Beginning at the dawn of the 1960s, Detroit’s major automakers chased sales success with increasingly wild, production-based cars designed to qualify for the wildly popular NHRA Super Stock competition. While the various General Motors automotive divisions started the decade strongly, the giant corporation’s self-imposed anti-racing policy enacted in 1963 spurred a Ford-versus-Chrysler race for domination for the rest of the 1960s. By 1963, a quick succession of increasingly potent but stock-appearing racing cars arrived with monstrously powerful, race-worthy engines and all the supporting features to win.
For its part, Chrysler Corporation’s downsized and controversially styled full-size model lines of 1962 were pleasingly facelifted for 1963, remaining relatively light weight. Thanks to the NHRA’s new 427 cubic-inch displacement limit, Chrysler’s famed 413 cubic-inch Wedge V8 engines were upsized to 426 cubes for 1963 and offered in two underrated tunes: 415-horsepower with 11.0:1 compression, or the fire-breathing 425-horsepower mill with a wilder cam and 13.5:1 compression. Both used a special cross-ram intake manifold mounting twin Carter 4-barrel carburetors, free-flowing cylinder heads, and other tweaks, courtesy of Chrysler’s engineers, several of whom moonlighted with the famed “Ramchargers” drag team.
Dodge’s drag contenders for 1963 were the B-body “Ram Charger” (later renamed Ramcharger) and offered in 4 trim levels. Comparable Super Stock Plymouths shared the basic chassis and came with Savoy, Belvedere, Fury, or Sport Fury trimmings. With robust unibody construction, the Super Stock Mopars were no-nonsense and purposeful racers, collectively referred to as “Maximum Performance” models in factory literature and advertisements. Hard launches were handled with ease by Chrysler’s simple, yet very effective torsion-bar front suspension, which could be cranked up for better weight transfer, and heavy-duty leaf springs at the rear. While manual transmissions were available, the most effective setup at the strip was Chrysler’s virtually bulletproof Torqueflite 3-speed automatic with pushbutton shift buttons on the dash. While more vestigial than effective, four-wheel drum brakes imposed no drag penalty and provided theoretical stopping power. Simple, taxicab-plain interiors minimized weight and maximized performance. To discourage the average Joe from ticking the 426 option box, and unleashing all that firepower on the street, factory warranty coverage was unavailable.
The maximum performance Chryslers cut a swath through Super Stock competition during the 1963 racing season and sometimes, final rounds were an all-Chrysler show since Ford’s 427 Galaxies were simply too heavy, and Chevy’s Z11 cars were often forced to run in ‘Experimental’ classes. According to published estimates, approximately 2,100 “Maximum Performance” engines found their way into Dodge and Plymouth cars in 1963.
This exceptional 1963 Plymouth Savoy Max Wedge 426 Super Stock 2-door Sedan is a prime-quality, confirmed example of these legendary factory-built drag cars and looks ready to tear up the strip. It is understood to be one of 177 base-model Savoys fitted with the orange monster Stage II Wedge. According to decoding of its production record supplied by DaimlerChrysler, the bare-bones Savoy was built at Chrysler’s Lynch Road factory in Detroit, where all Plymouth Super Stock cars were produced. The infamous Option Code 9 was originally specified, confirming the Savoy’s elite status as an original 426 Super Stock car with the mighty Stage II 426 Maximum Performance Wedge V8, conservatively rated at 425 horsepower. Transmission code 2 denotes the originally specified Torqueflite automatic and Code 30 confirms the car’s original 7.50 X 14 Blackwall Rayon tires. Following assembly, the Savoy was shipped on September 24, 1963, to Pleasant Grove Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc. in Dallas, Texas.
As offered, the Savoy is meticulously restored and presented in its factory-specified color combination of Code PP1 Ruby paint over Code 306 Alabaster/Black cloth and vinyl upholstery. Thanks to an expert-level restoration completed in 1989 and excellent care ever since, this legendary Super Stock Plymouth remains extremely attractive today, in top-quality, near-concours condition throughout, with exceptionally straight and true body panels with excellent paint and brightwork. Featuring correct factory-specified colors and materials, the purposeful interior perfectly suits the businesslike presence of the car, including the dash-mounted pushbutton shifter and period style Sun dash-mounted tachometer. Underhood, the mighty Super Stock 426 cross-ram engine looks shoehorned in, and finished with factory-correct colors, finishes, and components all in place. While a modern MSD billet distributor provides improved spark, an original distributor does come with the car. True to its roots, this Super Stock Savoy sports a Chrysler Corporation “Shipping and Handling” warning decal at the top of the windshield, as the car would have been originally delivered. American Racing Torq-Thrust 5-spoke wheels look totally at home on this dragstrip weapon, wrapped with BF Goodrich T/A tires; however, the Savoy does come with a set of correct original steel wheels with dog-dish hubcaps for the ultimate sleeper look. Manuals specific to Plymouth’s 1963 Super Stock models are also included.
True to its roots and simply awesome throughout, this extremely rare Chrysler-documented 1963 Plymouth Savoy 426 Max Wedge Super Stock is a fabulous example of Chrysler’s all-out efforts to “win on Sunday and sell on Monday.” As offered, it is ready to anchor any collection honoring America’s rich motorsports legacy.
Offers welcome and trades considered