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1963 Dodge 440

December 2017 Mopar of the Month

Enzo writes from Canada: I purchased this Dodge in early 2000 off Ebay from a gentlemen in Van Nuys, California. It took approximately six months to coordinate shipping the car to the border in Fort Erie, Canada; (there was a major gas embargo / tax at that time and long-distance car haulers were a little hesitant.)

1963 Dodge, front

1963 Dodge, front, hood open

The Dodge started as  basically a little old lady from Pasadena type vehicle with a slant 6 engine and automatic TorqueFlite transmission, originally painted gold with a white top.

Since I always wanted a Gen II Hemi, I thought this Dodge would make a perfect candidate. I realize the Hemi is not period correct; however, I think it looks pretty good under the hood! Thus between the fenders sits a Siamese Bore Hemi block with Stage V aluminum heads massaged by Ray Barton, a Mopar Performance Crossram intake and Holley 770 CFM carburetors. (I began the motor break in with a pair of Holley 1850 600 CFM vacuum secondary Street Warrior carburetors then switched to Holley 770 CFM Street Avenger carburetors later, in 2013).

1963 Dodge, Hemi engine
1963 Dodge, passenger interior

I purchased the Dodge in 2000 and began the disassembly process. Around 2005, I had a buddy design a rolling jig on 15 inch wheels to allow me a little more access to the underside. I cleaned, sanded and completely painted the underbody body color and prepped the body somewhat. In the process I discovered that the body sheet metal is ALL original, including the mint firewall; I only had to replace the front floor pans and the trunk pan.

Next, I installed the suspension, drivetrain and electrical along with a a Gary Ball complete interior.

1963 Dodge, dash, front seats
1963 Dodge, dash 1963 Dodge, dash, passenger side

I then used the Dodge on the road, unpainted, in 2008-2009 while debugging. Finally, the Dodge was sent for paint in early 2010. I decided on an off white with a red interior (a little throwback to the Ramchargers theme). The original 440 trim had some damage so I decided to do away with most of that 440 trim and just keep the trim on the upper door. The Dodge was fully done as shown here from June 2010 to current day.

I did spend some time with the Dodge at the track using a pair of 9 inch Hoosier slicks; the Mopar ran a best of 10.9 @ 125 MPH (Dana 60 3:55 gears).

With the help of many 1962 to 1965 Mopar Mail List members and the ever resourceful vendor list that Gary H. thankfully maintains, I was able to locate many pieces for the Dodge. Moreover, I would especially like to acknowledge help in disassembly and re-assembly of the Dodge from a close friend known affectionately as Mr. Chevrolet.

1963 Dodge, driver side  interior

Every car show I attend the Dodge gets many looks and praises (and trophies). Add the fact that there are very few 1963 Dodges to be found ( at least where I am in Ontario Canada), many people have no clue as to what brand the Mopar actually is!

1963 Dodge, rear

Contact Enzo: 1963 Dodge contact

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