Tastefully applied, the aftermarket...
Tastefully applied, the aftermarket air conditioning controls don't look too out of place perched on the dashboard. Doug had no desire to sweat his way through the Pennsylvania summers while enjoying his made-to-order Savoy.
Doug wanted to drive this...
Doug wanted to drive this car, and so he does! A '65 RB 413 was rebuilt for mild cruising; though it sports a more-than-mild 440 Six-Pack hydraulic flat-tapped camshaft. Low-compression pistons and free-flowing Hedman headers allow the 413 wedge to rack up the miles per hour with ease thanks to the 2.94 Sure Grip out back.
When Doug McCombs of Volant, Pennsylvania, created this gorgeous '62 Plymouth Savoy 413 wedge out of a four-door Belvedere we had to stop, clean our glasses, and take a closer look.
Some call the early '60s Mopars' looks "so ugly, they have a face only an engineer could love," but it was what was under the skin that made these machines great. Awkward and gaudy, especially when compared to its GM competition, the Darts and Savoys suffered in sales, but it was on the race course these vehicles shined. New torsion bar front suspension and heavy-duty rear leaves made for some of the best handling and responsive suspension platforms available. Situated in between the six-year gap (1958-1964) when the Hemi was absent, the wedge was able to flourish and come into its own-culminating in the Max Wedge 413 and 426.
Though not a Max Wedge 413 clone, per se, the '62 Savoy Doug has fabricated is most impressive, especially given what he had to work with. A connoisseur of early and mid-'60s Mopars, Doug owns three '65 Valiants: two with 273s, one with a 340, one is a convertible; all three are four-speeds, along with a '67 Barracuda 440 four-speed. A professional mechanic by trade, Doug put his skills to use when he took on this project.
The desire to build an early Savoy had been on Doug's mind for quite sometime before he landed the super-straight '62 Belvedere four-door three years ago. Found locally and for a steal of a price, the car's odometer read a mere 32,000 miles. Thinking he would scavenge what parts he could from the Belvedere and apply them to a two-door he had yet to find, Doug set out to find his desired project car. Unfortunately, finding a two-door Savoy turned out to be considerably more difficult than he had imagined. He did know of a two-door sedan that was so corroded it couldn't be considered a feasible car to build. But he finally deciding to purchase the rusting hulk and after getting it home, he realized the potential his newest acquisition had. The doors and forward quarters were salvageable.
Lining up the two Plymouths side by side, Doug began to piece together a perfect plan. The doors were pulled off the four-door, the interior was eviscerated from the body, and the center B-pillar was cut out. Thankfully, the wheelbases of the two vehicles were identical, so Doug did not have to sever the car in two and shorten it. The forward quarter-panel was trimmed and cut to fit the rear door jambs, and additional sheetmetal was placed to fill the gap in the running boards. Hanging doors and getting them to line-up, seal, and swing nicely is tough enough with factory-positioned strikers. Doug clocked hours fitting, aligning, and realigning the doors and the quarter-panels to get them to feel and close smoother than anything that left the factory that year.