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Stunning 1963 Dodge Polara Max Wedge Has an Important Message on Its Rear Window

Introduced in 1964, the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Hemi V8 is now the most iconic and desirable engine ever produced by the Chrysler Corporation. But while enthusiasts are rushing to pay six-figure sums to buy Hemi-powered classic Mopars, the truth is the 426 is nowhere near as rare as its spiritual predecessor, the Max Wedge.
1963 Dodge Polara Max Wedge 8 photos
1963 Dodge Polara Max Wedge1963 Dodge Polara Max Wedge1963 Dodge Polara Max Wedge1963 Dodge Polara Max Wedge1963 Dodge Polara Max Wedge1963 Dodge Polara Max Wedge1963 Dodge Polara Max Wedge
You see, while it was used in street cars for only six years (1966-1971), the 426 founds its way into a long list of Mopars. We're talking about more than 10 Dodge and Plymouth nameplates. Granted, none of them were high sellers, but Mopar ultimately sold a little more than 10,000 cars fitted with the 426 in six years.

The Max Wedge, on the other hand, was produced in only a few hundred units per year and remained in production for only three models years (1962 to 1964). And as much as I love the 426 Hemi, I do get excited when I see a true Max Wedge car show up in public. This 1963 Dodge Polara is one of those vehicles that will make me forget about a Hemi-powered Plymouth 'Cuda.

Yes, I know, the styling of the second-generation Polara is a bit controversial. The six-slat front grille of the 1963 version is not for everyone. But I think it's the perfect sleeper, especially when it's finished in white and hides a 413-cubic-inch (6.8-liter), Max Wedge, under the hood.

If you don't know your pre-Hemi high-performance Mopar engine, the 413 is the original version of the Max Wedge. It was introduced in 1962 and some 1963 cars got it before Chrysler enlarged it to 426 cubic inches. But don't let the slightly smaller displacement fool you, the 413 is almost as powerful as the 426.

Specifically, the 413 arrived with 410 horsepower with an 11.0:1 compression ratio, but Chrysler also offered a 13:5.1 version good for 420 horses. The 426 delivered 415 and 425 horsepower with the same compression ratios, with the latter putting it on par with the Hemi.

But regardless of displacement and power, Max Wedge-equipped Polaras are as rare as they get. There are no precise production records to run by, but Dodge reportedly built about 200 cars with the 413 V8. And it's most likely that fewer than 10 had Polara badges.

Not only rare, but this Dodge is also an awesomely restored classic. It does appear like it has a few upgrades here and there, but it's still an authentic Max Wedge. And check out the "Drive Them, Don't Hide Them!" message on the rear window. That's a cool piece of advice!

Even though they're rare and expensive, cars like this need to be driven on public roads and showcased at events rather than spend their retirement years in garages.

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