Max Wedge

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Beginning around April of 1962, Dodge and Plymouth offered the first Maximum Performance Wedge (nicknamed Max Wedge) in their new, light, mid-sized cars. The '62 Max Wedge had a 413 cubic inch engine. The engine was enlarged to 426 c.i. for 1963 and 1964. The Max Wedge package, which included many drivetrain and chassis modifications, was available in all 1962, 1963 and 1964 B-body Dodges and Plymouths (330, 440, '62 Dart, Polara, Polara 500, Savoy, Belvedere, Fury, Sport Fury), except 1962 station wagons. Dodge called the package "Ram-Charger 413/426", Plymouth called it "Super Stock 413/426". Mid-year '63 saw the addition of aluminum body panel options including an optional hood scoop, a trunk-mounted battery to add more weight over the rear axle and the "Stage II" Max Wedge engines. The 1964 engines were labeled "Stage III". Contrary to popular belief, neither the early '63 426 nor the '62 413 were ever called "Stage I".

Horsepower for the Max Wedges are as follows:

  • 1962 413 11.0:1 compression ratio: 410 h.p.©
  • 1962 413 13.5:1 compression ratio: 420 h.p.©
  • 1963 426 11.0:1 compression ratio: 415 h.p.©
  • 1963 426 13.5:1 compression ratio: 425 h.p.©
  • 1964 426 11.0:1 compression ratio: 415 h.p.©
  • 1964 426 12.5:1 compression ratio: 425 h.p.©

Max Wedges dominated drag racing during the early to mid 1960s. The fact that they are still competitve in Super Stock classes more than 50 years after their introduction is impressive.

It can be argued that part of the Max Wedge appeal is that they were the fastest cars of their day, but, by most accounts, they didn't look the part. Some people find them downright ugly. Their outward appearance is Plain-Jane; no stripes, no badges. With the exception of the hood scoop on some '63 and '64 models, there is no tip-off to distinguish a Max Wedge from Grandma's slant-six grocery-getter. But make no mistake, Max Wedges can embarrass a brand-new Viper. They are fully capable of 12-second quarter mile times in stock trim. That's fast enough to pick off most motorcycles.

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