Also Race-Bred: The Chrysler Max Wedge 413 For 4/13

On 4/09, we talked a little about Chevy’s 409 cubic-inch NHRA Super Stock engine from 1962, but Chevy wasn’t alone in their quest to be the best in the class. Mopar’s ‘62 Super Stock entry is another engine for the ages, the Max Wedge 413. Max Wedge may not have been a person, but if he was, his birthday would be 4/13 and he’d be the kind of loud, outspoken friend you need to keep around. Here’s a very short history on the Max Wedge and some more recommended reading for you today.


“Max Wedge” referred to the Maximum Performance Wedge, a Chrysler Big Block RB V8 with the famous Cross Ram intake that featured twin carbs mounted on opposing corners of the plenum. The “Wedge” part referred to the shape of the combustion chamber. Unlike the hemispherical shape of the Hemi’s fuel-burning part of the cylinder, the RB engines were wedge-shaped. Mopar has usually done a good job of keeping the names simple so these names kind of write themselves. “Max Wedge” then was the highest-performance wedge on the table at the time and the Cross Ram intake lent the cars the nickname Ramcharger, which you will also here from time to time.

Like Chevy’s 409, the 413 was essentially a race engine that you could option for the street, though only about 500 were made. Few of the brochures from the era even mention the 413 on the options sheet since it was intended to take the fight to Chevy in the NHRA. Kind of an IfYouKnowYouKnow 55 years before Mopar unrolled that motto. The 413 was available in one of two outputs dependent on compression ratio: 11.5:1 compression was good for 390 horsepower and while 13:1 compression gave 410 ponies.

Chrysler car styling for the ‘62 was divisive to say the least, but the Max Wedge would fling the finned Dodge and Plymouth Super Stockers from that year into the 12s. A change in the NHRA rules increased allowable displacement to 427 inches for 1963 so the 413 was dropped in favor of the “Stage II Max Wedge,” which made 426 cubic inches. That engine continued to compete against Chevy’s 427 for a couple more years. 

We have a different Mopar engine altogether planned for 4/26, so we’ll leave you with a few stories today from some of Roadkill’s sister sites to tell you more about the Max Wedge 413 and 426 engines.

Early Max Wedge history and Jeff Miranda’s ’62 Dart
Finding a ’62 Max Wedge Dart in an Illinois junkyard
A factory-built Max Wedge Polara?
How a Max Wedge makes its power
A curiosity: quad-carb Max Wedge 426!
Build your own Max Wedge 426 clone on the cheap.

Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover