This mill is mostly famous for its use in the Chrysler 300C and 300D, both two-door models, but Mopar also offered it in the New Yorker and Imperial Custom, both available in four-door body styles.
So the muscle sedan concept goes back to the late 1950s, but it wasn't until the mid-1960s that Chrysler took the idea to new, almost extreme heights.
Chrysler eventually introduced a street-spec Hemi V8 in 1966. The mill debuted in the Dodge Charger but quickly found its way in the Coronet and the Plymouth Satellite, and Belvedere.
Availability expanded to five more nameplates by 1968. Dodge offered it in the Super Bee and Dart, while Plymouth sold it as an option for the GTX, Barracuda, and Road Runner.
In 1969, both the Dodge Charger and the Charger Daytona joined the Hemi lineup, as did the Plymouth Superbird and Dodge Challenger in 1970. The Hemi was retired after the 1971 model year when the oil crisis and new emission regulations forced automakers to reduce compression ratios.
Hemi 426 was officially rated at 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet (664 Nm) of torque throughout its entire life on the market.
Chrysler fitted about 11,000 cars with the Hemi 426, a rather small figure given its seven-year production cycle. The majority of them were ordered with two-door coupes.
Less than 200 went into convertibles, which are hard to find nowadays, but Chrysler also built a four-door unicorn with this race-spec mill.
It happened in 1966 when Dodge took the wild decision to drop the Hemi into the Coronet sedan. How many of them were built remains a mystery, but most sources agree that only five left the assembly plant with the optional 426. This figure places the Coronet Hemi sedan among the rarest Mopars ever built.
1970 Dodge Coronet R/T convertible (two built), 1967 Coronet R/T drop-top (three), 1970 Plymouth Road Runner convertible (three), and the 1970 Dodge Super Bee (four).
One was shipped outside North America, one was sold in Canada, and three were delivered in the U.S. Two of the U.S. car were reportedly special orders for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
On top of the dual-quad Hemi engine, all cars were fitted with Torqueflite automatic transmissions and Sure-Grip 8 3/4 rear ends with 3.23 gears. They also featured a front sway bar, a station wagon radiator shroud, and a heavy-duty battery.
Like all Hemi cars, they didn't have A/C, but the sedans were also devoid of power steering, power brakes, and power windows despite their more comfort-oriented four-door body styles.
Coronets remain unknown, but amazingly enough, all three U.S. examples have survived to this day. One car is in Minnesota, while the second one is spending its retirement at the Don Garlits Museum.
The third car, painted red, made a public appearance in 2007 when it was auctioned off by Barrett-Jackson. The Hemi-powered sedan changed hands for a whopping $660,000.
While that's only a fraction of the million-dollar sticker you'll find on some Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertibles, it's at least three times more than the average Hemi-powered coupe.
I guess four-door sedans with powerful engines will never be as desirable as full-blown muscle cars, but this family car deserves a place under the brightest Mopar spotlight.
In the absence of proper footage with the four-door Hemi, here's Jay Leno enjoying his Coronet 426 coupe.