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1963 Plymouth Savoy
Max Wedge

October 2015 Mopar of the Month

1963 Plymouth Savoy Driver Side

Jim writes: My 1963 Plymouth Savoy Max Wedge was ordered 1-18-1963, built about 2-2-1963, and shipped 2-4-1963 to Milne Brothers Plymouth Center, Pasadena, CA (price: $2,995.50), then later transferred to Al Roberts Plymouth Center, Garden Grove, CA. Ownership was traced to 1963 where the Plymouth was tuned at Hayden Profitt's race shop and then Fred Sanders, employee of Al Roberts, took ownership and drag raced the Mopar under Wild Wild Wedge from 1963 to approximately 1969 winning Mr. Eliminator in 1965 at Carlsbad, CA running 11.88 @ 120mph defeating Glen Tyree in a Pontiac.

Over the years, sponsors included Al Robert's Plymouth Center, Bob Thompson Auto Sales, Associated Diesel, Rocket Racing Products and Brenco Auto Parts.

The Plymouth's garage wall displays a collage showing the
Plymouth at work on the drag strip "back in the day."

Garage wall photographs

Garage wall photographs
Click on above image for larger view, then on the image again.

Garage wall photograph of race with Bob Spears 1964 Ford Galaxie
Racing a Galaxie 500 in Carlsbad, CA
Garage wall photograph of race win over Pontiac
Running 11.88 at 120.16 to defeat the Tyree Pontiac

In 1966 the Savoy was runner-up at the Winternationals Warmup in Pomona in Top-Stock Eliminator A/SA finals, running 11.90s (beating a lightweight 1963 Plymouth, lightweight 1963 Dodge and lightweight 1964 Galaxie).
1966 Winternationals Program Top Stock - edited fair use of original
Edited thumbnail. Source: the 1966 Winternationals Program Pamphlet, Top Stock.

During 1965-1966 Fred Sanders in the Savoy beat Mike Schmidt's factory-backed Ford every time they raced, Schmidt was the 1964 NHRA World Champion in Jr. Stock and 1965 NHRA Springnationals champion in Top Stock.

The Mopar won Top Stock Eliminator at several tracks and on numerous occasions in the 1965-1966 period. In 1967, the Savoy won the Hot Rod Magazine Championships (HRMC) in SS/CA. In 1968, the Plymouth won HRMC in SS/DA on 9 inch tires. In the 1969 HRMC at Riverside, CA, the Max Wedge was the fastest car in A/SA, running 12.00's on 7 inch tires. From 1969-71, the Mopar was raced by Andy Bodewin under Mr. Wedge winning the Winternationals in A/SA.

From 1971 to approximately 1977, the Plymouth was raced by William "Bill" Riddick under Mr. Wedge at Lions, Irwindale, Fremont, Sacramento, Salinas, Vernalis, and Santa Maria Race Way in Stock Eliminator, clocking a best 11.41 @ 121 on 7 inch tires.

Mr. Wedge at Fremont
Mr. Wedge at Fremont
Mr. Wedge time slip
Closer: sample 1971 Fremont
time slip for the Savoy

More images of the photos framed on the garage wall.

Mr. Wedge at Fremont on trailer
Trailered to the drag strip by a 1969 Road Runner
(At the Salinas, CA Drag Strip in the 1970s)
    Mr. Wedge racing at drag strip
Mr. Wedge racing at drag strip

Galen Govier and Darrell Davis have documented the Savoy, which was a Barrett Jackson special invitation display car and in the Patrick McGroeder collection in Phoenix, AZ. The Mopar was also featured in these publications:

  • Maximum Performance, Mopar: Super Stock Drag Racing 1962-1969 by Jim Schild, pg.29
  • Super Stock, Drag Racing the Family Sedan, by Larry Davis, pgs.173-174
  • Authenticity Guide, 1962-1964 Dodge & Plymouth Maximum Performance (Wedge) by Jim Schild with Larry Griffith.
  • The Savoy currently has 6,554 miles on the odometer, 22 of those put on since 1973. The Savoy had a hard life in the early years...and a long and easy retirement.

    The Plymouth has the 426 HC 13.5-1 engine (a $682.50 option), now 4.32 inch bore, 3.75 stroke, .563 in lift 296/306 duration. The Mopar is radio/heater delete, with a 727 aluminum TorqueFlite, 3.91 rear ratio SureGrip differential, the original alabaster interior, 7.50 x 14 inch BSW Rayon tires, 5.5 inch steel K wheels, original broadcast sheet. Painted PP1 Ruby Red, the Savoy is fitted with the lightweight package consisting of aluminum hood/scoop, fenders, bumper brackets, front bumper dust shields, and lightweight paper-thin steel front bumper. (The body weight was reduced 150 pounds with the addition of the aluminum package.) The Mopar also features a rear-mounted 90 ampere battery and is fitted with special carburetor air horns with hood sealing gaskets. As delivered the Plymouth was undercoating and sound deadener delete and carpet delete, replaced by a rubber mat.

    1963 Plymouth Savoy Max Wedge engine

    1963 Plymouth Savoy Interior

    The Plymouth was completely restored in 2014 by Darin Rumpel of Darin's Automotive and painted factory single stage PP1 by Barry Galotti (not sure of spelling), both in the Minneapolis area. Mainly everything on the Savoy was kept original except plug wires, carburetor linkage, air horns, and rubber mat, which are period correct and added along the way.

    The Plymouth is number 264th of 482, 1963 Savoys, 149th of 177 HC 426 automatic 2 door Savoys.

    1963 Plymouth Savoy Rear View

    I have wanted an original Max Wedge HC car for some time and the aluminum package was a bonus. What an incredible ride, it's like trying to control a stallion from 1963! And the 13.5-1 compression starts with incredible force and instant acceleration. This Plymouth is an amazing car.

    It has been a pleasure and a labor of love collecting all the facts for this car. A very special THANKS goes to Denny Sanders, Andy Bodewin and Bill Riddick for sharing history and race photos of this special Plymouth. And also to the 1962 to 1965 Mopar Web Site and Gary H. for help with leads and providing the medium to stitch the Plymouth's facts together.

    Contact Jim: contact owner 1963 Savoy

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