Motors took a really large backstep and flat stagnated during the onset of the smog era. The magnum was dodges' first real attempt at getting some decent smog legal power from the V8.
To be sure, that hemi kicks out some ponies, and there is no doubt there! Ever take a good look at the size difference in the cross sectional area of the intake ports? Magnum heads you can fit two fingers wide and three fingers tall when ported, Hemis... well lets just say you could lose your poodle in there!
but the magnum was a really good first step and brought alot to the game....
Heart shaped chambers, tall intake ports, roller cam... these are things chevy guys pay big bucks for in aftermarket parts and it is all under the hood, waiting to be pressed into service by someone who knows what they can do. If I had some real dough I could put together a motor that would flat freak a hemi out, and here is how I would do it...
.060 over block= 373.5 cubes, ballanced of course for the rpm it will need.
flat tops w/ zero deck and .028 LA gaskets+ 60cc heads = 10.5/1 compression.
edelbrock heads ported to 210cc, with the 2.05 valves.
hughes custom cam and spring set with Ford 1.72 rockers. Hughes has lots of good grinds, pick one for your application.
My six pack manifold. For all intents and purposes it is the equivalent of a three deuce tunnel ram for 1500 to 6500 rpm, and comparable to the power-band of the Hemi.
ford motorsports or equivalent 26/28 pph injectors with a dual feed rail.
msd or similar ignition box, cuz lets face it, coil per on the Hemi is kicking the distributors azz.
long tube headers with true dual cats and pipes to match the pipes the new trucks use.
and of course the programming to make it work, either accel dfi or a mad mod tune like what hemifever does on the sct tuners. With the auto trans I would try the sct tuner first so I dont have to fiddle with a stand alone overdrive and lockup computer. I like to keep it simple