(Image courtesy of Hemmings.)

(Image courtesy of Hemmings.)

Tom Hoover, the famed Chrysler engineer credited with developing the 426 HEMI, died last week following a bout with a long-term illness. He was 85.

His work on high performance engines (including the Slant–Six Hyper-Pak, Max Wedge V8, and the 426 HEMI) earned him the nickname “Godfather of the 426 HEMI.”

In addition to developing the HEMI that would propel Richard Petty to victory in the 1964 Daytona 500, and the second- and third-place finishers of that race to an all-Chrysler podium sweep (which led to NASCAR banning the engine in 1965), Hoover was also the founding member of the Ramchargers drag racing team.

His contributions to production cars, drag racing, and stock car racing are immeasurable.

You can read more about Hoover from Hemmings here, and from Hot Rod here.

The OnAllCylinders team extends its prayers and sympathies to Hoover’s family and friends.

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Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.