Hidden collection of Rare Hemi Parts Found in Garage in southern California

Brad Toles incredible Hemi “Nugget Run”

As has been well documented over time, the “Holy Grail” of high performance American muscle car engines is the 426cid Chrysler Hemi. Today, finding a single original Hemi component is comparable to finding the lost city of Atlantis or a lock of Jimmy Hoffa’s hair. You just don’t find Hemi stuff lying around any more.

Well, never say never.

Brad Toles was lucky enough to find the collection of Hemi parts from the estate of a clearly obsessed Mopar collector. Uncovered in this unassuming two-car garage included everything ranging from Kellogg cranks and a full assortment of classic Hemi intake manifolds to a turn key original crossram-equipped Hemi engine and 33 “matching number” sets of Hemi/Carter carburetors!

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Rare Air

Chrysler built street Hemi engines from 1966-71. With a little less than 11,000 street Hemi engines produced during that period, its not surprising that 426cid engine parts are hard to find some 50+ years later. Part of the reason its so hard to find original Hemi parts can be blamed on the fact that these engines were often used for racing, street Hemi engines making the perfect powerplant for dragsters and other high speed vehicles. As you can guess, drag racing is not gentle on engine parts, breakage a common occurrence that was to end the life of many Hemi’s. Perhaps as many as half of those street engines met their demise in route to the finish line.

The celebrated 426cid street Hemi engine utilized unique parts designed to work with those centerpiece hemispherical combustion chambers. Hemi rocker arms and valve train components were dramatically different from Mopar’s wedge engines for obvious reasons. To derive more power from these special engines, aftermarket builders like Edelbrock and Weiand created special intake systems ranging from single four barrel “Rat Roaster” intakes to an assortment of cross ram and inline dual quad systems.

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A garage like no other

The collection’s carburetor stock is perhaps the most impressive as you review the parts in this garage, each carb tagged with the component’s part number and date code. The same attention to detail carries over to the line of distributors, each unit not only tagged but tucked into a custom-built wooden carrier to keep each part standing straight up rather than laying in a pile. The wildest distributor of the bunch is the full-race, 16-plug Hemi unit that features a pair of distributors mounted at a 90-degree angle to each other.

Hand in hand with the 16-plug distributor is the set of brand new dual plug cylinder heads that have never been bolted to an engine. The ultimate Hemi of all, a Keith Black Stage III aluminum Hemi race engine is ready for insertion into a worthy drag car.

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This collection of Hemi parts will join Toles’ parts supply up in Palm Springs, California. Toles executes the same attention to detail in cataloging and storing part and the components we found in this garage. No doubt, these parts will find their way into other special builds at All-American Classic Car Restoration or his private collection. With Brad, he’s always got something cookin.’

See all 15 photos

See all 15 photos

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See all 15 photos

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See all 15 photos

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See all 15 photos

See all 15 photos

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See all 15 photos

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