In the early 1960s, drag racing was very popular. For the 1962 season, the Super Stock class was introduced for hopped up versions of everyday grocery-getters. From 1962-1968, the Super Stock class were a big highlight at local drag strips.
Drivers like “Dandy Dick” Landy, Butch Leal, Hayden Proffitt, Al Eckstrand, and Shirley Shahan, were no disappointment to the class. Cars included the Ramchargers Dodge painted in the signature red and white “candy stripe” colors as well as the “Color Me Gone” Dodge.
In 1963, Dodge introduced the 330, which was powered by the 426 cubic-inch “Ramcharger” V8. 34 lightweight models were produced, and without a doubt, those cars were built for one thing, and one thing only: drag racing. Three of these cars have been sold through various Mecum auctions throughout the years, one of them being the very first car produced.
The 330 Ramcharger was unbeatable, not even to Hayden Proffitt’s 409 Chevy Bel-Air, which also ran in the Super Stock class. Additionally, the 426 Super Stock was immortalized by a song of the same name, written by the late Dick Dale, and was included on his “Checkered Flag” album in 1963.
Gary Mead of Fountain Valley, California has a very good-looking representation of the 1963 Dodge Ramcharger Super Stock. This particular car is believed to have been drag raced during the 1963-64 season, and was originally sent to New York to be on the showroom floor. Eventually, Mead acquired the car, and had it restored to Super Stock specifications. The rear steel wheels are fitted with Mickey Thompson street slicks, and the Halibrand wheels in the front are fitted with Cooper Cobra radials. The white paint job gives this classic Mopar a rather subtle look, but this car packs a serious punch!
The interior is stock, but with a couple of modern touches. A modern tachometer from AutoMeter was installed, opposed to the original dash-mounted tachometers that were from Sun Speed, Moon Equipment Company, or Stewart Warner. Also added were an oil pressure gauge, water temperature gauge, and voltage meter, also from AutoMeter. Gary retained the bench seats in the front and rear, along with the dashboard. The original push-button automatic Torqueflite transmission was retained.
Underneath the fiberglass hood, is the 426-cubic-inch Ramcharger V8. This all no-frills power plant is pure brute force. The original cast iron exhaust manifolds were dipped and then re-installed. An aluminum dual quad manifold, topped with two Edelbrock carburetors and air cleaners are also present. Gary says the car hasn’t been on a Dyno yet, but estimates the compression to be either 12:1, or 13:1.
A modern touch to this classic Mopar’s engine is an MSD ignition setup. Like the traditional drag racers, Mead’s 330 Ramcharger has the disc brakes in the front, and drum brakes in the rear. The brakes are new to the car, but are similar to what would have been on a car like this, during that particular time period.
Gary’s ’63 Dodge 330 Ramcharger has been a local fixture at some of the local car shows in the Orange County, California area. He has been seen at Gary’s Classic Car Cruise-in, held every Tuesday night at the Carl’s Jr. restaurant on Beach Boulevard in Westminster, California.
You can occasionally see this beautiful Mopar cruising with the members of the Surf City Classics car club of Huntington Beach, California, or even at the Garden Grove Car Show, held every Friday evening on Historic Main Street in Garden Grove, California. If you get a chance to see this car, don’t pass it up. Not only is it beautiful, it’s also a true beast.