The Astonishing Rebirth of a 1962 Plymouth Fury into a Pristine Max Wedge Marvel

Unveiled in 1964 as a race-bred powerhouse and later offered for street use in 1966, the legendary 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8 undoubtedly ranks as Mopar's most iconic engine. Produced until 1971, this formidable force fueled an array of unforgettable muscle cars, such as the Dodge Charger, Challenger, and Coronet, as well as the Plymouth Belvedere, Road Runner, and Barracuda.

Each of these classics from the golden muscle car era, now exceedingly rare and highly coveted, can fetch over $1 million in today's market. However, the 426 HEMI isn't the only remarkable high-performance V8 from that time. Although not as renowned, the Max Wedge holds its own as an even more elusive treasure from the 1960s.

The Max Wedge, short for Maximum Performance Wedge, debuted in 1962 and was phased out in 1964 with the arrival of the HEMI. Initially crafted as a race-spec engine, it eventually made its way into road-going cars. The Max Wedge, based on the RB block, had a 413-cubic-inch (6.8-liter) displacement in 1962, generating 410 or 420 horsepower depending on compression ratio.

In 1963, Chrysler expanded the engine to 426 cubic inches, raising output to 415 or 425 horsepower, contingent on compression ratio. The latter version boasted power comparable to the subsequent 426 HEMI. The Max Wedge was incorporated into both Dodge and Plymouth vehicles, identified as Ramchargers or Super Stocks, respectively.

Initially appearing in the 1962 Plymouth Belvedere and Dodge 330, the Max Wedge package later became available for models like the Savoy, Sport Fury, Dart, and Polara. However, in contrast to the 426 HEMI's 10,000-plus units, the Max Wedge was produced in far fewer numbers. With only a few hundred sold each year across all nameplates, only a handful of each model featured the Max Wedge.

Take, for example, this Plymouth Sport Fury convertible. It's one of merely 13 to receive the Max Wedge package in 1962. Furthermore, it's one of only seven fitted with the TorqueFlite automatic transmission and one of just three finished in red.

As noted by the Chrysler Registry, it's the sole known surviving example. So, what became of the other 12? Primarily used as race cars, these Max Wedge vehicles were often wrecked, modified, or abandoned once their racing days were over.

This stunning red convertible has its own fascinating tale, having been fortunate enough to be unearthed and restored to its original glory. Initially purchased by a man named Don Long, the Sport Fury wasted no time hitting the drag strip straight from the dealership, claiming victory in every NHRA SS/SA class race it entered at Deer Park Raceway near Spokane, Washington.

The car's whereabouts after its triumphant debut season remain a mystery, but in 1995, the battered Fury was discovered in a Montana salvage yard, reduced to a rusty shell with no interior or drivetrain.

Current owner Joe Jordan swooped in to rescue the Sport Fury, meticulously restoring it with a period-accurate 413-cubic-inch Max Wedge V8. While it may not be an entirely original classic, it remains the sole surviving 1962 Sport Fury Convertible Max Wedge—an extraordinary achievement.

Transformed from a heap of scrap metal into a pristine testament to automotive history, this Super Stock convertible now operates as if it just rolled off the assembly line. Its historical significance has earned it accolades at the Mopar Nationals and Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, as well as certification as a historic race car by the Antique Automobile Club of America and expert authentication from Galen V. Govier.

This exceptional classic car is one that most of us may never encounter in person, making this footage from the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) a rare opportunity to admire it up close. Feast your eyes on the video below.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post