“The Last Hemi” was unveiled at the beginning of April at the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Food Lion AutoFair after undergoing a major restoration by Mooresville, N.C.-based RKM Performance Center.
The ’71 Dodge Charger is the last vehicle to come off Chrysler’s assembly line with a 426 Hemi engine. Records show that the car was built on June 18, 1971, two weeks after the last documented Hemi rolled off the production line, according to a press release.
The Charger was “weathered and dusty” when it was purchased by Ohio native Joe Angelucci in the early 1990s. It was only recently that he decided to get the prized automobile restored by RKM Performance Center.
“I’m happy to have it finally finished. It’s been in the works for more than 20 years for me,” Angelucci said. “To have it unveiled at the Charlotte AutoFair was a treat and honor for me. It was a great experience. I’m glad to be here and I’m looking forward to enjoying the car for quite some time to come.”
The RKM Performance Center restoration team worked countless hours to bring the car back to life. They tracked down original parts and gave the car a fresh coat of paint.
“We have a soft spot in our hearts for Mopars,” said Joseph Carroll, president and CEO of RKM Performance Center. “We feel very fortunate to have been able to restore this car, because it’s such a significant car. Our research shows that this is the last Hemi car that Chrysler ever built. The fact that Joe found this car at the age of 14, saved it and has owned it all these years has made it a very cool story.”