A piece of automotive history is poised to make waves at the Mecum Kissimmee auction. The spotlight falls on Tom Hoover’s revered 1966 Dodge HEMI Coronet, a vehicle that transcends the boundaries of classic automobiles and embodies the legacy of one of the automotive world’s most influential figures.
Tom Hoover, often hailed as the “Father of the HEMI,” left an indelible mark on Chrysler’s engineering landscape. His pioneering work in developing the iconic 426 HEMI engine reshaped the automotive industry, setting new standards for power and performance that endure to this day. This Coronet, cherished and meticulously restored under Hoover’s watchful eye, stands as a testament to his ingenuity and dedication.
This immaculately restored Coronet bears the unmistakable hallmarks of Hoover’s engineering prowess. Every nut and bolt meticulously attended to, adhering faithfully to Hoover’s original specifications. The 426 HEMI V8 engine, restored to date code correctness, roars with the might and precision characteristic of Hoover’s vision. Equipped with dual 4-barrel carburetors and aluminum headers, this powerhouse exemplifies the heart of Hoover’s racing innovations.
Hoover’s modifications were not just about raw power; they were about pushing the boundaries of performance. Weight-saving measures, including the removal of rear window regulators and rear seats, the installation of lightweight A100 van seats on specially crafted aluminum brackets, and relocating the battery to the trunk, showcased his pursuit of optimal performance and balance.
The car’s design, including Hoover’s “hidden” ram air induction system and the unique factory-engraved plaque bearing his name, underscores his attention to detail and commitment to innovation. Accompanied by a treasure trove of memorabilia, including his notebook filled with personal insights and drag strip times, this Coronet encapsulates a pivotal era in automotive history.
Steeped in historical significance, this iconic vehicle has graced the pages of prestigious automotive magazines and shared the stage with Tom Hoover himself at Mopars On The Strip in Las Vegas. With a mere 191 miles on the odometer, its anticipated auction at Mecum Kissimmee promises to draw enthusiasts and collectors alike, with estimations reaching an impressive $500,000 to $700,000.
As this storied vehicle prepares to cross the auction block, it stands not only as a prized collectible but as a testament to the innovation, passion, and enduring legacy of Tom Hoover, the visionary engineer who forever transformed the automotive landscape with his groundbreaking work on the 426 HEMI engine.
Tom Hoover’s 1966 Dodge HEMI Coronet Image Gallery: