Meet the Ramchargers: performance engineers who paved the way for SRT.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012

The Ramchargers were ahead of their time. Plain and simple. SRT engineers continue to use many of the concepts and principles the Ramchargers pioneered nearly 50 years ago.

SRT enthusiasts will have a chance to meet members of this elite group of engineers and technicians, and hear their stories, as the SAE Mid-Michigan chapter is hosting a section dinner at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum on Monday, April 30 from 5-8 p.m.

An insightful presentation featuring Dave Rockwell, Tom Coddington, Jim Thornton and Mick Buckel - four of the original Ramchargers - will highlight how the squad developed and perfected powertrain and chassis components in vehicles that went on to break a number of significant time barriers, along with earning numerous NHRA Super Stock titles.

Among the innovations championed by the Ramchargers was the design and development of the 426 Chrysler race HEMI® and Street HEMI engine — an engine that is still widely used in drag racing to this day.

Other notable achievements of the Ramchargers include the development and use of the automatic transmission in drag racing, as well as pioneering the ram tuning principle used in intake manifold design, along with the design and development of a suspension system that was specifically created for drag racing. The group was the first to conduct scientific tests into the use of Nitro Methane in Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car drag racing, which helped revolutionize the sport.

An array of historic and current drag racing vehicles will be on display at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum during the dinner for attendees to get an up-close and personal look at. For more information on the dinner with the Ramchargers, visit


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