1962 to 1965 Mopar Site graphic, based on early 1960's Mopar Logo

Maverick’s 1964 Hemi Dodge 330

July 2011 Mopar of the Month

By Terry Winkler

Several years prior to the Little Red Wagon Bill “Maverick” Golden had earned the respect and attention of drag racers on the west coast and policy makers at Mopar. In fact Maverick’s winning record won him Orange County Dodge Dealers sponsorship for the 1964 race season. The year started off with Golden driving a Max Wedge and mid-season a silver Hemi super stock car was delivered to Maverick from Maw Mopar with Jim Thornton of the Ramchargers delivering the Hemi car and keys. No time was wasted getting the car to Dick Landry to paint it the trademark yellow and black colors that Maverick was known for. The only other changes were adjusting the carburetors to full mechanical opening secondary’s, raising the transmission shift points and installing a Racer Brown camshaft which Maverick used throughout his career. The rest as they say “was history”. Maverick won 35 of 36 events raced in 1964 with the Hemi Dodge. At the season’s end Dodge moved Maverick into the Little Red Wagon.

The winning Hemi car was sold to a Baton Rouge, LA Dodge dealership Standard Motor Car Company to be campaigned by the race team of Ward, Cliburn and Busche. Stanley Ward, the driver, towed the aluminum-nosed Hemi super stock Dodge from Sun Valley, California on its on wheels with a tow bar to Baton Rouge. The car was driven in a few time trials in Louisiana and then sent to Michigan to Murray Branster’s shop to be converted to an A/FX match race car due to NHRA rule changes and much better pay outs in match racing. Car Craft magazine did a full story on the altered wheelbase conversion. Everything thing that was yellow on the Maverick Dodge was painted red and the car was named “The Prosecutor”. The Prosecutor raced throughout the south in match races for two full seasons and was never defeated. Combining the win records of the Maverick car and the Prosecutor produces perhaps the most winning car in all of drag racing’s history. I know of no other car that can boast of losing only one race. Bill “Maverick” Golden recalls that one “LOSS” was so controversial that the race promoter paid Maverick the prize money.

The mighty Hemi dodge was sold to local match racers in Louisiana and remained there in obscurity for the next several decades. In fact the car was rumored lost forever or destroyed. The car was eventually discovered by Murry Crowe in a pine ticket west of Monroe, La. The door jams still had the trademark yellow and black colors painted by Dick Landry that secretly said to those who would listen this carcass is the remains of the Hemi Maverick. Crowe checked VIN numbers and talked with Golden to verify the car’s pedigree. Eventually Kerry Winkler purchased the car from Murry Crowe and then sold the remains to Terry Winkler. At this point the once feared Dodge had a tubular front end, no floor pan and fiberglass doors and trunk lid. Numerous phone calls to drag racers in Louisiana and endless dead ends eventually Terry found the bracket racer who owned the Maverick Dodge most of its life: Danny MacEarchan. It was here that some of the original parts to the car remained in and around Danny’s north Louisiana shop. The original front fenders, grill, hood, wheels, and magneto was returned to the car. The only problem this original aluminum had been altered to make the A/FX car. Going back to the as raced by Maverick condition would take years of searching for correct parts and a couple of wheelbarrow loads of money.

The car as bought by Terry Winkler. Note the yellow and black in the door jam, and rear wheel location.

Terry Winkler poses with the 1964 Dodge
Terry Winkler poses with the 1964. Photo by Kerry Winkler, used with permission.

The car was placed in a race car shop for a few months and eventually moved to Buffalo, MO where artisans at Premier Body and Paint restored all of the metal to an original factory condition with the sacrifice of four parts cars. Many well known to the 1962-1965 Mopar world contributed expertise, rare parts and support to the restoration project. Five years was spent rounding up aluminum front end pieces and date coded engine parts. Greg Lane, Bill Petrow, Jeff Pugh, Hemi Eddie, Hemi Tony, Norm Crossly, Jim Schild, Jim and Nancy Kramer, Sam Davis and others were key to this project resulting in restoration of what is likely the most winning Dodge in history. In fact, this may well be the most winning car in all drag racing history regardless of brand.

Larry Shepard in Canton, Ohio was chosen to build the engine. It is a 1964 date coded block and K-heads with all correct date coded parts. Shepard used a solid lifer cam very similar to the Racer Brown used back in 1964 and reports the engine produces 720 horsepower at 6000 rpm. When it was time to find headers to guide the exhaust out, TTI in California was called. The receptionist said “you need to talk to Sam”. It turns out this Sam was none other than Sam Davis who made Maverick’s original headers back in 1964. Sam built a custom set of headers for the reincarnated Dodge that likely flow better than the ones in 1964 did. Larry Shepard restored an original 64 hemi push button torque flight transmission to transfer the power to a 4:88 83/4”rear end mounted with factory super stock springs.

With most of the metal work done and the car was painted silver just as it left the factory.
Look closely and you can see the four holes in the rear floor pan used to mount the single Hemi muffler.

1964 Dodge 330 in paint booth

The next step in the restoration was to add the Maverick yellow and black colors. The front and rear suspension was installed and for the first time in over 35 years the Hemi Dodge was a rolling chassis. Gary Ball interior was installed and then the Hemi driveline was placed back into the car. At various stages of the restoration Jim Schild checked in on the progress and insured the car was assembled as close to correct as is humanly possible. All new wiring harness was used throughout the car and all bright work and trim inside and out was restored to better than new by Bill Petrow of Special T’s in Illinois. Jim Kramer had a lightweight Corning back glass which was installed along with correct plexiglass on the side windows.

A rolling chassis: due to delays building the engine the car remained at this stage for two years.

1964 Dodge 330 rolling chassis

During that time more obscure and hard to find correct parts were located including NOS 1964 Goodyear diamond pattern front tires exactly as those originally on the car were bought. Glen Ray radiator made a new correct radiator for the car. At this point all of the aluminum was placed on the car and corrections to body and fender gaps were made. The rare aluminum was safely stored until the car was completed and was a cranking driving car. After all adjustments were made and adequate driving to insure there was no leaks or problems the final painting of the aluminum front cap and doors was completed. With the entire interior in the car and all wiring completed the aluminum parts were placed onto the car. Now the car is 100% complete a cranking running driving car that thrilled all of the neighbors each time it went on a test drive. Only the details remained. The Hemi Maverick was trailored to Kansas City, Mo to be hand lettered by a legendary artist Bob Bond. Finally correct decals from back in the day were placed on the car and the NOS front wheels and tires and Goodyear slicks on the rear since they sponsored Maverick back in the day.

Well that is the end of the story of how the car was built, but really it is just the beginning.

Bill “Maverick” Golden himself came to Las Vegas’s 2011 Moparty at the Strip to reveal the car and to see it for the first time in over 45 years.

1964 Dodge 330 rolling chassis

Maverick visited with many of his friends including Ted Williams who was in Maverick’s pit crew in 1964, Arlen Vanke, Tom Coddington of the Ramchargers, Sam Davis who made Maverick’s headers, Bob Ridgley Hemi Under Glass driver and others. The Ramcharger representative presented Maverick with the key to the car just as they did 45 years ago. Maverick cranked the big Hemi and sit there in the car with it at an idle. He ignored shouts to rev the motor up. Later in the pits when asked why he would not rev the car up? Maverick stated, “That is the only car I ever drove that scared me, it was so fast. When it shifted into high gear it felt like you had fell over a cliff it accelerated so hard. Sitting in the car with that Hemi motor idling I felt that same fear all over again”.

The car won first place in Vegas and then Best in Show two weeks later in New Orleans, La. After taking best in show Maverick’s eyes filled with tears. He said, “It was an overwhelming feeling to see the mighty Hemi car come back to life and know it’s place in Mopar racing history is secured.” While in New Orleans Maverick enjoyed visiting with Herb McCannilis and Mr. Norm of Grand Spaulding Dodge. Stanley Ward driver of the A/FX Prosecutor spent several hours visiting with Maverick and reminiscing about the mighty Hemi Dodge that only lost one race in its career.

Bill “Maverick” Golden, Tom Coddington, Bob Ridgley and Arlen Vanke gathering around the Dodge:

1964 Dodge with gathering

Maverick is sitting in the Dodge with world famous photographer Jerry Heasley preparing to take inside photos of the car;
Z-Alt oil is rusted to protect the 720 HP engine from corrosion and wear.

Maverick sitting in the 1964 Dodge with Jerry Heasley outside

Maverick is autographing the top of the car: he is being steadied by his son Perry on the left in the white shirt. The fellow on the right is my nephew Jules Lambert. Maverick’s wife Theresa or “Lovie” as he affectionately calls her is sitting in front of the car. Theresa says she first fell in love with the Little Red Wagon and then fell in love with Maverick. The Wagon was the best man at their wedding held at the Mopar Nationals. Immediately following the kiss Theresa got into the Wagon in her wedding dress and Maverick did a wheelie down National Trail ways drag strip. Now who could not love a girl like that?

Maverick autographing the top of the 1964 Dodge 330

Postscript July 1, 2011: Since this article was written the Dodge won another Best of Show at the 26th Annual Show Me Mopar show in Columbia, MO. Also, Mopar Collector Guide magazine states in their feature that the Dodge is the winningest car in drag racing history, having won all 134 racing events it was in except one. Now after it’s restoration the Hemi Maverick continues it’s winning ways by winning at every car show it has entered. An amazing win record! That old Mopar just loves to compete!

By the way, many of the readers of this web site contributed to the car and hopefully they will see the parts they sold to me were used the right way on the right car. In some ways this car is a product of the 1962 to 1965 Mopar web site.

Contact Terry: Contact owner Terry

Thanks Terry!

It does not get better than this: finding and restoring one of the Mopars that helped define drag racing in 1964 and that set the stage for the drag racing wars of the 1960’s  — then reuniting the machine with the legendary Bill “Maverick” Golden!

Gary H.

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