The Walter P. Chrysler Museum, in Auburn Hills, Michigan, is mounting a fanciful exhibition-What Can You Hemi?-January 12 through May 2, featuring five distinctly unique, super-powered machines, the museum has announced.
The special exhibit will feature a snow-blower, merry-go-round, barbecue grill and ice resurfacer-life-size/oversized inventions built for power with Chrysler’s 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine.
Rounding out the collection, in the Museum’s lower level Boss Chrysler’s Garage, will be a 1956 Chrysler Air Raid Siren powered by a 180-horsepower industrial Hemi V-8.
The four fully operational inventions were finalists in a 2005 Chrysler-sponsored contest that celebrated the legendary Hemi engine.
More than 350 enthusiasts from across the United States and Canada submitted sketches and essays up to 300 words highlighting outrageous Hemi-powered ideas. Entries were evaluated on creativity, engineering feasibility, safety and functionality and the company brought the winning designs to life.
The Chrysler Air Raid Siren was retrieved in 2002 from a 90-foot tower adjacent to a fire station in Trenton, Michigan, where it served as the city’s primary tornado-civil defense device from 1958 until the 1970s.
Highlights of the What Can You Hemi? exhibition include:
- Hemi Snow-blower, created by Tim Flucht of Belleville, Michigan, a one-of-a-kind machine featuring:
- an extended eight-foot design to accommodate the engine
- 345 horsepower and 375 foot pounds of torque
- custom precision driveshaft to split the power between the snow blades and drive wheels
- a wrist tether, similar to water craft, for quick shut-off
- Flowmaster exhaust system and hot rod-style tachometer
- Hemi-Go-Round, created by Jonathan Brzon of Topeka, Kansas, the world’s first Hemi-powered amusement park ride featuring:
- a turntable that spins in a 22-foot circumference at eight rotations per minute, compared to the 4-5 rpm of traditional carousels
- a Borla exhaust system
- a push-button start and remote control unit for operation
- one-fifth scale models of a Hemi-powered Chrysler 300C, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram
- performance design cues, including an orange and black paint scheme reminiscent of the 426 cubic-inch Hemi of the 1970s
- HEMI on Ice, created by Dan Burg of Lindenhurst, Illinois, a resurfacer that smoothes ice at record-setting speed featuring:
- a Hemi engine in place of a traditional propane-powered model
- custom driveshaft to handle increased torque
- Mopar performance headers and a Borla exhaust system with chrome tips
- custom ASA wheels and Goodyear 16-inch Workhorse Extra Grip Radials
- a customized Dodge Viper seat with a five-point harness for the operator
- a custom Hemi paint theme
- Hemi Grill, created by Chrysler Group, LLC, a monster barbecue featuring:
- an exterior covered in more than 330 square feet of stainless steel
- front positioning of the engine’s alternator and battery to drive an electric motor to power the heating elements
- a cooking surface and power to simultaneously grill 240 hot dogs in under 3 minutes
- Chrysler Air Raid Siren, introduced to confuse and deafen the enemy during war-time, the Chrysler Air Raid Siren became an instrument of civil defense. It evolved into an industrial 331 cubic-inch Hemi-powered monster that was louder than any steam whistle or horn ever produced. The siren on exhibit was produced in 1956 at the Chrysler Trenton Engine Plant and purchased by the City of Trenton, Michigan, in 1958. The Walter P. Chrysler Museum acquired the siren from the Trenton Fire Department in 2002 and Chrysler Historical Vehicle Collection staff spent four years restoring it to its original condition.
What Can You Hemi? is available for viewing with regular Museum admission of $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $4 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are admitted free. The Museum is located on Chrysler Group, LLC’s headquarters complex in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 12-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit www.wpchrysler.org.