In 1962, during the Super Stock racing wars, Plymouth enjoyed good fortune with its 413 Max Wedge engine. But, 1962 was the final year of the 413. For 1963, a 426 version emerged to take the drag racing world by storm. Today, many auto enthusiasts attribute their Mopar addictions to the lasting impression these cars left on their youthful minds. Those memories have been all that some of the aficionados have held onto. Finances that could otherwise be used for collectible cars are demanded by life's responsibilities, such as family, homes, and careers.
But, in the process of daily routine and personal obligation, we all have aspirations and know what we want. For many, it's a car that reminds us of youth-a car for which, when the time is right, we are willing to beg, borrow, plead, and wait indefinite periods of time. Dave Allen, a machinist from Canton, Ohio, is just one of those guys who waited a while to realize his dream.
Sometime around 1996 or so, Dave's life was going as planned, and he got the urge to build the car of his dreams. His choice for automotive bliss? A '62 Plymouth Savoy. The reason for this body style may have stemmed from a past experience, but a real Super Stock Max Wedge car was a little out of reach. So, Dave decided a clone would fill the bill nicely.
For years, Dave checked every outlet he could think of trying to find what he wanted. Not one to settle for anything else, his patience paid off when finally, while looking at a collector car Web site, he found what he'd been looking for. Legendary Ramchargers member Ron Mancini was selling a '62 Plymouth Savoy that he had planned to build as a Max Wedge car himself, but never did. Mancini had restored the body and had his son paint it Stone White-a '99 Chrysler shade-in a base/clear combination paint. To motorvate the Savoy, Ron installed a 440 engine. When Dave saw it on the Web site, he knew this was the one and purchased it.
The first thing Dave did was locate the necessary pieces to build a correct 413 Stage I engine. A block and crankshaft were located in Michigan, a pair of heads was found in Canada, the intake hails from New York, and the carbs came from Wisconsin. With the major pieces of the engine puzzle found, Harley Day at Precision Machine in Canton opened the block a scant .020 inch and filled the holes with Jhans 10:1 pistons. A set of stock rods connect the pistons to the crankshaft, and floating between the left and right bank of the pistons is a Mopar Performance Purple Shaft with specs of .528 lift and 284 degrees duration. Perched between the Stock Stage I Max Wedge heads is a factory cross-ram intake supporting two AFB carbs.
With the Maxie motor complete, the 440 was removed and the new engine was installed in front of the push-button-actuated tranny rebuilt by Mancini, featuring an 11-inch converter. Out back, an 831/44 rear sporting a Sure Grip center and 3.91 gears is supported by Hoosier tires.
When it came time to tackle the interior, Dave had it easy. So did the former owner, for that matter. You see, the interior is still in factory-delivered form. Neither Dave nor Mancini needed to replace vinyl and cloth materials.
It's an aspiration that took a while to realize, but these days, Dave enjoys the fruits of his patience as often as possible on the highways of Canton. That's the nice thing about a clone. We've gotta wonder though, since Dave spends his time driving, how much dust has formed on that computer?