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1964 Dodge 440

April 2017 Mopar of the Month

Steve (aka "Cornpatch MO") writes from Iowa: This Mopar has a theme: how I would have built this Dodge in the mid-1960's, with a few alterations. First, buy the car; preferrably 4 speed. Back in those days (in my area anyway) we did not build many engines in our tiny garage. Instead, go to a salvage yard or state surplus auction and buy a big ex-Highway Patrol engine. That would have been a 413 big block, likley from a Mopar like a Dodge 880 Police Pursuit. Headers were not that popular, as they were very expensive and used mainly by the professionals. The Ford Thunderbolts were giving the Mopars fits, and everyone loved the Ford's fresh air intake and hood bubble. You might see that hoodscoop on about anything, and all the speed shops and places like Honest Charlies and Warshawski's kept them in stock.The Sun Super Tach and Stewart Warner electric fuel pump and Stewart Warner guages were almost standard equipment. Along with a three spoke chrome steering wheel which had holes in the spokes. There was no billet aluminum, no stainless steel braided lines and little to no chrome in the engine compartments.

1964 Dodge 440, front driver side
1964 Dodge 440 as bought, passenger side

I located this Dodge about 125 miles from where I live in Iowa;
it was for sale by a Mopar restoration hobbyist who finds and sells projects.

It was an original California black plate car with no engine, transmission, or interior.

1964 Dodge 440, driver side, bodywork in process, driver side 1964 Dodge 440, engine compartment bodywork

Eight years later, the Mopar is nearly finished. How? First, was to disassemble the entire front end, sandblast, and paint the firewall-inner fenders. Along the way I converted to 11 inch disc brakes using the Scarebird Classic Brakes mounting brackets and bearing adapters. I installed the entire front suspension with new Moog rubber bushings and related parts. I left the 318 torsion bars in for quick weight transfer. I detailed the instument panel using the "spray on chrome." I converted the tranny to a rebuilt A833 four speed with the correct Hurst Shifter and boots, using all correct clutch linkage for trouble-free match-up and operation. The clutch is a "Centerforce Dual Friction" and the bellhouse a correct stock cast unit.

I have a complete 413 engine that I had planned on overhauling, but I found and used a 1978 Dodge 440 with no ring groove, and excellent bottom end, fitted with 516 heads with oversize exhaust valves and hardened seats and stonger valve springs. That setup with a steel shim head gasket gives about 9.5 compression. True to form, the camshaft is one I found in a swapmeet with no name or numbers; but it has about .475 lift on both intake and exhaust and appears to have a lot of duration. Exhaust exits through 1968-1969 HP factory exhaust manifolds.

Cooling is through a new 1968-1969 three core radiator with a short Jaguar clutch fan and seven blade Mopar fan. Oil sloshes in a six quart oil pan. The intake is a "stealthy" Edelbrock RPM Performer. (I ground off all letters and numbers) with a 750 CFM Holley Double Pump with mechanical secondarys feeding the octane requirememnt. The ignition is rebuilt, using stock single points for now, with a Pertronix III planned for later. Frame connectors are welded in. The rear axle housing is 1965 unit with 3 inch finned drums; no proportioning valve needed. An 8 3/4 clutch type SureGrip 742 third member with 3:55 ratio, totally rebuilt, spins the rear tires.

1964 Dodge 440, front driver side

The front wheels are rare mid 1960's Fenton 5 spoke 15 inch and the rears are 15x7 Mopar cop car wheels.

The paint is single stage urathane shot by a friend at his local body shop. In deciding the color choice I asked for suggestions from members of the 1962 to 1965 Mopar Mail List.
I wanted a red that would "pop" (while actually thinking about a little different color). Mail List Member Gary Pavlovich sent me a picture of his 1956 Plymouth Savoy, which I liked.
The color is is simply called BMW bright red. The white was the whitest that the paint mixer could come up with.
After paint was applied, we used 1964 330 side sweep trim on the Dodge.

1964 Dodge 440, front passenger side
1964 Dodge 440, 440 engine 1964 Dodge 440, 440 engine
1964 Dodge 440, 440 valve cover decal
1964 Dodge 440, 440 engine - radiator 1964 Dodge 440, 440 engine - radiator

The interior is by another friend, Stanley Upholstery, done at his local shop.

1964 Dodge 440, 440 interior 1964 Dodge 440, 440 interior
1964 Dodge 440, 440 interior rear 1964 Dodge 440, 440 interior
1964 Dodge 440, gauges under dash 1964 Dodge 440, 440 headliner

BRUTUS is the nickname of this Dodge. I owned a 1956 Chrysler named "Betty Lou" so I wanted a masculine name, something warrior-like, for this Mopar. Also, the name is a takeoff on brute power. There was a professional wrestler with the ring name Brutus Beefcake, who was bad to the bone! LOL Plus, the lettering on the driver's door is Roman style in deference to Brutus and the Roman Senators that assassinated Ceaser, (not that I think that was a good thing!)

1964 Dodge 440, BRUTUS lettering 1964 Dodge 440, hood scoop, Thunderbolt style

The 1962-1965 Mopar Mail List Clubhouse has been most valuable to me in this build. Thanks to all members and especially Gary H. for the best Mopar site on the net!

1964 Dodge 440, rear passenger side

I enjoy answering questions about Brutus; feel free to ask. There were many tidbits accomplished during the restoration!

Contact Mo: 1964 Dodge 440, contact owner

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