1963 Max Wedge Polara 500
426 (415hp) Max Wedge, Push-button 727 Automatic, 3.91 8-3/4 Sure Grip
ULTRA-RARE REAL DEAL MAX WEDGE SURVIVOR
The Mopar of the Month for October 2006 is an unrestored, original paint, factory Max Wedge 1963 Polara 500. Hemi cars and Six Packs seem to be seen all the time, but how often do you come across an original Max Wedge car??? Please read on to learn more about this incredibly rare find.
Introduced in 1962, Mopar unleashed the ground-pounding Max Wedge package to lay waste to the 409 Chevy's, 421 Pontiac's and the 406/427 Ford's on dragstrips all over the US. Factory racing legends Dick Maxwell, Jim Thornton, and Tom Hoover, better known as the Ramchargers, virtually owned the S/S (Super Stock) class with the 'Orange Monster' forging Mopars drag racing reputation from '62-64, and setting the stage for the mighty Hemi cars yet to come. This was an era when all the Big Three were actively involved in racing and back then, 'Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday', wasn't just a cool bumper sticker it really meant something!!! With the pride of each of the manufactures on the line...the sound of these bombers at wide open throttle left the Brand X cars shaking and looking for a place to hide...Mopar quite simply dominated the most fiercely competitive period of factory involved drag racing the world has ever seen. The Max Wedge Dodge's and Plymouth's were the cars to beat!
The racing heritage makes this or any 1963 Max Wedge Polara 500 fairly unique. Dodge offered the Max Wedge Package on the whole Polara line-up but seriously didn't expect any takers with the top of the line 500 model. Dodge in fact tried to discourage people from even ordering the Max Wedge Package for any other purpose than use in SUPERVISED ACCELERATION TRIALS. Why pay the extra money (and weight) for special trim, deluxe interior and frills, if you are gonna make a racer out of it??? Well obviously a few decided that they wanted the Top Dog mill they seen blowing the doors off the competition, wrapped up in a very conservative package...more than a few probably wondered what just happened when they tried to match up against this Maxie. I wonder if that is where the sleeper phrase was first used, in reference to this car and the beating it must have inflicted!!! Galen Govier has been quoted that only 5 such examples are known to exist (1963 Max Wedge Polara 500's).
The car you are looking at was sold new in Prescott AZ, and spent it entire life in the US until very recently. The car itself is a 1963 Polara 500 hardtop, Ivory White, with a Gold stripe, and a Cocoa Beige interior, and has just 40,000 original miles. It's a Q9 11.2:1 (415hp) 1963 Max Wedge engine, with a push-button automatic, and a factory 3.91 8-3/4 rear. The rooftop and the hood have been painted at some point; otherwise the car is original paint (75%), except for chips touched up mainly on the passenger side. The car has survived the past 43 years very well, the paint still shines up nicely and you would be hard pressed to make a case for covering up its acquired character with a coat of fresh paint. That being said it does show some wear, thin spots, and some minor imperfections. This car never seen any serious track time and was obviously just a wolf in sheep's clothing. Unlike most of the breed that would have been modified, cut, tubbed and caged right off the showroom floor and continually modified as the need for speed increased. This was a gentleman car, well maybe even Clark Kent's ride and was well taken care of over the years!!!
The motor is a correct 1963 Max Wedge, but is dated a few weeks after the scheduled build date of the car. To be safe please consider this not to be the original engine as we are unable to determine if there were any production delays some 43 years ago. The transmission is a replacement 1963 unit. Presently the car is running incorrect carbs and fuel lines, as well as an incorrect radiator. The car will come with the correct rebuilt '63 3705 carbs (with correct pieces, including boosters, jets, metering rods and no modifications) and lines and the correct year and part numbered radiator as seen in the pictures. The block, heads, cross-ram intake, and huge upswept exhaust manifolds are all correct for the car. Beyond those issues, the car is almost a time-capsule of originality, surely one of the best remaining examples of the breed.
The car has the original fender tag with the Max Wedge (Q9) designation, as well as the IBM card and letter from Chrysler Historical, documenting it as an original Max Wedge. It has an untouched VIN plate, and Shipping Order Number matches the stampings on the radiator support. The quarter panels are beautiful and untouched. This Maxie Super Stocker even retains the factory installed cardboard liners in the trunk to protect the quarter panels from unsecured cargo!!!
The interior is fantastic, original condition with exception of the carpet and one seat insert. I added the era-correct seat belts to the car, as the nuts were already welded to the floor pans, so it was super easy installation. The interior is very, very nice with the exception of a cracked-up original wheel. The dash cluster, gauges and dash pad, are all like new, super nice. It appeared that Clark Kent really took good care of his ride!!! You'd probably be happy with the results if you spend a few thousand dollars trying to duplicate this interior on your project car! It is that nice and better yet all original!
The engine bay is clean, unrestored, and needs only minor detailing to be excellent. The trunk floor is the nicest you will ever see, with no rust starting anywhere. The window chrome is amazing and pit-free, and the glass is clear and scratch-free. The undercarriage is unrestored, undercoated, and pristine, with numerous factory paint splotches still visible.
The car comes with the original-type skinny 14" steel wheels and full spinner-type wheel covers. The Maxie rides on new 15" Torque-Thrust D rims and rubber at the moment, and both sets of wheels are included with the car. Also included with the car is a rust-free hood with a Year One Max Wedge scoop on it, just needing paint to finish it up.
The exhaust is all correct, from the manifolds to the turned down tips with the exception of the mufflers. This Maxie runs, drives and brakes very well. It idles great on premium pump gas, with no over-heating issues, but keep in mind that Max Wedges are notoriously cold blooded creatures and rough-idling at start-up due to no manifold heat provision, and this car is no different. At start-up, the engine smokes and idles roughly until it reaches operating temperature. Once warmed-up, the car settles down to a nice,healthy-sounding 1000rpm idle, and runs smoothly, with no overheating problems.
The Max Wedge Package:
*11.2:1 compression ratio, a huge cross ram intake with two 4-barrel carbs..
* At the time, highest-lift cam ever installed in a US passenger car, at .520-inch lift, and of course solid lifters.
* Large intake and exhaust valves and a full-race valvetrain.
* Huge upswept hi-po exhaust manifolds.
* Super-stock leaf springs.
* 415 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, and 470 ft.lbs. of torque at 4,400.
* forged aluminum pistons, and beefier connecting rods.
* low-backpressure exhaust system with factory header dumps, for quick
* standard 3.91 sure-grip rear, with optional ratios of 4.10, 4.30, 4.56,
and 4.89 in your factory-made car!
*Low Production Numbers
*Low Mileage 40,017
*Original Body Panels
*Second to None Max Wedge Racing Heritage
*Documented Max Wedge Car
Location, location, location is the number 1 rule when it comes to real estate.
Originality, originality, originality is the number 1 rule when it comes to Max Wedges. You cannot stress this fact enough. Lots of monkey business can be hidden under fresh paint. You can only be original once, with nothing to hide. Check over the documentation, and the corresponding numbers. The history of this car cannot be disputed!
I would like to thanks Andy for sharing his super cool Maxie with us! This car was sold and is heading back to the USA.