If you really want to start a debate that’ll get people scratching each other’s eyes out, talk about the first muscle car. Plenty of folks believe it was the Pontiac GTO. But then Mopar folks will raise up their hands and shout, “Um, excuse me? Max Wedge-powered 1962 Dodge and Plymouths were the first!” Those of you who believe that will absolutely enjoy the below video.

Nineteen sixty-two was the year the Chrysler Corporation reduced the size of mainstream Plymouth and Dodge models due to a rumor GM was doing the same thing. As it turned out, there was a miscalculation, with the twins out of place in a market were bigger was better. Additionally, the two brands appeared quite ungainly compared to the trim styling coming from West Grand Boulevard and Dearborn.

The lighter weight, combined with the exceptionally engineered 413 Max Wedge (Super Stock for Plymouth, Ramcharger for Dodge), made them prime drag race winners, especially with TorqueFlite automatic. A proper four-speed would not come until 1964, by which the cars were enlarged and styling made more conventional. At this point, the Max Wedge measured 426cid and, come mid-year, it was replaced by the 426 Hemi.

Muscle Car Campy has the privilege of getting a ride & drive in both of these red vehicles: a 1962 Dodge Dart Ramcharger tribute, and an authentic 1964 Belvedere Super Commando, one of 35 built.

If you enjoyed this video, be sure to check out other Muscle Car Campy features!

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