1962 to 1965 Mopar Web site logo, based on early '60's Mopar Logo

1964 - 1965 Plymouth Savoy

May 2002 Mopar of the Month

Jim Miller writes from Garland, Texas:

This Plymouth was originally a 1964 Plymouth Savoy lightweight with the 13.5:1 426 Max Wedge and aluminum front end. The first owner was stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Heck of a car to tool around base in!

1964-5 Plymouth Savoy 1964-5 Plymouth Savoy

The second owner was Joe Ralph Thompson of Rison, Arkansas. He had three cars that he raced with two other drivers. This car was driven by Derwood Reep and ran in B/A. Joe Ralph drove the Dodge. The B/G car was another Plymouth that a different driver, Ron Cheisher, drove to a B/G class win at the 1968 U.S. Nationals.

Somewhere around 1966, the car lost the aluminum front end and got the fiberglass '65 front end and plexiglass windows (including the bubble front windshield), was converted to the altered wheelbase configuration and had swapped in an injected Hemi for the Max Wedge engine.
1964-5 Plymouth Savoy 1964-5 Plymouth Savoy

The car went through several hands until it was bought by a friend of mine, Fred Ott. Fred restored it back to 60's condition by scouring the local swap meets for vintage parts. I bought it from Fred in late 1995 and sent it to Don Garlit's Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida for a ten year display. The car is on display for several more years. If any of your visitors are in the Ocala area, stop by for a visit to the museum.
1964-5 Plymouth Savoy restored 1964-5 Plymouth Savoy engine

The engine now in the car is a 471 CID Plymouth wedge: 400 block, stroked 440 crank, 1962 Stage I MW heads, Indy blower manifold, 6-71 Blower, Enderle hat and Hilborn pump, and a Vertex mag. There's a 2-1/2 gallon Moon tank for the methanol. Just enough to make a run and get back to the pits before it runs out of fuel (most of the time).

1964-5 Plymouth Savoy

1964-5 Plymouth Savoy in Don Garlit's Museum 1964-5 Plymouth Savoy in Don Garlit's Museum

The above pictures show the car sitting in Don Garlit's Museum of Drag Racing in Florida.
I didn't have a suitable place to store it, so Don is giving me free storage for ten years.
Sign about 1964-5 Plymouth Savoy in Don Garlit's Museum

Right now the car sits in the same building as the 1973 Mopar Missile and one of the Chi-Town Hustler funny cars. Pretty good company I'd say!

Thanks, Jim!

That sure is a great piece of drag racing history!

Sure shows how these cars were used and adopted as the drag racing sport evolved in the '60's.

And how they got restored in later years!   smile!

Gary H.

See Jim's 1964 Plymouth Belvedere!

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