All Go No Show: 1962 Plymouth Savoy Max Wedge

By Jeff Bennett

I love going to cruise ins. While it is nice to go to judged shows, owners who are less interested in perfection tend to show up and bring their creations. Some kind of leave you wondering what the owner was thinking. Others make your mouth drop from the incredible amount of Dr. Frankenstein genius that they display. This 1962 Plymouth Savoy being sold here on craigslist out of Conyers, Georgia for $30,000 is one such beastly creation. Its not the outside that matters, its the heart of the beast that makes this Plymouth special.

Hiding under a body that could best be called homely sits a modified 513 cubic inch Mopar mill with Max Wedge heads and intake.  Given that stock Max Wedge engines produced around 415 horsepower back in the day, its anybody’s guess what this modified motor would produce in the horsepower and torque categories.  What we do know is that the Max Wedge engines terrorized drag racing for much of the 1960s,and they are in no way outclassed at the dragstrip today.  Backing it up is a 727 transmission with a manual shifter low down on the floor, and  a Dana 60 rear end with 4:10 gears.  Of course, the rear end is equipped with Positraction, which is a heavy duty limited slip differential to aid traction.  Something you darned sure will need.

Inside, the car is about as basic as it gets.  Black vinyl seats offer little in the way of comfort, but are light and simple.  The doors, also sporting vinyl door panels, are Amish plain as it gets with their old fashioned crank up windows.  As stated before, the shifter sits really low, so the car pulling up to you at a light doesn’t get an obvious clue that they are about to get curb stomped.

Outside, the stealth motif continues.  Plain black wall tires with dog dish hubcaps.  There is no fancy trim, and the car looks like an old Slant Six powered grocery getter that has been lovingly restored because it was grandma’s last car.  But grandma likely didn’t have 400+ horsepower stuffed under the hood of her Plymouth to make her weekly trip to the Piggly Wiggly a little more pulse pounding.

This monster has the perfect formula: plain Jane appearance, light weight (around 2900 lbs.), a motor producing tons of horsepower and low end torque, and a drivetrain built to handle all that power and put it to the ground as efficiently as possible.  While I think we all agree, the styling is not that great.  Your opponents at the stop light drags would probably laugh at how ugly the car is.  However, the laughing would stop when the green light came on and they heard this Frankenstein’s monster roar!

Get Daily Email Updates:

Comments

  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    Back in the mid 60’s I had a landlord that had a ski boat with a 413 in it. To gain more from it he bought 64 Fury Convertible with a 426 Max Wedge in it. The 2 engines were swapped. That dual quad 426 was a beast on the water and that’s were I got an appreciation for select Chrysler products.

    I like it (the car that is).

    17+
  2. Terry J

    A MOPAR limited slip differential is a “Sure Grip”. The GM term for a limited slip differential is “Positraction”. Ford? Traction-Lok. Just thought you’d like to know. 🙂 Terry J

    21+
    • Ram Rod

      Yes that was true. I still call mine a sure grip. But my 01 V8 5spd dakota has a 9.25 sure grip in it. When I opened it up to rebuild it. It had trac lock stamped right on it.

      6+
  3. Steve

    Isn’t this what Ward Cleaver drove????

    6+
    • Matt Mattila

      Yes it was I think that was a four-door though but I’m not sure I know the the beaver probably got in the back door though I currently own 262 Plymouth ones the Belvedere ones the fury one runs in the elevens and one can’t get out of its way with the 6 cylinder and the the Leave it to Beaver car they’re both great cars though

      0
  4. lawrence

    Admit Chevy-Ford-Pontiac had better looking car’s….but that light weight B-body with a max wedge sure did run !

    12+
  5. William Potts

    I bet this car would smoke a Corvette or a cobra of it’s vintage at the drags. Would love to hear the sound of that monster.

    10+
  6. jeff6599

    Very good Terry. There are people out there who have no idea what limited slip goes into what. Seems especially true about GTO guys when they advertise their Tigers with a Posi rear end. And when you ask why they put a Chev rear end in it, Their eyes get kind of glassy; haven’t got a clue.

    7+
    • Rocco Member

      I never knew people got so touchy about the name of the design of differentials. So when Ford used a “Detroit Locker” in their 9″ rear, because the equal-loc didn’t last, what did they refer to it as? The equal-loc was Ford’s “posi” unit until about ’66, but the Detroit Locker was used in the high HP factory racers because the Equal-loc just didn’t cut it. Around ’66-’67 Ford introduced the Traction-Loc for the street performance cars. But you could get a Detroit Locker with special order, usually the “Drag Pack”. Sometimes the Drag Pack had a Traction-Loc, depending on how it was ordered.
      I was around in the ’60’s as a teenager, and everyone just referred to both wheels spinning as “posi”. Our feelings weren’t hurt.
      Hey! Remember in “My Cousin Vinney” the Buick had an “open” rear end, and the LeMans had the “positraction” that solved the case. Great movie!!

      1+
      • Terry J

        Touchy? Whose touchy? Chill out Rocco It’s all interesting car memorabilia that’s all. Worthy of discussion and not to be taken too seriously. 🙂 Terry J

        3+
      • Rocco Member

        Got’cha.

        1+
  7. Jeff Staff

    When I wrote the story, I questioned the Positraction line in the ad. However, given that the car is built up rather than all factory original, I decided to go with what the owner said it had. God knows whatever is in that rear end had better be pretty stout.

    7+
    • Tirefriar

      Jeff, unles the seller changed the wording in the ad, there is no mention of “Positraction” in the text. There is “posi” but that’s really a street name for LSD. I think Terry J nailed you 😉

      5+
    • Nick Maher

      It’s a Mopar so it’s a Sure Grip differential when equipped with any form of LSD, even if it was rebuilt with parts from a mail order catalog. Not sure cars this early had an optional Dana rear end so it was probably added at some point which is good.

      7+
      • Ram Rod

        To me its a sure grip. I’m just saying that my factory 01 had trac lock stamped right on it. Wasn’t added when I rebuilt it. Only added new clutch packs,thrust washers, bearings, and crush sleeve.

        3+
    • Terry J

      Surely there is the bulletproof MOPAR 8 3/4″ under the back end of that. Every bit as strong as the Ford 9″ and GM 12 bolt. And then some. 🙂 Terry J

      5+
      • Rocco Member

        If an 8 3/4″ is every bit as strong as the Ford 9″, why isn’t it mass produced for every type of Hot Rod or Drag car like the 9″ has been for decades?
        No flaming, just saying.

        0
      • Terry J

        HEMMINGS : Chrysler 8 3/4 Rear Axles
        Highly sought after and versatile differential for Mopar muscle

        For Mopar enthusiasts, the Chrysler 8 3/4;-inch rear is the equivalent of the Ford 9-inch or the GM 12-bolt. Available as original equipment in many Chrysler cars over all platforms, the Mopar 8 3/4; is a strong rear axle assembly that is highly adaptable as a donor component.

        1+
      • Rocco Member

        Now I got’cha. You mean for Mopar applications. I agree, especially if you want the components to match the vehicle.
        If I was building a Z-16 Chevelle clone, I’d use a 12 bolt diff.
        Sorry, if I misunderstood.

        0
  8. P

    30k?

    You’ll see Paul Lynde Junior before I write a check for that.

    4+
  9. Ken Carney

    I’ll hazard a guess as to what this modified wedge puts out. It’s somewhere between 575 and 650 HP, and 500 foot pounds of torque.
    This thing is indeed a tire frying beast. My BIL in Illinois is a real MoPar
    nut who would really want this car.

    6+
  10. JimmyJ

    It’s ugly but you only get to see the tailights!
    I’m a fan of almost every car but was born and raised mopar mopar mopar and this why…
    Dodge had to try harder they were struggling but you want fast as far as I’m concerned they ruled the 60’s they pumped out the fastest s$$t money could buy
    Just take a look at the drag strip back in the old days

    10+
    • Matt Mattila

      Yes it was I think that was a four-door though but I’m not sure I know the the beaver probably got in the back door though I currently own 262 Plymouth ones the Belvedere ones the fury one runs in the elevens and one can’t get out of its way with the 6 cylinder and the the Leave it to Beaver car they’re both great cars though

      1+
  11. Mina Ingraham

    I have to be honest. I even like how they look. What a cool car.

    13+
  12. Jack NW PA

    Perhaps it WAS a grandmothers car, “But parked in a rickety old garage
    Is a brand new shiny red Super-Stock Dodge.(Go Granny, Go Granny, Go Granny, Go)”

    14+
  13. Ram Rod

    Max wedge cars are the s:!t. I new a guy that owned stamos radiator. He had 2. One was a 63 dart with a 413 max wedge and a 3spd on the floor. The other was a 64 dodge 440 I believe and it was a 426 max wedge automatic with push button controls.

    These cars were bone stock the way he bought them. Bought both new. I got him to take me for a ride in the dart. That thing put you in the seat with smoke rolling off both back tires. All he could do to keep it straight. Banged 2nd around 40 and it still had smoke rolling off the rears and still glued to the seat. Pulled her down into 3rd at 90 and it barked the tires for like 5ft. Then it decided to hook what was left of the skinny bias ply tires and 120 was gone. Still glued to the seat. Then he got out of it. That thing took some driving skills as you was busy in that seat. The car was not for the faint of heart. He said chrysler wouldn’t sell you one if you had a back or heart condition. He had to sign a waver. These things aren’t for the faint of heart. I never rode in the 426 one. I can only imagine. He has since past and his sons now have the cars. Once in awhile I see them. We talk about the old man and how he would get crazy in those cars. Usually baiting those not in the know to race for some cash. I’ll always remember that ride. Especially when I see one of these.

    12+
  14. Steve Bell

    “Sure-grip”, Sure-grip”, “Sure-grip”! Arrghhh.

    3+
  15. jw454

    Maybe we could just refer to all of them as a “torque locking rear axle”. Would that make anyone happy.

    I like the car.

    6+
  16. AMXSTEVE

    amc=twin grip

    2+
  17. Rabbit

    Homely? I’d say it’s so early-sixties Chrysler ugly, it’s beautiful. And 513 cubes have to be putting out an absolute TON of power for a car that only weighs about 3200 lbs. That whole Ford-Chevy rivalry in the 60’s? That was for SECOND place.

    10+
  18. Ed P

    This has got to be the weirdest styled cars of all time.

    2+
    • GOPAR

      Let’s call it “innovative”. Looks great to me, but I’m kind of partial to Gopars, er….. Mopars.

      4+
  19. Big Mike

    As a kid growing up in little town Missouri, (Esther Missouri which is now part of Park Hills) the local Esther Police Dept. had two of these, one was black and the other was red, and yes they had a 3 speed with the floor shifter. They had said that before the town got them they had been high speed pursuit car from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
    I remember them because Dad repaired the black one after it had been wrecked.
    I was lucky as a kid and never got to ride in them!!!!!!!! LOL

    2+
    • John

      North Kansas City had at least one of these in the 60s. Theirs was an automatic (rumored to be a B/M version. It ended many drag races on Burlington, Armour, and Swift.

      0
  20. Tom

    Aluminum fenders?

    3+
    • RNR

      You could get an aluminum slant six in ’62, but aluminum fenders only in ’63 & ’64. In ’65 the lightweight package was thin steel due to an NHRA rule change.
      I love the styling on all ’62 MoPars – A, B and C bodies, but my fave is the Dart/Polara

      4+
      • Ram Rod

        That also included aluminum bumpers.

        2+
  21. Dave

    A total sleeper I love it

    3+
  22. Big Ed

    You’re in the middle of a “blast” and a block away someone pulls out in front of you. How do you stop this 120 mph missle? I know that NASCAR had 4in wide sintered iron block brake shoes but what does this stealth A/FX brawler have. Did the article say? How much rear tire can you put on this body with out cutting. Forgive me, I was just daydreaming!!👍🏽

    0
    • Matt Mattila

      Under my 62 Fury I can fit a 30 inch tall 10 in wide slick with no cutting or a 255 70 15 Performance Tire currently running in the Low 11s no problem stopping with the drum brakes at all but they’re kept their kept up very well in the car with a race car from back in the day it only has 30,000 miles on it

      0
  23. Bellingham Fred

    My older brother had a ’62 Savoy with a slant 6 auto. Drove it from WA State to Chicago to go through training when he joined the Coast Guard in ’68. Then he drove it to Long Beach where he was stationed. When he drove it home on leave it had a 383 and a 4 speed. He left it parked at our parent’s house as in he bought something else to return to CA in. He had also had the seats done in black tuck and roll. I borrowed the front seat (with permission) and put it in my ’55 Chevy. I did return the seat before I sold the ’55.
    That Plymouth would smoke almost every car in town.
    Sold it to a guy a year ahead of me in high school. He didn’t think he wanted a Plymouth until he took a ride after being put back in the seat he couldn’t get his money out fast enough. Unfortunately it was a bit to much for him and he wrecked it.

    2+
  24. C Carl

    Burnouts and speed runs, price reflects just how cool this car is.

    1+
  25. Allante_93 Member

    My dad used a 62 Savoy with a 361/automatic as a company car. A neighbor friend and I would sneak out and drive it when my parents were gone. It was green and both my friend and I at first thought it was the ugliest thing we’d seen until I drove it the first time… That car smoked the tires like you wouldn’t believe!!! Of course we had to pour bleach on the street and smoke em. Two big, long patches of rubber that seemed to go on forever!!! We gained respect for Mopars from that time on… I would love to own this red beauty. I love sleeper cars!!!

    1+
  26. Terry J

    Ya don’t suppose it’s a misprint and he really meant it has a 413 in it? I don’t think even a 440 could be massaged out to 513, so it would take an aftermarket engine which would come with it’s own awesome heads. ?? Terry J

    0
  27. Moosefeather

    If you know what I mean, don’t you get the feeling you wanted want to be in negotiations with the guy that dreamed up a car like this.

    0
  28. jeff6599

    So if this car had a “Top Loader” transmission, a 425 “Nailhead” mill and an 8″ rear end you wouldn’t consider anything more amiss than having a “Posi” in it?
    Note that none of those terms has a specific name attached to it but we all know exactly what they are and where they came from.

    0
  29. PAPERBKWRITER

    This is a perfect example of a ’60’s street fighter.

    1+
  30. Paul B

    Don’t forget Studebaker Twin Traction. Nice to have on your rare Super Lark stealth street fighter. ;). I like this Plymouth. A lot.

    1+
    • John

      Detroit Locker??? No drag racers out there???

      1+
  31. Wayne

    Dad had a ’62 that was an EX-Hyway Patrol car. It was pretty quick. I thought it was awful quick for a 361. When it came time to perform a valve job. It was found to have a 383! Somewhere/time before Dad’s purchase the engine had been swapped. I always liked the style.
    I love this car!

    1+

Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.