Video: Blown Arias Hemi Engine — With Only 6 Cylinders

It’s been shown time and time again, people will go to great lengths to set a record. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of land speed racing. With so many classes and subclasses, there is a category for seemingly anything you can dream up. However, sometimes, when you want a record, rather than seeing where your combination fits, you build to something fit a specific to the Nth degree.

We’ve shown you small-block Chevrolets with four cylinders blocked off running nitromethane and the twin-top-fuel-hemi-engines of the king of the salt, and as impressive as those powerplants are, this one might just be a little bit more unique, especially considering it originally came out of Nick Arias‘ shop.

When we say “Blown Arias Hemi Engine” you probably aren’t imagining something with only six cylinders. But recently we stumbled across this video shot at the Glory Days vintage show event at Byron Dragway in Byron, Illinois showing off just that. As explained by Bill Stepanek, there were only six of the custom engine blocks cast in the 1980s as some sort of proof-of-concept project headed by Nick Arias.

The engine is believed to have run in the Arias Special Lakester, in the B/BFL (Blown Fuel Lakester) class. Subsequently, Gerald Seger, an engine builder familiar with Arias ended up talking him into selling an engine’s worth of components and he has turned it into this 429 cubic-inch, Roots-blown, hemi-headed monster. There are only two believed to have survived of the initial six, and both of them happened to be at this vintage gasser show.

A square 4.500-inch bore and stroke makes for a stout combination and topped with a billet 10-71 blower from The Blower Shop fed by a trio of Quick Fuel Technology XP-series two-barrel carbs, the engine is eventually destined for a Willys gasser. However, at this show, it sat on a custom run stand, making its glorious, unique sounds.

Not the most common thing in the world to see (probably because there were only six ever made, and only two currently known to remain), and that’s an Arias Hemi valve cover with only three spark plug wires coming out of it.

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About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent fifteen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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