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AJ's Car of the Day 1962 Dodge Dart 413
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Car: Dodge Dart 413

Year: 1962

What makes it special: The Max Wedge 413 was the engine that put Mopar in the big leagues of muscle cars. The 1962 Dodge Dart 413 was a muscle car that was every bit as good as those being produced by GM and Ford.

What made it famous: The 413 cid V8 had been around since 1959, but not until 1961 did it find its way out of big Chryslers and into smaller Dodges and Plymouths. All 413's had wedge-shaped combustion chambers, but the version unleashed in the spring of '62 was bred for maximum performance. That earned it the unofficial, but enduring, Max Wedge title. Two versions were offered, both with solid lifters, aluminum pistons, Magnafluxed connecting rods, double-breaker ignition, twin 650-cfm Carter 4-barrels, and three-inch headers that swept up along the side of the engine to clear the front suspension. The 11.0:1-compression Max Wedge had 410 bhp and 460 lb-ft of torque, the 13.5:1 variant made 420 bhp and 470 lb-ft. Transmissions were a floor-shifted 3-speed manual or a fortified pushbutton TorqueFlite. Limited-slip 3.91:1 gears were standard, with ratios from 2.93:1 to 4.89:1 available. Sold as a package that included supporting hardware such as police-car suspension parts, prices for a Max Wedge ranged from $545 to $682, depending on the level of tune and transmission choice.

Why I would want one: To me personally, the early Mopar offerings with legendary powerplants like The Max Wedge or Hemi's are the Holy Grail. It doesn't get much cooler and more iconic than that.

Fun fact: Turning mid-14's at over 100 mph box stock, a stripper Max Wedge Dart was said to, "Give more performance per dollar than any other factory-assembled car in America." according to Motor Trend magazine.

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