetures the original carburetor, air-grabber setup, dual-point distributor, exhaust manifolds, and valve covers. It comes on a start-up stand and with an eye-watering sticker of $50,000.

Yup, that's way more than the notably more powerful crate engines you can buy today from Mopar Performance. For reference, the supercharged, 6.2-liter Hellcrate mill costs $17,925, while the Redeye version comes in at $21,807. These powerplants generate 707 and 807 horsepower, respectively.

Then there's the Hellephant, which handles up to 1,100 horsepower and costs $29,995. Needless to say, all three units make the 426 HEMI seem awfully expensive, but is the seller charging too much for the classic lump?

I guess it depends on who you ask. Gearheads interested in performance, regardless of the format, would definitely go for a modern crate engine. Or they would probably upgrade an old 383- or 440-cubic-inch (6.3- or 7.2-liter) mill, which is notably cheaper. On the flip side, this 426 HEMI may not seem all that expensive to enthusiasts looking to build a period-correct muscle car.

Moreover, 426 HEMI powerplants are pretty rare. Specific production numbers aren't available, but most experts agree that Chrysler built almost 9,000 from 1966 to 1971. And with many of them blown at the drag strip back in the day, the number of surviving units may be much lower than 10K. Not to mention that Dodge and Plymouth sold only about 1,600 HEMI cars for the 1970 model year.

The Plymouth 'Cuda got most of them at 666 units built, while Dodge sold 356 Challengers with the same mill. The Road Runner comes third on the best-selling list at 287 examples, followed by the Dodge Charger with 112 cars. The remaining units went into the Plymouth GTX (72), Dodge Super Bee (36), and Dodge Coronet (14). Finally, 70 Charger Daytona homologation specials also got the 426 V8.

Most of these cars sell for six-figure sums when in Excellent or Concours-ready condition, while a few have reached into million-dollar territory in recent years. Of course, the numbers-matching vehicles are the ones that fetch the really big bucks, but Mopars with period-correct mills are also heavy on the wallet. And that's precisely what the seller of this 426 HEMI is betting his money on. What do you think? Is this original 1970 HEMI overpriced, or is the sticker justified in the current market? Let me know in the comments section below.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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