Dodge Polara 500
This black 1964 Dodge Polara 500 is owned by long time
Mopar enthusiast and
recent new Mopar Club member Marion Schneider. The Polara
500 with a high
performance Street 426 engine was purchased at Dodge City
Farmington, New Mexico on 30 December 1963. Shortly after
I purchased the car from the original owner, we retrofit
the car with a 426 Max Wedge engine to enhance the performance
a bit more.
car features the huge port Max Wedge heads and an aluminum
15 inch cross ram intake manifold with 2 Carter 625 cfm
four barrel carburetors. The camshaft is a high lift 300
degree version with associated valve gear which permits
6500 rpm operations. Most
noticeable are the large upswept tuned factory cast iron
headers, which dump into 3 inch pipes.
To handle such increased torque and horsepower the transmission
is a standard heavy duty Chrysler 4 speed introduced for
operation behind the 426. We retained the 3.23 axle so
we could drive the car on the streets and to and from
shows. If one wants to use the car primarily for track
use, then we would use a 4.33 or higher rear end. As isthe
car really moves well on the highway. I actually met a
man at last year s Mopar show at Auges that remembered
this car when it was at the dealers in Farmington before
it was sold. Being the first 426 to appear at Farmington,
it caused considerable interest among Mopar buffs there.
We replaced the heads with Chryslers recently available
Phase III plus heads, which have larger 2.14 inch valves
for somewhat better airflow and power.
of the 426 Max Wedges is well known as they dominated
the Superstock classes in 1963 and 1964 with quarter mile
ets ranging from 12.7 to 11 seconds and
110 to 125 mph depending on gearing and car weight. As
best we can find less than 100 Polara 500s were
equipped with 426 engines in 1964. I saw a claim that
only 4 came from the factory that year with 426 Max Wedges.
car is believed to be the only one of its kind in the
state of New Mexico with pretty good certainty. I have
gathered considerable information on the Max Wedges and
may share some of this information in upcoming newsletters.
I personally believe that the Max Wedge cars represent
the high water mark for
Chrysler performance during its history.