Ron talked with us at the Mopar Nats and promised us that he knew of a great place to get the pictures shot while we were in Detroit a couple of days later. He was right, and the more we looked at this car, the more impressive it became. We imagine Dr. Score had no trouble getting to the hospital when duty called, and we can be thankful that this Dodge remains a true survivor of the supercar era. Now, where's that fuelie Vette hiding?
Back In The Day...
The 413 Earned Its Real ReputationWhile the Beach Boys may have gotten a bad example for their fabled song about a 327 Vette beating a 413 Ramcharger Dodge, the rest of the world knew the '62 Maximum Performance package was as nasty as they came. After all, while Pontiac and Chevrolet were still going at it full force with their S/S and A/FX package cars, these were really drag-only cars, with exotic parts and very limited availability. Ford had some serious performance packages with the 406 engine, but it wasn't available in any of the lighter-body styles. Ron McDaniel supplied us with a few magazine road tests from 1962, so we thought we would give you a few quotes....
Motor Trend, Aug. '62, page 20."If present trends continue, by the end of the summer, [the Dodge] will be right on top of the stock car heap-regardless of price. It's an awful bomb. And you don't need time, money, and know-how to do the careful 'tuning' and setup necessary to get optimum performance out of most factory-produced, high-performance cars."
Author Roger Huntington was one of the premier automotive authorities of the time period. Above is a little of his first paragraph. In the same story, Huntington also stated it was the closest thing to an out-and-out racing car from the factory he'd ever seen. Indeed, the main thing that made these cars impressive was their design. The exhaust system featured capped cut-outs that could be unbolted at the track, the short cross-ram was the result of some fertile design work on the part of the Ramchargers club based out of Central Engineering at Highland Park, and the cars beat the competition in the weight department by 300-400 pounds. Incredibly, the base price was only $374.40 above the cost of the standard car.
Hot Rod, May '62, page 26"Two all-new high-horsepower 413 V8s are going to make the boys driving the other brands in the hot stock classes wonder just what hit them."
Noted author and publisher Ray Brock had a first-hand look at the new 410/420-horse Chrysler engines and came away with this impression. In fact, the Brand X guy did wonder, because as soon as the 413 packages hit the track, the record book began to take a beating. Bill "Maverick" Golden took home the record book at the divisional race in Pomona, nailing both ends of the record with a 12.50 at 112.40 while winning the event. Dode Martin and Jim Nelson of Dragmaster fame were able to take their 413 Golden Lancer A/FX creation to another record at 12.26. The SS/S (stick) records went to an early-season 12.71 (Dick Ladeen) and a blistering late-season 115.78 (Dave's Chevron entry). And as for Ray Brock, well, he and the boys from Hot Rod went to the NHRA Nationals in Indy with a "borrowed" 413 SS/SA entry named "Suddenly Too" that Labor Day weekend. Although they didn't go far (got tree'd early on in class eliminations), they set a low e.t. of the event in the Stock classes with a 12.37! This particular car was the first automatic cross-ram car on the West Coast, and was owned by West Coast Chrysler employee Bob McDaniel (yep, Ron's father).
Brock's story in Hot Rod ended like this:"The dragster boys have been drifting away from Chrysler products since the hemispherical engine was dropped in 1958...We think there's going to be a resurgence toward Chrysler engines in the competition classes throughout the country. Care to bet against it?"
The rest, as they say, is history.