1962 Dodge Dart 330: Max Wedge Beauty Awaits Hellcat V8 Transformation

While most enthusiasts argue that the 1964 Pontiac GTO was the first full-fledged muscle car, the truth is GM’s mid-size coupe was preceded by quite a few performance-spec vehicles. The Dodge 330 Max Wedge was one of them.

Chrysler introduced the Max Wedge engine in 1962. Developed to capitalize on the rising popularity of the NHRA super stock class, the Max Wedge turned the cars into factory-built dragsters while keeping them road legal. The mill was offered through the Dodge and Plymouth divisions, at first in 413-cubic-inch (6.8-liter) size, rated at up to 420 horsepower. Displacement increased to 426 cubic inches (7.0 liters) in 1963.

The story goes that Max Wedge-fitted Mopars terrorized the drag strips back in the day. Now, they’re full-fledged collector’s items, especially since Dodge only built a couple of hundred cars. They’re a rare sight and usually fetch more than $100,000 when they pop up for sale.

The Dart 330 you’re looking at is not an authentic Max Wedge, but it does look like one thanks to the big scoop on the front hood and the Ramcharger wheels on the rear axle. Yes, it’s a bit beat-up, so I guess we could say it looks like a Max Wedge barn find. A retired racer that spent a few decades in storage.

But the actual story is that this Dart 330, originally fitted with a slant-six engine, was modified with the intent of turning it into a Max Wedge clone. The owner didn’t get to finish it though and now wants to get rid of it. He says “it’s a great platform to build on” and claims that it doesn’t have notable rust issues aside from the usual spots on the cowl and a few holes in the fenders.

The frame is still in good condition, while the floor has been partially removed to be replaced with new reproduction parts, which are included in the sale. Most of the interior has been taken apart and the bench seats have been reupholstered and look like new. The door panels and the dashboard need a good cleaning, but I don’t see any issues beyond that.

Even though it looks like the exterior and the interior are missing quite a few parts, the seller claims that the car is mostly complete. On the other hand, the Dodge is actually missing its original six-cylinder engine. But an empty engine bay isn’t necessarily bad news. This Dart is basically ready to receive a large V8, be it a rebuilt, historic powerplant, or a modern crate engine.

With a bit of luck, maybe the next owner will source an authentic Max Wedge mill and turn the coupe into a proper clone of Dodge’s iconic dragster. Me, I’d go with a Hellcat V8. Because a supercharged Hemi with more than 700 horsepower in a classic muscle car is always a good idea.

As for the rest of the drivetrain, the Mopar still features its original automatic, push-button transmission. It’s fitted with a 4.10 Dana rear end, but the seller says it’s not included in the sale. If you want it, you need to fork in some extra money. But he’s offering a replacement axle so the Dodge will roll either way.

This unfinished Dodge Max Wedge clone is for sale via eBay, where “theschnaggler” is asking $7,500 to let it go. The seller is entertaining offers, so the sticker might drop below $7K. For reference, 1962 Darts in Fair condition are usually priced just below $8,000, while examples in Concours state cost around $25,000.

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