How Fast is a 426 Hemi? 1/4 Mile & 0-60 Results

While reading up on the legendary 426 Hemi Engine, many people wonder how fast it was. I researched the original drag strip results conducted and published when the cars were new. Here are the results.

Here’s how fast a 426 Hemi is in the 1/4 mile race:

  • With an automatic and 4.10 rear gear ratio: the Hemi averages 13.40 sec @ 105.71 MPH.
  • With a 4-speed and 3.54 rear gear ratio: the Hemi averages 13.45 sec @ 105.40 MPH.
  • With an automatic and 3.54 rear gear ratio: the Hemi averages 13.53 sec @ 106.04 MPH.
  • With a 4-speed and 4.10 rear gear ratio: the Hemi averages 13.61 sec @ 106.50 MPH.
  • With an automatic and 3.23 rear gear ratio: the Hemi averages 14.00 sec @ 104.07 MPH.
  • In the 1/4 mile the 426 Hemi’s fastest to slowest time and MPH are 13.10 sec @ 109 mph to 14.10 sec @ 103.20 MPH.
  • From 0-60 MPH the 426 Hemi averages 5.6 seconds.

426 Hemi Average 1/4 Mile Times and Speeds with Each Transmission and Gear Ratio

EngineTransmissionRear Gear RatioAverage 1/4 mile
Speed & MPH
426 HemiAutomatic4.1013.40 @ 105.71
426 Hemi4-speed3.5413.45 @ 105.40
426 HemiAutomatic3.5413.53 @ 106.04
426 Hemi4-speed4.1013.61 @ 106.50
426 HemiAutomatic3.2314.00 @ 104.07
The 426 Hemi average 1/4 mile time and speed, from quickest to slowest, with each transmission and gear ratio combination.

Quickest 1/4 Mile Times and Speeds with Each Transmission and Gear Ratio

EngineCarTransmissionRear Gear Ratio1/4 Mile
Speed & MPH
426 Hemi’70 Cuda4-speed3.5413.10 @ 107.00 MPH
426 Hemi’69 Road RunnerAutomatic4.1013.32 @ 107.70 MPH
426 Hemi’69 Road RunnerAutomatic4.1013.32 @ 106.50 MPH
426 Hemi’70 Road RunnerAutomatic4.1013.34 @ 107.52 MPH
426 Hemi’69 Road RunnerAutomatic4.1013.35 @ 107.39 MPH
426 Hemi’69 Charger 500Automatic4.1013.35 @ 104.00 MPH
426 Hemi’69 Road RunnerAutomatic3.5413.38 @ 108.00 MPH
426 Hemi’70 CudaAutomatic4.1013.40 @ 105.10 MPH
426 Hemi’68 GTXAutomatic4.5613.44 @ 103.50 MPH
426 Hemi’69 Charger 5004-speed4.1013.48 @ 109.00 MPH
426 Hemi’71 Road Runner4-speed4.1013.50 @ 106.50 MPH
426 Hemi’68 Charger R/TAutomatic4.1013.50 @ 105.00 MPH
The fastest 426 Hemi 1/4 mile times and speed.

Fastest 0-60 MPH Times

EngineCarTransmissionRear Gear Ratio0-60 MPH Times
426 Hemi’68 Charger R/TAutomaticUnknown4.8 sec
426 Hemi’69 Road RunnerAutomatic3.545.1 sec
426 Hemi’70 CudaAutomatic4.105.6 sec
426 Hemi’71 Super BeeAutomatic4.105.7 sec
426 Hemi’69 Charger 500UnknownUnknown5.7 sec
426 Hemi’70 Challenger R/T SEAutomatic3.235.8 sec
426 Hemi’69 Charger 500Automatic3.236.9 sec
426 Hemi fastest 0-60 MPH times.

The above speed test results are taken from automotive car magazine road tests, books and videos when each engine was new from the factory.

I included articles from each year the street engine was produced and placed them in year order.

Each article is listed below with interesting pictures, funny quotes, videos and facts from the actual road tests conducted.

Therefore, grab your coffee or beer, depending on what time of the day it is and have fun reading.

Magazine with a Hemi Road Runner drag test showing how fast it is
1969 Super Stock Drag Illustrated magazine with a Hemi Road Runner Drag Test

426 Hemi Race Results

I gathered every resource, article, video, book and old car magazine available which had original 426 Hemi Road tests.

The resources used include the following:

  • Car & Driver
  • Rodder and Super Stock
  • Car Life
  • Popular Hot Rodding
  • Car and Track
  • Car Craft
  • Super Stock & Drag Illustrated
  • Hot Rod
  • Hi-Performance Cars
  • Muscle Car Confidential
  • Motor Trend
  • Supercars Annual

April 1966 – Car & Driver Magazine – 1966 Plymouth Satellite

1/4 mile time and speed with a 4-speed and 3.54 rear gears:

  • 13.80 @ 103.80 MPH

Reading the older articles about the classic cars are usually interesting and this one didn’t disappoint.

Car and Driver drove the Satellite 700 miles from Detroit to New York. They said they averaged 12.3 MPG, 14 on the highway and about 8 when all 8 barrels were opened up.

They said:

“it takes a lot of gas and a lot of courage to run the Hemi at full throttle for long”

They explained in detail how they launched the car at the drag strip. They found the best way to get the fastest 1/4 mile time was to do the following:

  • Rev the engine up to 1,200-1,400 RPM.
  • Drop the clutch and then floor it as soon as the car was off the line.
  • There’s still PLENTY of wheelspin this way, but it’s much easier to control it this way.

Car and Driver also said they forgot to lower the air pressure in the rear tires which had 35 lbs. of air. In the past they preferred using 18 lbs. of air.

Car and driver magazine's race results for the 426 hemi showing how fast it is.
Car and Driver 14 mile results for the 426 Hemi Car and Driver April 1966

This article proves 1/4 mile times were hurt due to limited traction and the inability to use the engine’s full power off the line.

Another thing holding this car back was the 3.54 rear gear ratio but that’s how the car was ordered.

March 1967 – Rodder and Super Stock Magazine – 1967 Dodge Hemi Coronet R/T

1/4 mile time and speed with automatic transmission and unknown rear gear ratio:

  • 13.90 @ 104 MPH

November 1967 – Car and Driver Magazine – 1968 Dodge Charger R/T

1/4 mile time and speed with an automatic transmission and unknown rear gear ratio:

  • 13.50 @ 105 MPH

0-60 Times:

  • 0-30 MPH: 1.7 sec
  • 0-60 MPH: 4.8 sec
  • 0-90 MPH: 10.0 sec
  • Top speed (est): 156 MPH
Hemi Charger speed results 105 mph
Car and Driver article speed results and specs for the 1969 Dodge 426 Hemi Charger RT

The Car and Driver article didn’t talk much about the drag racing or engine power much. It mainly spoke about the new Charger and its design.

February 1968 – Car Life Magazine – 1968 Plymouth GTX Convertible

1/4 mile time and speed with automatic transmission and 4.56 rear gear ratio:

  • 13.44 @ 103.5 MPH

Now many of you Mopar fanatics out there is saying to wait a minute, automatic with 4.56 gears?

The article states 3.23 gears were standard, but this car was fitted with the 4.56 ratio. They go on to state, equipping the engine with 3.23s is unfair, especially when other manufacturers are providing better ratios.

This article was interesting because they raced the convertible Hemi GTX against another 68 hardtop GTX with the standard 440 engine with 4.30 gears.

This race is living proof when people say a 440 Six Pack would take the Hemi from stop light to stop light. In this case it’s not the Six Pack but the standard 440 with 375 HP.

A 1968 Plymouth 426 Hemi GTX running 1344 14 mile
A 1968 426 Hemi GTX drag racing a 1968 GTX 440 Car Life Magazine February 1968

The 440 took the Hemi off the line but things quickly changed at the 400 foot mark of the 1,320 feet.

It is seen passing the 440 at 400 feet and then leading by one car at the 800 foot mark. The 440 equipped ’68 GTX ends up with a 13.97 1/4 mile time.

When I was young my Uncle took us to the local drag strip. That day a bone stock Hemi and Six Pack car went head to head three times. In each race the Hemi was losing off the line but passed the 440 in the top end. It was a special moment I’ll never forget.

March 1968 – Popular Hot Rodding – 1968 Plymouth GTX Convertible

1/4 mile time and speed with automatic transmission and unknown rear gear ratio:

  • 13.85 @ 104 MPH

They put 8″ Goodyear slicks on the car and improved the 1/4 mile and speed to the following:

  • 13.60 @ 107 MPH
Popular Hot Rodding article displaying the 1968 Plymouth Hemi GTX convertible speed results
Popular Hot Rodding article displaying the 1968 Plymouth Hemi GTX convertible speed results

The convertible weighed in at 4,050 lbs. The 440 GTX hardtop in the article was 300 pounds lighter but still couldn’t beat the mighty engine.

1969 – Car and Track – 1969 Dodge Charger 500

1/4 mile time with an automatic transmission:

  • 14.10

0-60 Times:

  • 0-30: 2.8 sec
  • 0-45: 4.0 sec
  • 0-60: 6.9 sec

Unfortunately, the Car and Track video published didn’t state what kind of rear gears they had. I’m assuming they weren’t 4.10s and probably 3.23s.

Watch the time results and very interesting video below!

1969 Dodge Hemi Charger 500 Race Results and Drifting

January 1969 – Car Craft Magazine – 1969 Dodge Road Runner

1/4 mile time and speed with an automatic and 4.10 gears:

  • 13.35 @ 107.39 MPH

*This road test was conducted by Chrysler with Ronnie Sox as the driver.

1969 426 Hemi Road Runner raced by Ronnie Sox to see how fast it is
1969 426 Hemi Road Runner raced by Ronnie Sox pictured on the left

Besides using the best driver in the world at the time, to make the car run fast they also changed to a cooler spark plug. They switched from Champion N-10Y to UN-12Y.

For a car weighing 3,825 pounds, the Chrysler people were more than happy.

January 1969 – Super Stock & Drag Illustrated – 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

1/4 mile and speed with an automatic transmission and 3.54 rear gears:

  • 13.38 @ 108 MPH

The magazine describes how they launched the car:

  • Revved the engine to 1,800 RPM while keeping the other foot on the brake.
  • The gas was feathered for about 75 feet to try and control wheelspin.
  • Pedal to the metal for the remainder while manually shifting the automatic.
1969 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner running 1338 108 MPH
1969 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner running 1338 108 MPH Super Stock Drag Illustrated Magazine

At first they kept the car in drive but the times were too slow. By manually shifting the car improved the elapsed time about 4 tenths.

They removed the air cleaner and kept the rear tires at 30 lbs. and the front tires at 50 lbs. With 14″ street tires and the original spark plugs, 13.38 is truly respectable.

There’s more to the 1/4 mile time that makes a 426 so special. Find out more in my article, What Makes the 426 Hemi So Special.

January 1969 – Car and Driver Magazine – 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

1/4 mile time and speed with an automatic transmission and 3.54 rear gears:

  • 13.54 @ 105.14 MPH

0-60:

  • 0-40 MPH: 2.6 sec
  • 0-60 MPH: 5.1 sec
  • 0-80 MPH: 8.2 sec
  • 0-100 MPH: 12.3 sec

This article was awesome as it compared the following cars:

  • 426 Hemi Road Runner
  • Pontiac GTO Judge
  • Mercury Cyclone CJ with a 428 cubic inch
  • Ford Torino Cobra with a 428 cubic inch
  • Chevy Chevelle SS with a 396.
  • Dodge Super Bee with a 383 cubic inch
Hemi Road Runner at the track testing how fast it is
If I could travel back in time I would become a writer for one of the car magazines A dream job Jan 69 Car and Driver

All cars were equally geared (3.50-3.55, except the Cyclone which had 3.91s) with automatics to try and even out the playing field.

The Road Runner had the fastest 1/4 mile time with the Cyclone coming in 2nd with a 13.94.

The Plymouth also had the best MPH by far, 105.14, with the Cyclone CJ 2nd again at 100.89 MPH.

If the Road Runner had 4.10s to more evenly compare to the Cyclone’s 3.91s, the difference would have been even larger.

1969 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner speed and MPH results
1969 Plymouth 426 Hemi Road Runner Speed results and MPH Car and Driver Magazine 1969

Some good quotes in the article about the engine:

“What is it like on the street? Breath-taking. The Hemi Road Runner has more pure mechanical presence than any other American automobile”

“The exhaust explodes like Kraka-foa and the wailing howl of surprised air being sucked into the intakes turns heads for blocks”

Chrysler’s 426 Cu. in, hemispherical combustion chamber V-8 was never intended to quietly propel Imperials down the freeway/expressway/throughway/parkway or allow you to carry an extra lawn chair in the back of your Plymouth Fury Station wagon”

February 1969 – Hot Rod Magazine Featured 2 Hemi Cars

1. 1969 Dodge Charger 500 – 4-speed – 4.10 gears

2. 1969 Dodge Charger 500 – Automatic – 3.23 gears

1/4 mile time and speed with 4-speed and 4.10 gears:

  • 13.48 @ 109 MPH

1/4 mile time and speed with automatic and 3.23 gears:

  • 13.80 @ 105.01 MPH
1969 Dodge Hemi Charger which ran 1380 10501 MPH
The 1969 Hot Rod magazine article with pictures of the Automatic Hemi which ran 1380 10501 MPH

The difference between the automatic with 3.23s and the 4-speed with 4.10s is night and day.

Hot Rod stated:

“running with the 3.23 geared car…”is like running with one flat tire”

The 4-speed car actually came with 3.54 gears but the 4.10s were swapped in to make it faster. The car currently has the 3.54s back and the picture below shows how it is today.

Let’s settle the score about which one is faster in my article, The 426 Hemi vs The 440 Six pack: Which is Faster?

1969 Dodge Hemi Charger 500 which ran 109 MPH
1969 Dodge Hemi Charger 500 which ran 1348 109 MPH

Towards the end of 1968, Buddy Baker ran high speed tests with the Charger 500 equipped with the Race Hemi. He reached a top speed of 192.27 MPH.

Buddy said when he slowed down to 187 MPH things got boring.

For a complete list of all cars having the 426 Hemi check out my article, What Cars Had the 426 Hemi: Street and Race Hemis.

April 1969 – Hi-Performance Cars – 1969 Dodge Charger 500

1/4 mile time and speed with unknown transmission and rear gear ratio:

  • 13.35 @ 104 MPH

I’m going to assume the car probably had 4.10 gears judging by the results of other cars but that cannot be verified.

1969 Dodge Hemi Charger 500.

April 1969 – Car Life Magazine – 1969 Dodge Charger 500

1/4 mile time and speed:

  • 13.68 @ 105 MPH
  • 0-60 MPH: 5.7 sec

Muscle Car Confidential (Book) by Oldham – 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

1/4 mile time and speed with an automatic transmission and 4.10 rear gears:

  • 13.32 @ 106.5 MPH

May 1969 – Rodder and Super Stock Magazine – 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

1/4 mile time and speed with automatic transmission and 4.10 rear gears:

  • 13.32 @ 107.7 MPH

November 1969 – Car Craft Magazine – 70 Plymouth Cuda

1/4 mile time and speed with a 4-speed and 3.54 rear gears:

  • 13.10 @ 107 MPH

November 1969 – Car and Driver Magazine – 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T SE

1/4 mile time and speed with an automatic transmission and 3.23 rear gears:

  • 14.10 @ 103.2 MPH

0-60 times:

  • 0-30 MPH: 2.3 sec
  • 0-40 MPH: 3.3 sec
  • 0-50 MPH: 4.3 sec
  • 0-60 MPH: 5.8 sec
  • 0-70 MPH: 7.3 sec
  • 0-80 MPH: 8.0 sec
  • 0-90 MPH: 10.9 sec
  • 0-100 MPH: 13.4 sec
1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger RT speed results
1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger RT SE Performance Speed Results Car and Driver Magazine

It should have been against the law to install 3.23s with the mighty elephant engine. The gear ratio obviously hurts the 1/4 miles times.

Also, this car had a column shifter which leads me to believe they didn’t manually shift the gears and just left it in drive.

As noted by the Super Stock & Drag Illustrated ’69 Hemi Road Runner test above, leaving it in drive slowed the car by almost 1/2 a second.

1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger RT SE road tested by Car and Driver magazine
1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger RT SE road tested by Car and Driver in November 1969

December 1969 – Super Stock & Drag Illustrated – 1970 Plymouth Road Runner

1/4 mile time and speed with automatic transmission and 4.10 rear gears:

  • 13.34 @ 107.52 MPH

The magazine was given two cars by Chrysler that day, a Hemi Road Runner and an almost identical Road Runner but with a 440 6-BBL (Six Barrel)!

They both had automatics with 4.10 gears and maybe the most menacing hood scoop ever made, the Air Grabber.

Hemi Road Runner at the track
1970 Plymouth 426 Hemi Road Runner at the track for speed and MPH testing

To achieve the best time with the Hemi, they did the following:

  • Lowered the tire pressure down to 32 psi
  • Replaced the spark plugs with a new set.
  • Removed the air filter.

It’s not a Hemi vs 6-BBL article but you’re probably curious what the 440 ran. Its best time of the day was 13.65 @ 102.62 MPH.

1970 426 Hemi Road Runner drag racing test to see how fast it is
1970 426 Hemi Road Runner at the drag strip taking off the line

Here’s what they said about the two cars:

Whether the engine is worth the extra money and extra weight over the 440 6-BBL for three tenths and 5 miles per hour remains a question answerable only by the buyers of the 1970 Road Runners.

May 1970 – Hi-Performance Cars Magazine – 1970 Plymouth Cuda Convertible

1/4 mile time and speed with an automatic transmission and 4.10 rear gears:

  • 13.40 @ 105.10
  • 13.45 @ 105 MPH
  • 13.50 @ 103.70
  • 0-60 MPH: 5.6 sec
1970 Hemi Cuda road test and speed test photo
Snap shots from Hi Performance Cars magazine Hemi Cuda Road test

They raced it against a Six Pack and said the Hemi took it by a few car lengths. Unfortunately, they didn’t provide more details about that race.

On the best of the three runs they drove the car out of the hole at near idle speeds, then nailed it. This seems to be a recurring theme throughout many of the magazine tests to try and prevent tire spin.

The writer also stated the spark plugs were original and the 2-3 transmission shift seemed to be very sloppy. This was due to the excessive beating the car was subject to from other magazine road tests prior to this one.

Cuda convertibles are one of the most expensive muscle cars out there. Find out the most recent prices of Hemis in my article, How Much An Original 426 Hemi Car is Worth: Recent Prices.

August 1970 – Road & Track Magazine – 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T

1/4 mile time and speed with an automatic transmission and 3.23 rear gears:

  • 14.00 @ 104 MPH

1970 (Oldham) – 1970 Plymouth GTX

1/4 mile speed and time with a 4-speed and 4.10 rear gears:

  • 13.85 @ 104 MPH

Unable to hook up properly off the line, what else is new, they changed the Polyglas rear tires to slicks. The 1/4 mile time and speed improved to the following:

  • 13.47 @ 105.88 MPH

A very respectable 1/4 mile for a bone stock engine in a car weighing 4,070 pounds.

An interesting part of the story is they went heads up with a 1970 GTO. It was equipped with a 400 cubic inch Ram Air IV with a 4-speed and 3.90 rear gears.

Find out the real reason it’s called the elephant in my article, Why the 426 Hemi is Called the Elephant Engine.

1970 Plymouth 426 Hemi GTX at the raceway to see how fast it was
1970 Plymouth 426 Hemi GTX and 1970 GTO at Suffolk County Raceway New York

The GTO was rated 55 less horsepower and it showed as it was no competition what so ever for the GTX.

To get the best elapsed times they shifted the Hemi at 6,300 RPM.

The GTX was equipped with the Air Grabber scoop which was intimidating enough to win the race before it started.

Learn more about the carburetors on a Hemi in my article, The Carburetors on a 426 Hemi.

December 1970 – Motor Trend – 1971 Dodge Hemi Super Bee

1/4 mile time and speed with an automatic transmission and 4.10 rear gears:

  • 13.73 @ 104 MPH
  • 0-60 MPH: 5.7 sec
Here is a 1971 Dodge Hemi Super Bee with a factory sunroof. Which one had the lowest production numbers, the Hemi or the sunroof? Watch the vid and find out.

Supercars Annual ’71 – 1971 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner

1/4 mile time and speed with unknown transmission and rear gears:

  • 13.50 @ 106.5 MPH
The older I get the more I love these redesigned 1971s. Check out this Hemi car lighting up the rear tires.

Supercars Annual ’71 – 1971 Dodge Hemi Super Bee

1/4 mile time and speed with unknown transmission and rear gears:

  • 13.73 @ 104 MPH

Find out why the Hemi was banned twice in my article, Why the 426 Hemi was Banned From Nascar.

Wrapping Up

You’ve probably seen many videos online showing “stock” Hemi cars running a 11 second or low 12 second 1/4 mile. These cars aren’t factory stock.

The particular class they’re running in allows some modifications like compression. Also, some racers port the factory exhaust manifolds and heads to pick up horsepower.

Some racers employ some tricks of the trade (cheating) to gain every advantage possible. After all, it’s like a street race on the track.

What these cars do show all of us, is the potential a stock factory Hemi car does have with only a few modifications.

Heck, just throwing slicks on a factory car makes it light years faster. Check out more articles below!

Check Out More 426 Hemi Articles!

426 Hemi Specifications – Complete Engine Specs

426 Hemi Horsepower and Torque – Rated and Real HP

What Hemi Means in an Engine: Generation 1, 2 and 3 Hemis

The First Year of the 426 Hemi

The Worth of a 426 Hemi Engine

The Last Year of the 426 Hemi

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