Classics 1964 Plymouth Savoy Stage III Max Wedge of His Dreams Turned Out to Be Even More Special Than He Thought

00:05  02 august  2017
00:05  02 august  2017 Source:   hotrod.com

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Feature on 1964 plymouth savoy max wedge stage III . So I set a goal to purchase a factory-built 1964 Max Wedge Savoy . However, at that time in my life, owning one was a pipe dream . That job turned out to be working as a civilian engineer for the Department of the Navy.”

With the release of the 1964 Plymouth Savoy , which Bob calls “the best looking car I had ever seen,” he was hooked. Just think about it for a second: With one T-shirt or eBook you could win a pair of shiny, roaring, jaw-dropping machines. But wait, it gets even better

Attending drag racing events at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Charlestown, Rhode Island, in the late 1950s and early 1960s left an indelible mark on a young Bob Chaves. Seeing big Chevys, Pontiacs, Fords, and Mopars battle it out for quarter-mile supremacy stirred a longing to one day own a similar machine. Though a number of his buddies were racing Chevrolets, it was his friend Gary Smith's 1963 Plymouth that caused him to gravitate toward the Chrysler products. With the release of the 1964 Plymouth Savoy, which Bob calls "the best looking car I had ever seen," he was hooked.

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Feature on 1964 plymouth savoy max wedge stage III . So I set a goal to purchase a factory-built 1964 Max Wedge Savoy . However, at that time in my life, owning one was a pipe dream . That job turned out to be working as a civilian engineer for the Department of the Navy.”

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Even at a young age, Bob was a planner. He says, "I felt that the ideal drag racing car was a 1964 Plymouth Max Wedge Savoy, [Ruby] red with red interior, with an A833 four-speed transmission. So I set a goal to purchase a factory-built 1964 Max Wedge Savoy. However, at that time in my life, owning one was a pipe dream. First order of business was finishing college and getting a real job. That job turned out to be working as a civilian engineer for the Department of the Navy."

Finding just the right 1964 Max Wedge Savoy was neither easy nor quick, but persistence paid off. Bob eventually found his car in late 1988 in Buffalo, New York, through an Auto Trader magazine. Careful examination of the car pointed toward its being a factory 426-inch/415hp Stage III Max Wedge. Information gleaned from the VIN and numbers on the radiator support and rear package tray convinced Bob that it was a real Max Wedge car with a Ruby exterior and red interior.

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1964 Plymouth Savoy Stage III Max Wedge of His Dreams Turned Out to Be Even More Special Than He Thought . Plymouth Savoy - premium items on eBay. 1962 Plymouth Savoy Max Wedge 2-dr Hardtop 1962 Max Wedge 2-dr Hardtop Used.

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  1964 Plymouth Savoy Stage III Max Wedge of His Dreams Turned Out to Be Even More Special Than He Thought © John Machaqueiro

Though it had the right pedigree, it was far from being in original condition. The Plymouth was built to drag race, and that's exactly how it had been used. Several previous owners in upstate New York had raced the car at Empire Dragway, Cayuga Dragway Park, and Lancaster National Dragway. As per Bob's criteria, the Savoy had the A833 four-speed transmission, but the transmission tunnel had been butchered. The car had been modified with larger tubs and a rollcage, various traction bars had been installed, and the inner fender panels had been cut to make room for headers. Flat-towing the car to the track left the undercarriage a bit worse for wear. The restoration would be extensive, to say the least—and Bob would find a few more surprises.

In January 1989, 25 years after setting his goal, Bob purchased his real-deal 1964 Max Wedge car. Wanting to get as much information as possible about his purchase, Bob made a phone call to Galen Govier, who confirmed that the Savoy was a real red/red 426/415-horse Max Wedge car. But Govier discovered that the car came from the factory with a 727 TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission. Bob did not consider that surprise a big problem. He would simply fix the tunnel and assemble the car with an A833 transmission during the restoration.

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Description: 1964 Plymouth Savoy Stage III Max Wedge of His Dreams Turned Out to Be Even More Special Than He Thought .

1964 Plymouth Savoy Stage III Max Wedge of His Dreams Turned Out to Be Even More Special Than He Thought - Hot Rod Network. Feature on 1964 plymouth savoy max wedge stage III .

But like most muscle car owners embarking on a full-bore restoration, Bob needed time to gather parts and prepare for the financial hit of getting his Max Wedge car back to pristine condition. The Savoy went into storage until the time when a proper restoration could commence. Because these were the days before internet parts listings, Bob made trips to salvage yards, swap meets, and Mopar gatherings.

  1964 Plymouth Savoy Stage III Max Wedge of His Dreams Turned Out to Be Even More Special Than He Thought © John Machaqueiro

Gathering parts for his Savoy, Bob also had time for further research on the car. Having learned of the fantastic work that Darrell Davis had done in pulling the IBM cards for these early Mopars and documenting each car, Bob sent him the VIN, fender tag information, rear package number, and SO for his project Max Wedge. Bob explains, "Darrell Davis verified that the Savoy was a factory built car and that it was originally equipped with a TorqueFlite transmission."

But Davis discovered some information that turned out to be the biggest surprise of all. Bob explains that in addition to verifying the car as a real Super Stock Max Wedge car, Davis reported that "the Savoy was a Max Wedge, all-steel body, low-compression-engine, pilot car that was built approximately three weeks before regular Max Wedge car production started." On Planet Mopar, what Darrell Davis says is gospel.

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Frame Up Built Savoy 426 Dual Quad Max Wedge 3 Speed. Play Video. Request More Info. SOLD. This 1964 Plymouth Savoy pays homage to both its time and its terms by wrapping a brutal Gary Jacob-built 426 in a sinister gray shell and correct stripper interior.

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Bob shared his discoveries concerning the rollout of the 1964 Max Wedge cars: "When regular 1964 Max Wedge car production began, the first run of Plymouth and Dodge MW cars was equipped with high-compression engines and the lightweight aluminum body front-end package—fenders, hood, hoodscoop, front bumper, front bumper brackets, dust shield. After the initial run of approximately 30 Plymouth and 25 Dodge lightweight cars, you could order aluminum or steel Plymouth and Dodge Max Wedge cars until approximately March 12, 1964, when production of Max Wedge cars was terminated."

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Best of the carryovers: Plymouth for 1964 . by Lanny Knutson. Copyrighted by the Plymouth Bulletin. But Plymouth ’s grille was a much cleaner design than either Chevy. Plymouth thought so too, attaching an abbreviated spear to the Savoy , mid-year.

Unlike the other factory lightweight muscle cars, this 1964 Plymouth Savoy has been a drag car all its life. Currently owned by Gene Mosbek and powered by a Stage III Max Wedge V-8, it shows just 10.9 miles on the odometer.

Although it seemed a bit premature to shut down the Max Wedge cars, Chrysler was busy preparing to release the 1964 Race Hemi Plymouth (Super Commando) and Dodge (Ramcharger) drag cars.

  1964 Plymouth Savoy Stage III Max Wedge of His Dreams Turned Out to Be Even More Special Than He Thought © John Machaqueiro

The restoration of the Max Wedge pilot car began in 2011, when Bob retired. His brother, Ron, and two of his car buddies, Frank Mazzola and Richie Souza, went to work on the car. A donor 1964 Savoy body shell was purchased from Desert Valley Auto parts in Arizona. They removed the cage, repaired the sheetmetal, and returned the wheelwells and framerails to stock condition. They depended heavily on the donor car for metal, so no aftermarket parts or panels were used on the Max Wedge car.

When the metal work was completed, the car was shipped to Mike Mancini at American Muscle Car Restorations in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, for a rotisserie restoration that included the removal of every nut and bolt on the car. Given the car's historical significance, Mancini persuaded Bob to drop the idea of restoring the car with a four-speed. Pilot car status demanded a complete return to as-born condition, and Bob agreed.

The restoration on this car is right, and represents an era of excitement and enthusiasm for drag racing at the factory level. But the bigger story is the passion of a teenager who set a goal to own the car of his dreams one day, and then fulfilled that goal some 50 years later. That's dogged persistence, strength of character, and major league car-guy heroics rarely seen. Congrats, Mr. Chaves. Mission accomplished.

  1964 Plymouth Savoy Stage III Max Wedge of His Dreams Turned Out to Be Even More Special Than He Thought © John Machaqueiro

At a Glance

1964 Savoy Stage III Max Wedge

Owned by: Bob Chaves, Portsmouth, RI

Restored by: American Muscle Car Restorations, North Kingstown, RI; Owner; Ron Chaves; Frank Mazzola; Richie Souza

Engine: 426ci/415hp Super Stock Stage III Max Wedge V-8

Transmission: 727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic

Rearend: 8 3/4 742 with 3.91 gears and Sure-Grip

Interior: Red bench seat

Wheels: 14x5.5 steel with poverty caps

Tires: P215/75R14 Spartan Deluxe "75" Belted

Special parts: Pilot car parts include unique hood ornament, 1963 trunk mat, 1963 windshield wipers, trunk-mounted battery, factory headers with exhaust dumps, special leaf springs with six leaves on driver side and eight leaves on passenger side, reinforced floorpan for pinion snubber, factory delete radio and heater, no outside mirror, no seam sealer, no insulation, no undercoating, no jute backing on floor mat.

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