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Old 07-17-2020, 10:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ardun Heads and the Chrysler Firepower - Some Perspectives

Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
RE: The 1951 Chrysler Firepower . . . a Copy of the Ardun???

It is common to hear folks ponder that Chrysler must have copied the Ardun heads when they came out with their Hemi in 1951. The original blue-prints that George Kudasch created for the Ardun are dated 12/30/1947 - less than 2 years before Chrysler had the Firepower Hemi engine heavily into production and available for sale. Even if Chrysler actually had a copy of the blueprints available when George completed them (long before Duntov actually had patterns made, created the raw castings, machined them and showed the world), they would have only had about 1 1/2 years to design, test, rework and bring their Hemi into volume production. This is far too little time for a big company to create and deliver on a new powerplant platform. Giving the timing/dates - there is no possible way that Chrysler got "the idea" due to seeing an Ardun that Duntov produced, though the initial thought comes to mind quite easily.

What a lot of folks don't realize is that the "Hemi" cylinder head concept had been around for at least a few decades before Ardun or anybody in the Americas created a new one -- it had been used in Europe quite successfully by a variety of different manufacturers - including BMW and Peugeot (both Duntov and Kurdasch came from Europe).

Also, Chrysler had been experimenting with many different engine designs since the late 30's - and built some extremely impressive prototype Hemi engines during WWII for the P-47 test program. Chrysler had extensive Hemi knowledge and had built, extensively tested and produced working engines, long before Duntov decided to create the Ardun for our beloved Flathead Fords.

Here is a link to a good article that Ron San Giovanni was a contributor on about George Kurdasch - it is worth a read:
Dale....I had seen all of this in the past, as I've had a keen interest in the Ardun heads for the last nearly sixty years, and with my Corvette involvement and shenanigans going back some fifty-five years or so, Zora is a household name around here for my wife and I. In fact, I've had the privilege of meeting Zora and Elfie on two different occasions. But thanks for putting this stuff out there in hopes of possibly clearing-up some common misconceptions, especially with regard to Chrysler's extensive background involving 'hemispherical' development in aviation powerplants, long before Zora (and George) jumped-in with the Ardun idea. DD

It's interesting that so many people know SO MUCH stuff....that just ain't so!
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