Soul Survivor
While pop culture music may have turned the "Super Stock Dodge with a 413" into an icon, the truth is that the real McCoy was few and far between. Indeed, in that inaugural year for what became known as the first Max Wedge package cars, a total of 212 Ramcharger 413 models were built. With a 410 rating and a curb weight of just 3,350 pounds, these beasts had the highest power-to-weight rating of any passenger car built that year, and many, of course, ended up getting thrashed on the dragstrip.

The one seen here is an exception to that rule. This B-Body Dart (that's correct, it was the Lancer's big brother in 1962) is now in the possession of DaimlerChrysler employee Ron McDaniel, but began its existence on June 4, 1962, when it rolled off the Hamtramck assembly line. This one was ordered with several unique things. Since it was going to a dealership named Dodge City in Montana (one of only three heading to that state), it received a heater. An AM radio was also part of the package, but the biggest change from normal Ramcharger production was the selection of the Borg-Warner T-85 three-speed instead of the TorqueFlite. Once delivered, it was sold to Doctor Skip Score, who had no interest in drag racing, though he later admitted the car was in one serious street confrontation with a Vette (what else?) that actually had the people of his town taking sides and lining the street! Regardless, it was well kept, and Ron became the sixth registered owner in the early '90s after it went through a number of friends. Partially disassembled by one previous owner, it ended up in the hands of noted West Coast Stock Eliminator racer Bob Mazzolini, who intended to restore it. Ron decided otherwise, reassembled the car with some very minor changes, and says the work he has done would be best termed as "stabilizing."

The car is still unrestored; the front fenders were repainted several years ago, but otherwise the body is as it came from the factory. Painted EV1 White, the exterior is complemented by a typical level of early-'60s chrome and a blue cloth/vinyl interior combination; only the front seat cover was redone to repair some minor damage. The Hurst shifter rises up from the floor, while gauges are podded into the dash like something from a Buck Rogers cartoon. Still, that 150-mph speedo tells the tale about just what this machine is capable of.

Under the unscooped hood is 413 inches of early Max muscle. The driveline was thoroughly checked and rebuilt several years ago, with Ken Lazzeri and Herb McCandless doing the work. Ken prepped the parts, while Ron himself rebuilt the engine to stock specs, although a set of Stage III MW rods were used to ensure reliability, and the OE 11:1 compression remains. The heads were rebuilt to stock specs as well, and the engine continues to breathe using a pair of big Carter four-barrels on a cross-ram intake. The only other change was a Stage III MW oil pump pick-up tube to make sure bottom-end stays slippery.

Behind this, McCandless installed a '68 Race Hemi clutch for safety's sake and went through the old B-W crashbox. He also rebuilt the rearend, an 8 3/4-inch unit that houses a set of steep 4.56:1 gears. The only suspension tricks are right out of 1962: the heavy-duty leaf springs and carrier-mounted pinion snubber. The brakes are the "he-man" variety: drums with a manual single-reservoir master cylinder. Rounding out the driveline are a set of 7.75x14 Goodyear Blue Streak tires mounted on white 14-inch steel rims with the factory dog-dish hubcaps. Using this combination, Ron has actually taken the car down the track, recording a 13.14 at 108 mph with the tires blazing through much of First gear.