Holy-Grail 1963 Dodge 330 Is a Max Wedge Sleeper in Stunning Condition

1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge 13 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 Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge
Introduced in 1962 as a trim level above the Dart, the Dodge 330 became the company's entry-level midsize car in 1963 and 1964. The nameplate was discontinued after only three model years, and it's a Mopar that not many people remember. Not surprisingly, it was overshadowed by the rigs Dodge released during the muscle car golden era.
However, the 330 played a key role in Dodge's venture in the then-emerging midsize market. It was one of the first Mopars to use the B-body platform, which went on to underpin legendary muscle cars like the Charger, Super Bee, Road Runner, and GTX. It was also one of only a few hundred cars available with the Max Wedge V8.

The latter was offered from 1962 to 1964, and it's widely regarded as the spiritual predecessor to the more iconic 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8. It was originally launched as a 413-cubic-inch (6.8-liter) powerplant with 11.0:1 or 13.5:1 compression ratios. The former came with 410 horsepower on tap, while the latter delivered 420 horses.

In 1963, Chrysler enlarged the mill to 426 cubic inches, increasing output to 415 and 425 horsepower depending on the compression ratio. That's right, in its most potent iteration, the Max Wedge delivered as much oomph as the HEMI. And it wasn't much behind on torque, either. The powerplant was exclusive to B-body cars and found its way into the Dodge Dart, Polara, 330, and 440. Plymouth offered the V8 in the Fury, Savoy, and Belvedere.

With only a few hundred cars built over three model years, the Max Wedge-powered Mopar is far scarcer than the HEMI. And things become even rarer when we split production numbers between nameplates. The Dodge 330 you see here, for instance, is one of only 31 built, according to Mopar expert Galen V. Govier.

And that's not the only spectacular thing about this sleeper. The vehicle is highly original, having received only a mild restoration (that included a repaint) in 1985. I know repainted cars aren't considered survivors by hardcore gearheads, but this 1963 Dodge 330 is as close as they get. It also has a bit of racing heritage to brag about.

Sold new in San Diego, this Mopar hit the drag strip only two weeks after it left the dealership. The original owner took it to Pomona and drove it down the quarter-mile in just 13.08 seconds. The 330 crossed the line at 108 mph (174 kph). Both numbers are impressive for an early 1960s, street-legal rig, and the original time slip is still with the car.

Fortunately enough, the Mopar didn't spend a lot of time at the drag strip, and it managed to survive all these years without being crashed. But it's also safe to say it was pampered during original ownership because the odometer shows only 45,745 original miles (73,634 km). Come 2024, this Max Wedge flaunts all-original sheet metal and interior, as well as a numbers-matching drivetrain.

The unit is a 426-cubic-inch V8 with 11.0:1 compression ratio, meaning it sends 415 horsepower to the rear wheels. The Ramcharger lump mates to a push-button automatic transmission. This stunning piece of Mopar history is looking for a new home for $87,998. That's a bit lower than its appraised value of $95,000. Is this a good deal, or would you rather save more for a HEMI?

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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