Factory Lightweight: 1964 Dodge 330 Max Wedge

Hiding in this garage is an unassuming-looking vehicle that has to rate as one of the genuinely great muscle cars. This is a 1964 Dodge 330 Max Wedge, and it appears to be original and unmolested. These cars could best be described as animals because they rolled off the production with a single intent. That was to provide their owners with a winning combination at the drag strip. A new home is beckoning for this Dodge, so the owner has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Van Nuys, California, and while bidding has reached $55,555, the reserve hasn’t been met.

The 1960s could easily be described as one of the greatest eras of American motoring. Emission regulations and safety were taking a back seat to the desires of many manufacturers to achieve motorsport success. Dodge was not immune from this form of fever, and the 330 Max Wedge would rate as one of the first muscle cars. They were not the most comfortable or practical vehicles on the street, but point them at a drag strip, and the story changed dramatically. Besides blessing the cars with prodigious power, Dodge tried to shave as much weight as possible from the 330. That helps to explain the “do not touch” signage on this car’s front fenders. This 330 is a special lightweight version that the company produced that features an aluminum hood, front fenders, bumper brackets, and door hinges. This creative engineering removed considerable weight, and with every pound counting when considering a ¼-mile ET, they were a wise move. All of these features appear to be intact, and all are in good condition. The original Black paint shows its age, and it is debatable whether the buyer will treat the car to a cosmetic refresh. By the time the hammer falls on this one, it is not likely to be a cheap investment. I would struggle to choose between a repaint or retaining the car as an original survivor.

One problem that the buyer won’t have to consider is rust. This photo of the front floor appears to be indicative of the car’s structural state. There is no penetrating rust visible anywhere. The vehicle’s history is pretty vague, but we know it was delivered to a dealership in Chicago, Illinois. From there, the trail goes cold for us, but it has eventually found its way to sunny California. While the story is vague in the listing, judging by some of the images included in the listing, I suspect that the owner might have a substantial amount of background information that he can supply to potential buyers.

Apart from the lightweight body panels, buyers will need to lift the hood to determine why this unassuming vehicle is a true muscle car. Dodge was serious about motorsport success, and it shows dramatically here. The entry-level Dodge 330 was offered with a 225ci slant-six engine that produced a respectable 145hp. If your aim in life was to wander to the shops or on a weekend family outing, it served that purpose well. It was reliable, it was economical, and it cost its owner $2,245.  However, some buyers wanted more…a lot more! They could order a range of V8s, but there was a further option available for those seeking hard-core performance. If the buyer ticked the correct box on the Order Form and was prepared to hand over an additional $682 ( which was a fair chunk of change in 1964), they could drive away in a 426 Max Wedge. This 426ci V8 was a motor that was designed to provide outright performance, and no consideration was given to comfort and refinement. Based on the “RB” V8, these motors featured upgrades to the block, enlarged oil galleries, solid lifters, an aggressive camshaft grind, and forged pistons that gave the V8, in this case, a 12.5:1 compression ratio. Sitting atop this monster is a pair of Carter carburetors on a cross-ram intake. The owners of these cars could look at the horsepower figure of the slant-six and break into gales of laughter. They may have stretched the bank balance to buy their new toy, but they did own a car with a conservative 425hp at its disposal. Buyers in 1964 had a choice of transmissions, and the original owner chose to equip this car with the A727 automatic. There’s no point in having all of that power at your disposal if you can’t get it to the road. To that end, the Max Wedge also brought with it an 8¾” Sure Grip rear end. Was it fast? Yep! Dodge claimed an official ¼-mile figure of 13.2 seconds, but owners had no problems breaking into the 12-second bracket without making any changes off the showroom floor. The owner doesn’t provide any information on how the 330 runs or drives or whether it is actually a numbers-matching vehicle. However, the engine bay presents well, so there is cause to be optimistic. One interesting quirk with this car is the battery location. These cars usually had the battery relocated to the trunk for improved weight distribution. This 330 has that feature, but there is also one in the engine bay. I’m not sure what the story is there, but it is a question that might be worth asking.

The interior of the 330 is tidy for a survivor of this age, and it remains upholstered in its original combination of red vinyl and cloth. It is not perfect because some of the upholstery appears to be discolored. I think that the rear seat cover might be stained, so that may require the attention of a specialist to return it to its best. There is some slight wear on the driver’s seat and some cracks on the wheel, but if the buyer wants to retain this classic’s status as an original survivor, nothing would need to be changed. Because Dodge designed the 330 Max Wedge as a pure performance package, little consideration was given to creature comforts. The owner holds a Galen’s Registry Report for the car, and it makes interesting reading. When you look at its drivetrain configuration, as well as its paint and trim combination, this is 1-of-2 cars that combined all of those features with a heater. It is also worth noting that the heater is the only luxury item inside this classic. If you want music on the move, you need to listen to the sweet song produced by that fantastic V8.

This 1964 Dodge 330 is an unassuming vehicle that hides its light under a bushel. It looks meek and mild, but it is an animal of a car. It is also a significant piece of American muscle car history, and I am glad that it has managed to remain unmolested over the last 57-years. This isn’t a pristine car, but it is a survivor that carries that badge with pride. The bidding to this point has been subdued, but I suspect that this might change pretty soon. If past results are any indication, I wouldn’t be surprised if this classic found its way into six-figure territory before the auction ended. What do you think?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    The ultimate sleeper. I’ve never even heard of these. A little to plain and unrefined for my taste, but I’m sure someone will covet this.

    Like 15
    • Chris M.

      The understated design is what makes these cars so desirable to many.

      Like 23
  2. Will Fox

    Wow….Who would have thought one of THESE was sitting in a garage somewhere in this day & age?!! This is easily $100K, JUST THE WAY IT SITS.

    Like 22
  3. Bob C.

    I like the look of the front better than the 63s. It was still a little crazy looking that year, like the 62 Dart.

    Like 7
  4. greg

    The ad says it has a 440, but maybe original trans and diff.

    Like 4
  5. Barney Member

    I am by no means knowledgeable about these cars but i wonder about the car’s value considering that it no longer has the. Ore to motor, trans or hood. Actually the car appears to need a lot of work just to get it running.

    Like 3
  6. rbig18

    “The owner doesn’t provide any information on how the 330 runs or drives or whether it is actually a numbers-matching vehicle.”

    Maybe the seller added info after this was written but he clearly says the entire drive train is long gone and now has a 440 motor, new tran and rear end. Also the original Aluminum hood is missing.

    Still an amazing car, still worth a ton of money.

    Like 4
  7. Bob Roller

    An iron fist in a velvet glove and tromp it and go and enjoy the ride.

    Like 6
  8. sjmike

    “For the past many years I have been following all the auto auctions and only one time did this exact car come up for auction and it got to $170K and didn’t make reserve.”

    Mecum absurdity- the owner most likely had no intentions of selling and had people bid the car to $170K to create false value.

    Like 5
    • DON

      Plus the one in the auction may have had its origial drivetrain and hood ?

      Like 2
  9. Tort Member

    I am not certain but I read some years ago that light aluminum front ends and thin weight savings bumpers, etc were not titled and could not be licensed for safety and insurance reasons. I do not believe a “regular Joe” could walk in and buy or order one. A now deceased friend years ago with money in hand was turned down but was offered and purchased one that was a high performance Plymouth but not at the level of the light weights.

    Like 3
    • Don Eladio

      Not true.

      Like 5
    • sjmike

      Actually- they were available to the general public but people HATED driving these cars every day. Cross ram dual quads and 12.5-1 compression made for a terrible car to keep in tune and was impossible to buy gas to keep it running properly unless you ran racing fuel. All while getting 6 MPG and adding a quart of oil every tank.

      Like 7
      • Dave

        Leaded premium gas of the time easily supported compression ratios considered stratospheric today.
        That said…with all of the non-factory parts this is no more than a tribute car.

        Like 2
      • Steve R

        The VIN says otherwise.

        Steve R

        Like 1
      • Dave

        Non original drive train makes it an expensive roller.

        Like 2
    • Tort Member

      In 1965 hemi powered Dodge and Plymouth”s with an altered wheelbase were offered in limited supply but for the general public. I stand corrected , my memory failed me!!

      Like 2
  10. Don Eladio

    From the looks of the modern (and ugly) TTI 3″ exhaust, it’s not too much of a barn-find survivor, lol…but, if it’s a real Max Wedge car, it is still cool. The body is in great shape. There are a gazillion of these that are clones out there and, they can be bought fairly inexpensively, even for a really well-done example. At some point, you question whether it’s worth it, or not, to have an original if nearly everything that made it valuable is gone.

    Like 1
  11. SDJames

    I would love to watch this and the ’63 Ford 300 with the 427 from yesterday go at it!!! Sweet music indeed!

    Like 10
    • Chris M.

      History will point out the Mopar was the winner the majority of the time.

      Like 16
  12. old beach guy

    That’s a special car at a realistic price.

    Like 1
  13. Steve Weiman

    I would take this over ANY 66-71 street hemi Chrysler. This Dodge will also blow the living doors off any street production Mopar that followed it in the muscle era.

    Like 2
    • Dave

      There are many reasons why Chrysler replaced the 426 Wedge with the Hemi. First was more power. Second was durability…the 440 wasn’t the ticket in NASCAR. On the street, I’m sure that any 440-6 car could hang with the Super Stock Dodges and last a lot longer in return.
      Hopefully, whoever built the 440 built it for today’s pump gas.
      Ford’s 427 and Chevy’s 409 suffered from the same durability issues when pushed to the limits, and that’s why they are so rare today. Most of them were blown up.

      Like 1
      • Gary Hubs

        Chrysler 440s had no durability issues and blew the Chevy 427 and Ford 429s away. Not even close.

  14. moosie moosie

    Very hard to believe that a dedicated race car with an unoriginal motor can possibly be worth $50K, liteweight front end & the crossram are good selling points but to my mind the 440″ kills it. Dont get me wrong it is a nice very well preserved car but with out its main claim to fame, that 12 1/2 -1 cr. 426 MAX WEDGE motor its just a very nice well preserved 1964 Dodge 330. But good luck to the seller.

    Like 2
  15. Gordon

    I used to think Mopars of this vintage were ugly as homemade sin but , I’m beginning to like them ..

    Like 3
  16. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Without any part of the original drive train, this seems pretty pricey for a light weight chassis IMO. Back in the late 60’s I had a landlord that bought a 64 Plymouth with a 426 Max Wedge in it. That sucker was a beast, ironically Steve bought the car to swap the engine for a 413 he had in a ski boat. It was a terror and tore up many a part with the HP it put out in that small a boat. That engine was a thing of beauty, thirsty as heck but it put out unbelievable torque and could really make that boat move. I even got to do a little assisting in rebuilding the engine at one time. I didn’t get to do much more than hand wrenches but it was fun none the less.

    Like 5
  17. James Morvay

    I owned one of these cars back in 1964. The car I bought used for $2200.00. It was a 440 body style. My engine was a 13 1/2 to 1 comp. I raced the car for a couple years and did well..I did a lot of street racing and I don’t remember losing. The car was hard to drive on the street. To keep it running when you came to a stop you had to put it neutral because it idled around 1800 rpm. I had to carry an extra set of sparkplugs. The clearances in the engine so lose it used oil..I think with that was what kept it together. After a year of owning it I stopped to see the fellow I bought from. He was a service manager at a Dodge dealership. He asked how the car was running and I told he it was getting tired. He called someone at dodge and told them she needed help. The fellow asked if it was winning and he yes. The answer was do what it takes to keep it winning. They rebuilt thee engine at no cost. I would give my left nut to have that car now.

    Like 2
  18. Troy s

    Horsepower wars of the early sixties produced some incredible cars, like this black label society looking thing here. One of my favorite Mopars of all time, the P,ymouth version as well. On the street with aluminum fenders? No.
    There was a 426 street wedge also, a little more friendly for driving to the gas station everyday.

    Like 4
  19. Patrick Daly

    we owned one of these(no heater) with the cast iron exhaust manifolds.anything else would have put you in modified production.Ours was a 4 spd car that ran in buffolow ny and indy nat’s only to be beatten by ronnie sox.Man those were were great times!

    Like 3
    • Bob

      If you were already deep in to the bracket, even getting beaten by Sox & Martin was a good day 🙂

  20. john hugh

    wrong seats and a few other things for a FACTORY lightweight..

  21. Jim W

    I wonder if this was owned by a “Little Old Lady from Pasadena”?

    Like 1
    • Charles Sawka

      This one is one of two so hers must still be in the rickety old garage !

  22. Theodore James Vertin James Vertin

    It says sold 55,555.55 and the reserve was met they probably lowered the reserve before the auction ended!

  23. James427

    My family had that exact car (but a 225 /6) growing up. I slept on that package tray in the rear window on many a trip. Push button automatic. Sold it to a kid down the street for $100 when I was 15. I was pissed. Thought it was going to be mine. Cool car even with all of the missing pieces.

  24. Lash

    I was excited til I read the 426 is gone.

    Like 4
    • moosie moosie

      ME TOO.

  25. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Odd it did not have the single headlight most Max Wedge’s came with but oh – this has been changed and that have been changed…..lot of change for a body but does look nice – og wait over $100,000 t the big auction…oh whale.

  26. gary rhodes

    I see Maxies with both grilles in them, different seats, etc. Most likely what the buyer wanted he got back then. I remember reading about this car years ago.If its an original its worth the money. I can hear the Chevy guys when someone drags a rusty pile of sh3t LS6 chevelle out of a swamp “It has one original body panel, that makes it a real LS6”

    Like 1
  27. Gary Hubs

    Chrysler 440s had no durability issues and blew the Chevy 427 and Ford 429s away. Not even close.

    The car showed looks like 1965 rather than 1964. We were a Mopar family since 1964. My brother has a 1964 Fury 383 and my parents a Sport Fury 426 Wedge w/one 4 brl. Nothing around could match the 426 until the 440 RT /GTX came out in 1967, which they both purchased, bro an RT, Mom a GTX. We street raced outside of town and at 1/4 mile tracks in TX, OK, CO and KA. Fun times. My sister had a 1967 Cuda 273. I then got a Dodge Dart GTS 383, which dad enhanced; nothing touched it. Yes, fun times!

  28. Ray

    I saw one at a car show in CT. Owner happily pointed out the tag in the glove compartment that said the car was not warrantied by Chrysler Corporation once sold. Clearly not meant to be a daily driver!

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