If the “little ole Lady from Pasadena” where around today, this would be her ride. It is a 1963 Plymouth Savoy 426 Max Wedge with an incredible racing history. For NHRA race fans who remember World Champion Mike Schmidt in a factory backed Ford Galaxie 427 lightweight AA/SA, this is the car that beat him five times from 1965 through 1966. Schmidt was the 1964 NHRA World Champion in Jr. Stock and 1965 NHRA Springnationals champion in Top Stock.
In 1963 Chrysler developed the 426/415 horsepower Max Wedge Super Stock. These cars were factory built race cars that were sold to compete in factory Super Stock drag racing competition. Although they were sold to the public, the car did not come with a factory warranty. It is equipped with one of only 50 lightweight aluminum packages from the factory. It is Number 264 out of 482 Savoys built in 1963, and the 149th out of 177 HC 426 2-door Savoys with 727 Torqueflite automatic transmission. What it comes down to is that this is one of the “baddest Mopars of all time.”
Today it is being offered for sale by a private collector from Kalispell, Montana. The gorgeous rotisserie restoration was done by Darin Rumpel of Darin’s Automotive-Precision Mopar Restoration in Minnesota. (Be sure to view photos of the undercarriage and restoration photos included in the ad.) It was painted with factory single stage PP1 paint. The seller says, “Mainly everything on the Savoy was kept original except plug wires, carburetor linkage, air horns and the rubber mat, which are period correct. The car will come with a complete set of restoration and racing photos in a leather album along with a folder with a copy of titles back to 1973, service history, and factory build card.
Complete ownership is documented back to the assembly line and verified by Darrell Davis and Galen Govier. It was in the Patrick McGroeder Collection in Phoenix, Arizona, and on display by special invitation at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale.
It has been written up in car magazines as follows:
- Maximum Performance Mopar, “Super Stock Drag Racing 1962-1969” by Jim Schild, page 29
- Super Stock, “Drag Racing the Family Sedan”, by Larry Davis, pgs.173-174
- Authenticity Guide, “1962-1964 Dodge & Plymouth Maximum Performance (Wedge)” by Jim Schild with Larry Griffith.
The 1963 Plymouth Savoy 426 Max Wedge now shows 6,595 miles on the odometer with only 55 miles put on since 1973, according to the seller. A good number of the original miles were put on a quarter-mile at a time, one would suspect.
1963 Plymouth Savoy 426 Max Wedge Race History …
Here’s where the story gets interesting. This 1963 Plymouth Savoy 426 Max Wedge was ordered January 18, 1963, and was shipped on February 4, 1963 to Milne Brothers Plymouth Center in Pasadena, California. The price would have been $2,995 retail. Then the car was transfered to Al Roberts Plymouth in Garden Grove, California. They had it tuned at Hayden Profitt’s race shop. After that it was purchased by Fred Sanders, an employee who raced it throughout the 1960’s with great success. The Max Wedge Mopar was raced under the monicker “Wild Wild West” by Sanders from 1963 until 1969. Sanders and his “Wild Wild West” won Mr. Eleiminator in 1965 at Carlsbad, running 11.88 @ 120 mph and defeating Glen Tyree’s Pontiac.
It won it’s class at the Hot Rod Magazine Championships in 1967 and 1968, and was fastest in class at HRM in 1969. The Savoy beat World Champion Mike Schmidt in a factory backed Ford Galaxie 427 lightweight AA/SA every time they raced from 1965 through 1966. Around 1965, this car beat a 63 Plymouth lightweight and the owner decided to sell the front end, which has been on this car ever since.
It was sold after 1969, and, with the help of Max Wedge guru/mechanic/tuner Bob Hickman it won its class at the Winternationals. From 1969-71, the Mopar was raced by Andy Bodewin under the name “Mister Wedge” winning the Winternationals in A/SA.
From 1971 to approximately 1977, the Plymouth was raced by William “Bill” Riddick as “Mister Wedge” at Lions, Irwindale, Fremont, Sacramento, Salinas, Vernalis, and Santa Maria Race Way in Stock Eliminator, clocking a best time of 11.41 @ 121 mph on 7-inch tires. It was later sponsored by many including Rocket Wheels racing at Lions, Irwindale, Salinas, Santa Maria, Sacramento, Vernalis and Fremont in NHRA Stock Eliminator.
Some of the big names that sponsored the 1963 Plymouth Savoy included, Al Robert’s Plymouth Center, Bob Thompson Auto Sales, Associated Diesel, Rocket Racing Products and Brenco Auto Parts.
The seller wrote in an earlier report that his 1963 Plymouth Savoy has the 426 HC 13.5-1 engine (a $682.50 option.) Now it has a 4.32 inch bore, 3.75 stroke, .563 in lift 296/306 duration. The Mopar is radio/heater delete, with a 727 aluminum TorqueFlite, 3.91 rear ratio SureGrip differential, the original alabaster interior, 7.50 x 14 inch BSW Rayon tires and 5.5 inch steel K wheels. The paint is PP1 Ruby Red. The lightweight aluminum package (mentioned above) consists of aluminum hood/scoop, fenders, bumper brackets, front bumper dust shields, and lightweight paper-thin steel front bumper. (The body weight was reduced 150 pounds by the aluminum package.) The Mopar also features a rear-mounted 90-amp battery and is fitted with special carburetor air horns with hood sealing gaskets. As delivered the Plymouth was undercoating and sound deadener delete. It was also carpet delete, where the carpet was replaced by a rubber mat.