History has a funny way of superceding itself. Bill "Maverick" Golden is one of the most famous racers in drag racing because of his antics in the "Little Red Wagon" Dodge A100 pickup. It has been overlooked that before becoming the world's first wheelstander pilot, Maverick was well known for his efforts in the Super Stock ranks.
The factory-built Max Wedge Dodge seen here is now part of Rick DeMarco's drag car collection. What a tribute to Maverick, who raced it in 1963, just as it appears here, beautifully restored to as-raced condition. While its history since being part of Maverick's operation is sketchy, it became part of DeMarco's growing stable in 1995 when he bought it from noted NHRA racer/Mopar retailer Bob Mazzolini, who had found it at a SoCal swap meet. Back in its heyday, under Maverick's tutelage, the car was one of the most advanced of its time.
By late 1962, Bill Golden had attracted quite a bit of attention from the factory. He was a major force in stock-bodied drag racing on the West Coast and had been supported by the Detroit powers-that-were for over a year. With the new Max Wedge program underway, he got one of the early cars released and began doing some chassis research with Dragmaster Company proprietor Jim Nelson. Using the Dodge as a test bed, what resulted was the first application of a floating rearend in a Stocker. This was achieved by mounting two pairs of Traction Master traction bars to the rear, a conventional set going forward and a second set pointed at the back bumper. In conjunction with the stock spring package, the result allowed the entire chassis to bite down upon acceleration and create optimum weight transfer. It wasn't illegal (after all, you could run traction bars), but NHRA saw fit to clarify the bar's positioning for 1964, effectively outlawing the setup.
Maverick stayed on the West Coast until the aluminum panel package was released in the spring of 1963. With the lightweight parts installed, he repainted the car the way that it looks today, with his name in big letters on the side. Then he went barnstorming. Frank Wylie, who was in charge of the Dodge News Bureau in Detroit, wanted the car on tour, especially in the south. Maverick turned in an enviable win record that summer-one that would remain in the forefront for almost a decade when the car was still being considered one of the Top Ten stockers of all time. After racing in SS/A trim, the car was converted to the new A/Modified Production class before Maverick sold it at the end of the season.
When DeMarco got it over 30 years later, it was still a solid, legal NHRA car. A reliable engine was needed so that the car could be driven in nostalgia competition without a lot of hassles. So, instead of going with a pure resto engine, friend Bob Dyer-who works on all of Rick's machines-built up a 440 block, using '64 Stage III heads and a modified factory crossram intake. Into the short block went a set of 12.5:1 compression Childs & Albert pistons, a forged Max Wedge crank, and a Cam Dynamics 'cheater' cam. A pair of stock-appearing Carter AFBs now top off the package, while Jack Davis step-type headers handle the trumpeting chores. The ignition was upgraded completely to MSD with a 7AL box.
Meanwhile, the latest in TorqueFlite technology is behind this package-a 727 case with lightweight 904 internals. Though Maverick used push buttons when he had the car (which are still inside), currently, the shifting is handled by a floor-mounted unit from Fairbanks. This then goes through an aluminum driveshaft to the original 8 3/4 rear, now housing a 4.56:1 ring and pinion set.