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1963 Dodge 330 Is the Perfect Sleeper, Hides Rare V8 Surprise Under the Hood

When it comes to classic Mopars from the golden muscle car era, enthusiasts are usually chasing HEMI-equipped cars. But the mighty 426 isn't the only great engine hailing from that era. While not as iconic, the Max Wedge is just as cool. And it's also responsible for some of Chrysler's greatest victories at the drag strip.
1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge 8 photos
1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge
The Max Wedge arrived in 1962 as a high-performance version of the 413-cubic-inch (6.8-liter) RB-block V8. It generated 410 horsepower with an 11.0:1 compression ratio and 420 horses with a 13.5:1 setup. It was offered in select Dodge and Plymouth models as the "Ramcharger" and "Super Stock," respectively.

Chrysler increased the displacement of the Max Wedge to 426 cubic inches (7.0 liters) for the 1963 model year. The upgrade also added a bit of extra oomph to the race-bred V8. The 11.0:1 variant delivered 415 horsepower, while the 13.5:1 compression version came with 425 horses on tap. The latter was just as potent as the 426 HEMI that became available in production cars in 1966.

Discontinued in 1964, the Max Wedge is notably rarer than the HEMI. While the latter found its way in around 10,000 cars, the Max Wedge was only produced in a few hundred units per year. The 1963 Dodge 330 you see here is one of those rare cars that got it. And if we narrow it down to this specific nameplate only, it's probably one of fewer than 50 units equipped with the 426 version of the engine.

Like most Max Wedge cars, this 330 is a deceiving classic because it looks like a mundane full-size coupe on the outside. Yes, the rear suspension setup and the rear-seat delete will let you know that this car is a factory-built dragster, but those features will go unnoticed from a distance. And that's exactly what makes the 330 Max Wedge cool. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing, a full-blown sleeper that will smoke you at the drag strip.

Showcased at the 2022 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN), this 330 is also one of those rare Max Wedge cars that soldiered on to see the 21st century still in one piece. That's amazing because many of these cars were raced and wrecked in the mid-1960s. Sure, this 330 was likely restored at some point but the owner says he got it just like this in 1995.

You can learn more about that in the video below, which, by the way, also includes footage of the Max Wedge running and making a racket. Make sure you crank up the volume at the 7:30-minute mark.

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