Who Needs A Hemi? 1963 Belvedere Max Wedge

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My grandparents had a black Plymouth of this vintage, a four-door sedan with black wheels with the same entry-level “poverty caps“. I never heard anything bad about the black Plymouth, but no one ever commented on it being quick or fearsome in any way. In fact, that would have seemed rude. In contrast, this 1963 Plymouth Belvedere Max Wedge in Hilton, New York should inspire fear and respect, and it was built to be rude, a strict disciplinarian ready to spank anyone who steps out of line or exhibits unwarranted sass. While its 426 cid (7.0L) displacement calls to mind Chrysler’s Street Hemi, this Max Wedge makes substantial power without hemispherical combustion chambers or the Hemi’s more complicated valve train. Look for some frenzied bidding here on eBay where the soup is barely simmering above $18,000.

After a “nut and bolt” restoration including an engine build and dyno test documenting a tire-shredding 554 HP and 542 lb-ft of torque, this basic black coupe seeks a new owner who appreciates the car’s power and pedigree.

Tell me again why the 1964 GTO is known as The First Muscle Car? The only thing crazier than this Code 08 415 HP mill was the Code 09 version which (for an additional $234) raised compression from 11:1 to 13.5:1 and included beefier internals and a rated 425 HP. For more details check out enginelabs.com.

The red interior makes a sporting complement to the basic black exterior. The push-button transmission works the storied 727 three-speed automatic. The unconvinced may change their tune when you tell them The Beach Boys’ Little Old Lady from Pasadena drove a Max Wedge Plymouth, or just take them for a ride! Similar cars have brought in the area of $100,000. What’s your top bid?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    This car personified would’ve had a cowlick strand of hair hanging down the forehead with a pack of Pall Malls rolled up in the t-shirt sleeve and penny loafers..
    Or a black fedora, a black business suit and a Colt .38 Detectives Special in the pants holster..
    That crossram arrangement brings back some memories of my girlfriends dads 300K!

    Like 27
    • Steve S

      The cross ram intake on the Chrysler 300’s was completely different from this setup. The carbs was pretty much hanging above the heads with the carb above the passenger side bank feeding the driver’s side and the carb on the driver’s side feeding the passenger side.

      Like 2
      • KKW

        @Steve S. Not all 300s have the Cross Ram. I have a 62 300H, and the carburetors are inline.

        Like 2
  2. 36Packard

    I would so much want this more then a 426 Hemi. No, swipe that, I really would want something less severe, maybe a nice poly 318 with a small four barrel. The hemi, and this to a lesser extent, is too complicated, too much tuning, too much fuss. Besides, outside of a race track, what use is this anyway? Not a pleasant car to drive on the street. I took a hemi Challenger out from a dealer when they were new. A big disappointment. Rough idling, scary bad handling around corners,, and I swear you could actually hear the gas tank draining. Range on something like this on the highway was like 130 miles per 20 gallon tank. Okay, cool? Of course, but not practical or even a good choice for the over all car experience.

    Like 14
    • Gaspumpchas

      Good commentary, 36packard. Someone told me that the new challenger demon, with a 12 gal gas tank, will suck down the entire 12 gallons in an all out quarter mile. Now that’s economy. Nothing like pure excess in the American Automobile!!

      Like 9
      • Steve R

        Whoever told you that is either lying or doesn’t know what they are talking about. Many 7 second race cars have two gallon fuel cells and have no problem making a run and returning to their pit without coming close to running out.

        Steve R

        Like 32
      • Jim Palmer

        1st world problems! God bless the USA!

        Like 10
      • steve

        Demon @ WOT ~ 20minutes!
        not much of a police chase!

        Like 2
    • triumph1954

      36Packard. I go along with that 318 poly or better yet a slant six. Darn 426 Hemis and 426 MaxWedges. What was Plymouth thinking when they offered Hemis and MaxWedges in these cars.

      Like 2
      • 36Packard

        Did you actually READ my post Mr Sarcastic?

        Like 2
      • Jerry Brentnell

        what they were thinking was pure and simple to rule the drag strips period! and thats what the 426 max wedge did ! sending 409 chevs, 421 pontiacs, 406 fords crying home to momma waa I got my ass whipped real bad! you guys talking bs about new challengers haven’t a clue go drive your import bubble heap

        Like 2
    • chrycoMember

      I love my 63 Belvedere wagon with a mildly modded LA318. Unlimited aftermarket support. I am still using the original poly’s crankshaft and rods, so partly #s matching:) Plenty quick and smooth as silk for daily driving. 13-20 mpg easy. Wish my wagon looked this nice though. Beautiful car.

      Like 2
    • YooperMike

      We didn’t buy these cars back in the 60s for a driver with good gas mileage.. Didn’t matter how much MPG, we bought them for speed. And it was so much fun. Hot Rods were being bought in the 60’s. Most of us were just lucky that we’re still alive.

      Like 0
  3. Steve R

    Cool car. The serious bidders haven’t shown up yet.

    I’m not a fan of the fake/re-pop stickers. They are tacky, real decals aren’t hard to find, but then again, they cost more than $3 each.

    Steve R

    Like 10
  4. Arby

    Sorry, but the “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” drove a “Brand new shiny red super stock DODGE”.

    Like 28
  5. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

    “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” actually drove a Max Wedge superstock Dodge and the song was originally recorded by Jan and Dean. The song was performed live by The Beach Boys at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium on August 1, 1964 for inclusion on their No.1 album Beach Boys Concert.

    The origins of “The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena)” stem from a very popular Dodge ad campaign in southern California that launched in early 1964. Starring actress Kathryn Minner (1892 – 1969), the commercials showed the white-haired elderly lady speeding down the street (and sometimes a drag strip) driving a modified Dodge. She would stop, look out the window and say “Put a Dodge in your garage, Hon-ey!”

    That aside, a well-written article, Todd and a fantastic, legendary car.

    Like 36
    • BoatmanMember

      Where’s the Wikipedia credit, FordGuy?

      Like 1
      • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

        Copy and paste plagiarism makes me seem a lot smarter than I actually am. However, I was smart enough to look it up.

        Like 13
    • HoA Rube GoldbergMember

      That’s not the way I heard it. It was either Jan or Dean that got picked up for speeding in Pasadena. While waiting to be picked up at the police station, Jan ( or Dean) saw the cops bring in this little white haired gal in handcuffs. When he asked about it, one cop said, the Dodge was her sons car, and she took it out on occasion and terrorized the streets, and hence, the song was born.
      As far as the 1st muscle car, this was not it. This was a full size Plymouth with a truck motor and lots of gas. The GTO was considered the 1st muscle car, because, it was a big engine in a small car, and a GTO would give this car a run for it’s money. That was a muscle car.

      Like 4
      • Dewey

        GTO: 3470 lbs. 115 in wheelbase
        Max Wedge Plymouth: 3400 lbs. 116 in wheelbase

        What were you saying about the GTO being smaller? they were both mid-sized cars around 3400 lbs.

        Like 6
      • Arthell64

        The max wedge Plymouth put out at least 100 hp more than the GTO and weighed about the same.

        Like 14
  6. misterlouMember

    The closest thing I ever got to a Max Wedge was from the older kids in grade school.

    Like 33
    • Gaspumpchas

      LOL max Wedgie!!!

      Like 12
  7. Dave

    Moonshine runner…

    Like 7
  8. bobhess bobhessMember

    Great car!

    Like 6
  9. art

    Hmmm…let’s ditch the “poverty caps” reference. A. Those are hub caps, standard equipment on the base models and clearly, the person ordering this “Wedge” engine option was not in a poverty condition. B. Hub caps were less likely to torque or flex on the wheel and fly off while racing or cornering hard. C. The brakes ran cooler with hub caps as the open wheel slots allowed air to circulate. D. The actual cost for Plymouth Fury wheel covers in 1963, which were standard on Sport Fury models, was $18.55, not exactly a sum to break the bank. E. Many hard working folks buying a car in 1963, were looking for a solid transportation car and were not out to impress the neighbors as a lot of folks do now.
    I like these era cars with hub caps; an honest looking car. And this car is a gem.

    Like 20
    • ruxvette

      wow…somebody pee in your Wheaties this morning?
      Some folks call them poverty caps, some folks call them dog dish caps, and I sure other regions/eras called them something else.
      I thought it was a great write up.

      Like 11
    • art

      No pee, just po’d…lol

      Gen Z, Gen X, Millenials, all those entering the old car hobby and who will replace us, aren’t helped when we don’t correctly ID cars, options, colors, specs, and the era in which these cars were made, sold, and enjoyed.
      Folks not born or raised in that era have no clue as to how a car was optioned as evidenced by frequent comments such as “radio delete”, “rare power window delete” and other bizarre takes on these cars. Clueless. On most 1950’s and 1960’s cars, heaters were an option as was an outside mirror, back-up lights, a radio, windshield washers, armrests on the door, even a cigarette lighter, pretty much everything that they only know as standard equipment today. How will they understand that many buyers in 1960 struggled to buy a car and most opted for the lowest cost Savoy’s, Biscayne’s, and Ford Custom’s just to fill the need for basic transportation? According to the then US Bureau of Economic Analysis, it was stated that for all US domestic industries in 1960, the average annual wage was $4817. With a basic 1960 Biscayne 4 door with an inline 6 priced at $2,316, almost 1/2 the annual salary for most, flashy options got ignored. Poverty? No. Reality… especially when the average household had only one worker bringing home a salary.

      Nowadays, I see “clone” and “tribute” all attached to fake models Frankenstein-ed into cars that aren’t the real thing. How will the younger car collectors ever learn when we spin descriptions? And yes,” poverty caps” sends a derogatory connotation. Dog dish is cool..but you’ll not find that description in the old dealer parts order books.
      Just sayin’….

      Like 15
      • itsabowtime2

        Really the price of a mid-range new car is still around 1/2 a persons annual wages.

        The average annual salary in the US is around 45K. A base model Taurus is almost 28K.

        Like 3
      • Steve

        Poverty Caps was part of the vernacular of the day so I say it stays.

        Like 6
      • KKW

        Actually, the millennials should fair well with an old automatic Mopar, they can’t do much, but they do know how to push buttons.

        Like 5
    • triumph1954

      Art. Nice car. Well said and correct. They are hubcaps. They look great on this car.

      Like 3
  10. Pat

    We called them dog dishes….

    Like 15
  11. Greg

    The Original Road Runner

    Like 8
  12. Troy s

    Forget the Roadrunner, the GTX, the Cuda, now this is a Mopar with a capital M. These are great looking cars stock, all it takes is a set of ’60’s era mags and boom instant street machine. Crazy push button shifter, hmm. Chrysler was late getting a four speed transmission compared to the other guys, three speed manual until some point in the early sixties…the torque flite automatic was more than compatible, maybe the best 3 speed automatic ever and copied.
    Thanks Todd, this is the best real deal raw Mopar I’ve seen in quite awhile. Heartbeat is a racin’!

    Like 17
    • Stillrunners

      Truck motor ?

      Like 0
      • Troy s

        Anybody who thinks a Max wedge 426 or 413 is best off in a truck, well, well that’s be one fast scary truck! Think you replied to the wrong comment, Stillrunner.

        Like 2
      • Bill

        He’s referring to the fact that the original max wedge engine based on blocks used in medium duty trucks. The cast in designation “AAQA” is found on the front of the left cylinder bank in max wedge blocks but also some truck blocks. Although I’ve seen articles stating that this was a “heavy duty” or “high nickel” block, the factory’s own maximum performance package service bulletin says, “(15) Cylinder block…The cylinder block is a standard 413 (I’m quoting the ‘62 service bulletin, I don’t have a ‘63) cubic inch with main bearing caps selected for high output performance….”

        Like 3
  13. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Had a landlord I rented a room from back in the 60’s that had one. He had a ski boat with a 413 in it and found and bought a brown on brown 63 Fury convertible with the 426 Max wedge and believe it or not a 3 speed floor shift in it. The engines between the car and boat were swapped as that’s why he bought the car. I think it was the 2d year the 426 was rebuilt in the kitchen over winter, I got a little hands on with helping on it which was a fun thing for a 18-19 year old kid. 2 speed gearbox in the boat with low and reverse gears removed and a 2 bladed prop and that thing was a beast. Boat launch area had a ‘no wake’ speed limit, no way would that thing idle down enough not to put out a significant wake. Get it out in the open water and it could really move.
    It sucked gas like a heathen but made up for it with acceleration and speed that was hard to believe. Always wondered what it was like when it was in the car but it proved itself as something to be reckoned with in the boat.
    Funniest part of it was the wife (who was about 5′) when she drove the car. I had a hard time depressing the clutch but she could do it like a pro and she wasn’t that big (the Fury was the family car).
    The moved to Arizona not long before I went into the Army and I lost track of them along with the car and toys. Always wondered what happened to them, the boat and the car.

    Like 16
  14. poseurMember

    what a gorgeous beast!
    low 12’s at mid-teens stock in 63….amazing

    Like 9
    • HoA Rube GoldbergMember

      Um, not quite. I read, a stock ’63 Max Wedge would do 13.66@107 mph. It didn’t take much, tho, Hot Rod had a Max Wedge, 13.5/1, 102 race gas, and 4:56’s, and turned an impressive 12.69@112mph.

      Like 8
  15. Steve S

    This would be fun to own and drive. But it would be more fun to drive if it had the 4 speed manual transmission though. I bet it would get a lot of people looking at it at cruise inns.

    Like 4
  16. Tom Justice

    I bet you could win some light to light pink slip races in this thing. What a sleeper!

    Like 3
  17. bobhess bobhessMember

    I’ve driven one of these cars with the automatic and don’t think is gives away anything to the 4 speed. Stand on the brakes, pump up the torque converter, and you are gone… rapidly.

    Like 11
    • BigBlocksRock

      Only thing that could make me love it more would be a 4-sp.
      Nice old Mopar!

      Like 2
      • Troy s

        To all the four gear lovers,…maybe so, but until ’64 or ’65 you couldn’t get a four speed from the Dodge //Plymouth boys,..just the three speed manual or 727 automatic. They lagged behind on the four speed,of course you could always install one yourself …’63 definitely no four speed option yet.

        Like 1
      • Ed P

        Chrysler’s 4 speed became available on the 64 cars.

        Like 1
      • Bill

        Later ‘63 cars could be had with a Borg Warner T-10 with the casing cast with the same front pattern as the upcoming A833 Chrysler 4 speed. However this trans was not available with the ‘63 maximum performance package because it was deemed not as strong as the T-85 3 speed, so they got that trans same as could be had in ‘62 maximum performance packages. But it is correct that the Chrysler 4 speed wasn’t released until the ‘64 models were available.

        Like 1
      • Troy s

        Thanks for clearing that up, Bill, on both the 4 speed and the above comment referring to truck engines. Knowledge is highly appreciated ’round here.

        Like 1
  18. MB

    When I was a teenager ( late 1960’s), I hung around with a guy who had one of these, it was the 425HP 13.5:1 compression 4 speed version. It had a huge hole in the transmission tunnel and also the cowl where the wiper motor used to be. It seems that there was no blast shield to protect the driver when the flywheel came apart at almost 7,000 RPM’s. ( I didn’t think a BB Mopar was good for 7 grand)
    If I remember the car ran low 11’s with 7″ slicks

    Like 6
    • Solar

      MB. It really wasn’t good for seven grand. That’s why the flywheel came spinning through the firewall

      Like 2
      • MB

        Now that made me laugh. LOL BTW, the owner of the car told me that the chunk of flywheel missed taking off his right foot by a couple of inches. Surprisingly the engine block survived the experience but the owner’s underwear did not…

        Like 5
  19. Ken Robison

    I had a very similar 1964 Sport Fury with the 426 wedge but one 4barrell carb. Bought it in 1968 when I got out of the Navy. It was a great road machine and held its own with most of the stock cars around at that time. I would love to have it back!

    Like 10
  20. Del

    Just an Amazing vehicle.

    Like 6
  21. schooner

    A Dodge version was my ride to my first tear gassing. Grateful Dead, Yale Bowl. I had MY ticket dammit!

    Like 6
  22. Jay

    Nice car it sooo good to see original equipment No ugly aftermarket silver top radiator no added aftermarket valve covers ,carbs,air cleaner Ect Ect. Oh and you dont have to worry about the under hood all painted black because this one came that way. The electronic ign is the only thing I see that dont look too bad. I think it would look nice sitting in my driveway

    Like 5
  23. Matt R

    I’m in love.
    FYI – there is real nice one on Craigslist with a 3-speed manual transmission as well right now:

    Like 3
  24. J Day

    Yes, please use the right terminology so as not to confuse the Millenials, they are so confused about this disc-like thing we called “records”, that they want to call them “vinyls”. I weep for the future.

    Like 1
  25. Wayne

    Even though it would not be original. (I would save the originals) I would keep the dog dishes. But a set of much wider wheels would be installed. Followed by wide enough tires to fill the fender wells. That would help the handling a ton! look at those medium width tires on those “stock” skinny wheels. There is a load of sidewall flex going on before the tire actually responds to input.
    Imagine what the old drag times would be with today’s rubber compounds. My guess is at least 3/4 of a second faster in the 1/4 mile.

    Like 2

    Hi Guys, I am new to the site. As an owner of a real MAX it is good to see a real car not a clown! My one beef is that this is NOT a Stage II. Stage IIs came out June 1st ’63. By the data plate it was built November 28 ’62. My other question is why there is no choke cables. These cars had manual chokes operated by a knob on the left of the steering column and I do not see the cables or the knob. My car is a ’63 Sport Fury Hardtop, one of 234, originally 11:1 it is now 13.5:1 compression, locked out Torqueflite, 4.11 gears, fenderwell headers and the 3705 Stage II/III carbs. It came with non-tinted glass, no seat belts, radio, heater, white walls and full wheel covers and battery in the trunk. Richard Petty ran his HEMIs at 7200 RPM so he probably ran his MAXs about the same. When the car was last at the track in 1989 I was shifting the TF at 6000. Jerry Stein, who raced Teacher’s Pet and won the 1989 Summer Nationals at Englishtown, told me he shifted at 6800 using 4.72 gears. Push button cars are the easiest to drag race. You’re at the line, bring it up against the brake, the lights come down, watch the tach, 6 grand, shift, watch the tach, 6 grand shift and you’re done the rest is hanging on!

    Like 3
  27. STEVE

    Whoever is the LUCKY BIDDER…..will get a ONE OF A KIND!!!! AND SHOULD BE REALLY PROUD IF IT!!!!

    Like 2
  28. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    07/22..$36,000+ and counting! Wow!

    Like 1

    sold! $44,500!

    Like 0
    • PatrickM

      That was gonna be my comment. Right, gone. Someone got themselves a great car. But, I do agree that a 4-speed would be a great addition.

      Like 0
  30. Troy s

    Congrats to the new owner! One heck of a ride, one of the baddest Mopars ever to wear license plates.

    Like 0

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