Not only is it beautiful to look at, this Chrysler New Yorker is also a genuine piece of automotive history.
As Chrysler’s flagship model, the New Yorker was significant. Still is. It remains the longest-running nameplate in US automotive history, having been in production for 57 years, from 1939 to 1996.
It spanned 11 model generations, though in keeping with much of what has emerged from the US car industry in the past three decades, the last five generations ” produced between 1979 and 1996 ” were pretty forgettable.
But it was during the New Yorker’s attractive second generation of models, produced between 1950 and 1954, that the marque made one of the most significant contributions to the automotive world ever, when it was offered in 1951 with Chrysler’s magnificent new FirePower Hemi V8 engine. The ’51 New Yorker was an unassuming car. It had subtle styling, with an outer layer that gave no clues to the fact that nestled snugly between its bulky flanks sat an engine which would become one of the most famous in automotive history.
The Hemi engine gets its name from the shape of its combustion chambers, which are shaped like half a sphere, or hemisphere, to best enclose its canted inlet and exhaust valves. The Hemi combustion chamber shape and valve locations, and centrally located spark plug, allow for short intake and exhaust ports and large valves. The result is smooth-running, effective valve stem and seat cooling, extended valve life, good prevention from carbon build-up, and excellent breathing, volumetric efficiency and performance. (more…)