1965 Plymouth Belvedere 426 Street Wedge

Offered as “1 of 265” Belvederes made in ’65 with the 426 Street Wedge and automatic transmission, this Plymouth in Ballston Spa, New York certainly looks the part. Several sites state the Max Wedge 426 ended in 1964. However, the car’s “426” hood ornament sure looks real, so why ask too many questions, right? Having owned a ’66 Coronet, I knew ’66 was the first year of the 426 street Hemi in that car –Dodge’s Belvedere. I’m sure our amazing readers will help sort it out in the comments below, but I’ll throw out what I learned for starters. According to Ply33.com and others, this car’s VIN decodes as “Plymouth 6 Cylinder.” Meanwhile, Musclecars.howstuffworks.com states “The ’64 Plymouth 413/426 Wedge’s engine was carried over unchanged for 1965.” The body tag decoder at 1962to1965mopar.ornocar.org substantiates the seller’s claims, decoding a Ruby Red Belvedere with black vinyl seats, 426 Wedge engine, and automatic transmission. Regardless, the golden rule of caveat emptor applies before bidding here on eBay.

The term “Max Wedge” originated from “Maximum Performance” and the powerful engine’s wedge-shaped cylinder head design. Despite sharing displacement with the mighty 426 “Elephant” Hemi, the Max Wedge 426 does not use a hemispherical combustion chamber (thanks to Allpar.com for some details). Chrysler campaigned Max Wedge-powered drag racers with much success and Wedge development continued even while some teams started running the (then) race-only Hemis. The “Street Hemi” replaced the Wedge as the top engine offered to normal customers in 1966.

This instrument panel could easily top a clothes washer, which seems appropriate for a car that’s basically a drag-racing appliance. After using push-button transmissions since the ’50s, Chrysler gave some 1965 models the more standard column-mounted automatic shifter and gear indicator. After being converted to standard transmission at one point, this car appears to have acquired an automatic steering column from another Plymouth with a turquoise interior.

With the most interesting part of the car gone, this Belvedere may best suit a buyer with a spare ’65 Max Wedge engine under a tarp in their garage. That said, I’ve seen original Slant-6 Mopars rebuilt with a Hemi and all the fixin’s sell for $60,000. Some buyers just want a wicked old-school muscle car to drive around and fry the tires once in a while. This car could be restored and enjoyed with a 383 or any interesting motor while you chase down missing parts. It’s striking that the $3495 “Buy It Now” price could also buy you a 1965 Mustang that’s in similar condition and missing its original six-cylinder engine, but this *might* be an original Max Wedge drag car! At this price, how can you lose?

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Comments

  1. Luke Fitzgerald

    Wow – single circuit, unassisted drum brakes – those were the days

    • Miguel

      My car still has that exact set up.

      Also the hood ornament might have been taken from a 1964 because I don’t remember the ’65s having the engine size on the ornament.

      • TriPowerVette

        Among the many cars that I thought about buying, drove, and ultimately didn’t buy was a 1965 426 Wedge Plymouth Belvedere convertible. It, too was a 4-speed. It had that wild-looking long crossram that I had never seen before. Each carb was almost over the corresponding fenderwell! I was told later by a Mopar fanatic that the preferred version was the one that placed the carbs nearer the intake centerline.

        In any event, it looked wild, and the hood emblem definitely said 426 (which is why I stopped to look, since at the time I thought it might be a hemi. I didn’t know enough about Mopars at the time to know that that wouldn’t have been likely. Just an old man’s memory.

      • Doug Dodge

        Plymouths had engine call-outs on hood ornaments from ’64-’70…

      • carsofchaos

        +TriPowerVette. I have seen ONE of those Plymouths with the cross-ram setup, ever. As rare as they were in the Chrysler letter cars, they were substantially rarer in the Plymouths. And I’m a huge cross-ram fan having owned a few of the species.

      • TriPowerVette

        +carsofchaos- See, you would know.

        I remember that he wanted $1900. At nearly the same time, I was trying to buy my 1st Corvette, and this old Plymouth, with its light diamond blue paint and white top and interior just didn’t quite hit enough happy spots for me.

        The test drive was what really made my mind up. Not to insult anyone, but it was a disappointment. It seemed about as quick as a non-Roadrunner 383. Hardly what I expected of 426 cubes and dual quads! Especially with a 4-speed. It probably could’ve used some of your magic.

      • rick st jean

        yes they did it,s a 1965 ornament

  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    Had a landlord back in the 60’s that had a 64 Fury convertible with a 426 Max Wedge and believe it or not a 3 speed. He bought it for the engine. Pulled that and put it in a ski boat and put the 413 from the boat in the car. It pulled like nothing else with either engine but the boat really ran with the 426 in it. It was something to see with that magnesium high rise and dual quads on it. You needed a bunch of share in Shell oil to run it thought.

    Fun remember about that one.

  3. yes300ed

    I THINK the 426 wedge in the 1965 Satellite was only available with a 4bbl carb.

    • TriPowerVette

      I gave you a thumbs up. It is entirely possible that some previous owner had installed that crossram, although it looked right at home. The car was 7 or 8 years old by the time our paths crossed.

    • rick st jean

      correct, rated at 365 horse

  4. Kim Morrison

    In ’65 The 426 “street wedge” was the top option. It was rated at 365 HP and around 450 torque. It was not a powerful engine and was overated as a performance engine. The 426 street wedge had a mild cam, restrictive intake manifold and a small Carter AFB Carb. It was choked to death! Only race hemis were available in ’65. In ’66 street hemis were the top option.

  5. Brian Fusilier

    I had a 65 2 door hard top with a 383 I’m almost sure the cid was on the hood ornament

    • Kim Morrison

      From ’64 thru ’66 Plymouths had that hood ornament. They either said 318,383 or 426 for the street wedge.
      The max wedge was discontinued after ’64 to make room for the race hemi which was not available to the general public. Only to proven drag racers.

  6. Paul Yancey

    I have same car with 6 cly vin. Came as this one did …

    Like 1
  7. Mike

    In 1965 it was a Stage II 426 wedge with 365HP.

  8. Nova Scotian

    Man…I can just see this thing sitting there boiling the tires up in smoke at a stop sign. …in my mind! LOL!! Cause there’s no engine here….
    Well, one can dream!😀

  9. jan

    I had a similar car, but I seem to remember that it was a Fury, or Fury II, it was a single 4bbl with a 4 speed transmission.
    I do not remember the hood ornament with the 426 identification, but again that was a long time back.

  10. Dave

    The seller never said it was a Max Wedge, They just stated a 426 Wedge in the ebay ad which was just a 426 4-brl engine not a Cross Ram Max Wedge

  11. Bill Parker

    The writer is inadvertently confusing the terms “max wedge” and “street wedge”. Max wedge referred to what the factory officially called the “maximum performance package” which was a 413, later 426, with dual AFB on cross ram (not the long tube rams found in large cars like Chrysler 300 letter cars) and many other drag oriented features. They were available with static compression ratios up to 13.5:1. The last maximum performance packages were installed in ‘64’s. All such packages were installed only in the platforms which came to be called “B” bodies later. There were also dealer installed 413 engines with inline dual AFBs, available beginning late in ‘62. Cars with such engines bore on their data plate the designation for whatever engine the car originally came with. Also in ‘64, the “street wedge” was introduced, in 426 cubic inch only, and single AFB carb. It was carried over to ‘65 during which time it was also available in the newly enlarged “C” body. The “race hemi” was introduced in ‘64 and carried into ‘68. The “street hemi” was introduced in ‘66 and carried into ‘71. Despite inaccurate magazine articles through the years and claims of various other one off models by people who purport to own one, these facts concerning the max wedge and race hemi cars are documented in a series of books written by Mr Darrell Davis, a long time employee of Chrysler who after retirement was given an office at headquarters and access to all archives pertaining to these cars. He published separate books on each model year listing every authentic such car by VIN and how each such car was specifically equipped. If one finds a car advertised for sale as a “max wedge” car, a potential buyer need only compare the VIN to Mr Davis’ lists to find if it is authentic. Yet claims and arguments persist! Mr Davis’ books are often offered on eBay although they typically aren’t cheap.

    Like 1
    • carsofchaos

      Thank you Bill I was waiting for someone to make that correction. Well done!

  12. rick st jean

    1964,1965 ,1966 B bodies had hood ornaments for 361,383 and 426 cube engines. the hood ornaments were different for each year. In 1964 and 1965 the 426 engine was the street wedge with a hydraulic cam and single afb carb.rated at 365 horsepower in 1966 the 426 street hemi was advertised at 425 horse. the 426 street wedges didn,t perform as well in stock form but would respond well to cam and carb. upgrades. hope this clarifies some

  13. John C Cargill

    Time for a boneyard, 440.

  14. Dan Koch

    I had as my First (1st) car in my name my insurance & all that was a Dodge Polara 500 in brown body black vinyl roof black bucket seats Typewriter drive & a 413 X-Ram Ramcharger engine My Carter WCFB Carbs were rite above the opposite valve covers! It was Butt Ugly but last Spring Barrett Jackson sold same car in blue for $135,000 cash!

  15. mike D

    while I like the car itself, this one, looks to have had a hard hit to the R/rear No engine and advertising it like it does have one tho he says in the ad no engine or trans this has seen better days far from pristine

  16. Troy S

    Throwing on a set of torque thrust D’s instantly turns these early Mopars into mean looking street machines. Since there’s no engine just drop a 440 Magnum in there and call it good.

  17. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Agree with what most have said -a 426 wedge car….not a max wedge. Car has made the sell site rounds….price drop is nice – anyone remember the convertible 426/4sp with the motor/ trans about a year ago ? Like this car….

    • Vic

      I bought the car I think you are referring to.Is in the middle of a full rotisserie restoration.

  18. Troy

    I owned a 64 ,426 4 speed in the late 1980’s….I walked past the car in a parking lot and couldnt believe it !! Needless to say,I bought it luckily the owner was in the mood that day to sell it lol…He called me back 2 weeks later wanting the car back ! By then I repainted the car and did some other work and it already had a new buyer for 7 times the price I paid for it,yes it was a bargain lol..

  19. craig m bryda

    A good friend had a ’65 Dodge Coronet with a 426 street wedge and a Torqueflite. It ran pretty good but needed some fine tuning on the carburetor and distributor. After that it ran great. Won a lot of street races .

  20. BRAKTRCR

    I had a 65 Satellite with the 361, bucket seats and a console. Would love to have it back today. The car loved to burn rubber, and was one of only a few Mopar’s that I have owned.
    The unusual dash, was one of my favorite things about the car. The shape of the body is beautiful in my opinion. This car seams like a deal to me.

  21. Ed Member

    When I was in high school back in 1973 my friend Marty had one with either a 383 or 413 I can’t remember but it would smoke the tires off And I believe he out ran Mark Koker 65 Stang 289 I loved it

  22. Norm Jennings

    Have a 65 Plymouth Satellite “Street Wedge” car that is 1 of 252 and the color code options it as 1 of 7. Go figure it is a gold and white vinyl roof with Gold and tan interior. It is original 426 wedge, 727 car with 426 hood emblem.

    Like 1
  23. RANDY

    1965 street wedge cars are rare birds indeed. less than 300 were produced. last year for the street wedge..

    Like 1
  24. Norman Jennings

    Can’t bring myself to put the white top on it and paint it gold. So, interior is done (including molded console pieces and arm rests) after headliner is finished. Drive train trunk and under carriage are all done. Going to list it in that condition and let next owner decide on paint scheme!

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