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Weekly Motor Fix: ‘Hell Razor’ blown Hemi front-engined dragster

11 August 2015


Every few weeks, we take more of an in-depth look at a car we’ve found — be it at an event, at the racetrack, or on the side of a road — in a feature we call the ‘Weekly Motor Fix’. This time around, we’ll share this awesome front-engined dragster (FED) that we stumbled upon at the recent Palmerston North Hot Rod Club Swap Meet.

There exist two words that, when used in conjunction, are guaranteed to get any self-respecting petrolhead more than is reasonably excited — those words are ‘blown’ and ‘Hemi’. And that’s exactly what you’ll first notice upon catching sight of the ‘Hell Razor’ FED. A quick search on the internet revealed the FED’s history, and that it was built in 1967 by Bernier & Hoitt. We’re not entirely sure at this stage how it wound up in New Zealand, but we’re glad that it did!

But looking at it only tells one side of the story. While the sheer imposing sight of a blown Hemi can speak for itself, Hell Razor also features a veritable treasure trove of go-fast goods packed away in its engine and driveline. Originally a 1957 392ci Hemi, it’s received a 30 thou overbore, and filled with a hardened Velasco crank, Childs and Albert rods and pistons, with Crane and Titan gear in the valvetrain. On top is a rebuilt Weiand 6-71 supercharger, topped by an Enderle Bugcatcher injection system.  

Backing it up is a JW-built Powerglide and Chrysler 8¾-inch rear end, filled with top-shelf goods. With the engine estimated to produce around 2000hp, all of it finding its way through the driveline fitted between the driver’s legs, you’d want to be damn sure that it’s up to scratch. Still, that’s all part of what makes FEDs so cool — who can honestly say they wouldn’t love to experience sitting in that tiny cockpit, gripping the tiny butterfly steering wheel as 2000hp of blown Hemi rumbles and vibrates through you?

Hell Razor’s competition history is said to include several low eight-second passes in excess of 180mph, so that Auto Meter tacho has probably spent most of its working life in the danger zone north of 7000rpm — here’s hoping we’ll get to see it at full noise sometime in the upcoming drag racing season.