When car enthusiasts think of 1964, they automatically gravitate toward Pontiac and one of that division’s greatest accomplishments. But when it came to all-out performance there was certainly another game in town, and it went by the name of Plymouth. Most gearheads began to take notice of the division’s industrial strength Belvedere after it set eight speed records during the 1963 NHRA season. And once that same car kicked off the 1964 NASCAR season with a Richard Petty led 1-2-3 finish at the Daytona 500, the brand was firmly established as one of Detroit’s premier sources of power and speed. This 1964 aluminum-nosed Belvedere is one of the cars that started Plymouth’s long legacy of building some of the fiercest muscle on the planet. Listed in Darrell Davis’ book of original Max Wedge serial numbers, it’s one of only fourteen 426/4-speed Belvederes produced for the 1964 model year. And after spending most of its life as an uncut daily driver, it was completely restored with many date-correct pieces and thoroughly inspected by well-known Mopar expert Galen Govier. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense pavement pounder that’s fast, raw and ready to brawl, you’ve found your next heavyweight!
Included with the sale of this super rare Plymouth is a 33 page Galen Govier inspection that breaks down the car’s VIN and fender tag as follows:
* 3: Plymouth V8
* 2: Belvedere
* 4: 1964 model year
* 1: Manufactured at Chrysler’s Lynch Road assembly plant
* 166104: Assembly plant sequence number
* 1205: Scheduled for production on Thursday December 05, 1963
* 2681: Shipping order number (Maximum performance)
* 3: Plymouth V8
* 2: Belvedere
* 2: 2-door hardtop
* M: Medium grade trim with a bench front seat
* 1: Cloth and vinyl seat material
* R: Red interior
* P: Ruby Red roof paint
* P: Ruby Red body paint
* AB09: 426 cubic inch dual 4-barrel high compression maximum performance V8 that creates 425 horsepower
* C3: 4-speed manual transmission that’s complete with a Hurst floor shifter
* V2: Sold car
* Y9: Special order aluminum front end package
An extension of legendary designer Elwood Engel’s modernist rescue of Plymouth’s increasingly eccentric product line, the firm’s newly downsized Belvedere did almost as well on Chrysler’s sale charts as it did on America’s drag strips and super speedways. This particular Belvedere, a Stage III Max Wedge car sold new at Powell Plymouth in Jacksonville, Florida, was likely ordered by an aspiring racer who whipped a few people on the street and then settled into a life in the slow lane. Unlike the majority of these badass Mayflower warriors, which were purchased almost exclusively for sanctioned drag racing, this car has never had its front inner aprons cut for exhaust headers, never had a roll cage installed, and never had its rear wheel wells tubbed for oversize drag slicks. In fact, when this Plymouth’s true heritage was discovered in the late 1990s, the car had been mechanically and cosmetically transformed into an all-steel, 90,000 mile slushbox special. Naturally its enlightened savior knew he had something special, so he began a frame-off restoration by welding in new floorpans from a clean donor car and hanging new quarters from a high quality aftermarket supplier. Next, when a trademark aluminum front end was finally located, it was re-skinned, thoroughly worked, and perfectly aligned with its new body. And finally, after much parts research and even more parts searching, a wet-looking coat of correct Chrysler code P Ruby Red paint was buried in a thick clearcoat shell that shines like a trophy on race day!
There’s just something inherently cool about early 60s Detroit steel. It’s almost as if the big three had struck the perfect balance between the artistic, almost hand-tailored designs of the late 50s and the mass-appeal, performance driven designs of the late 60s. That resulted in cars that were equal parts style, power AND presence. At the front of this Belvedere’s super straight body, a clean stainless grille hangs crystal clear headlights between a showroom fresh bumper, bright parking lights and a pristine “PLYMOUTH” grille topper. At the top of the car, a lightweight hood props an aluminum ‘fresh air’ intake in front of like-new glass that’s bordered by excellent stainless trim, flanked by fresh chrome drip rails and capped by a dramatically styled roof. At the sides of the car, lightweight fenders hang simple “Belvedere” emblems below dent-free profile accents and traditional chrome door handles. And at the back of the car, crystal clear tail lights frame a Belvedere-exclusive trunk fin, a second pristine “PLYMOUTH” script, a second showroom fresh bumper and a third “Belvedere” emblem.
Gently lift this Plymouth’s Ruby Red hood and you’ll find an date-correct Max Wedge V8 that wears an authentic 2406730-1 casting number, a December (12) 10th (10) of 1963 (03) date stamp, and a 1964 V-series (V) Maximum Performance (MP) High Compression (HC) 426 cubic inch (426) engine stamp. Pushing a brutal 12.5 to 1 compression, and currently dyno-ed at 486 horsepower and 469 lb./ft. of torque, this Mopar monster has built a hard-fought reputation for being one of the best competition motors ever created. All the big engine’s high octane horsepower is housed in a glossy Hemi Orange block which hangs an attractive set of “426 Super Stock” branded valve covers over date-correct heads and date-correct ‘snakepit’ Tri-Y headers. Air and a 50/50 mix of premium pump gas and racing fuel is supplied by two date-correct Carter AFB carburetors that are sandwiched between two satin black air cleaners, two Mopar fuel filters and the engine’s original high performance dual quad intake manifold. Charge comes courtesy of a freshly rebuilt alternator that spins fresh V-belts via Max Wedge exclusive pulleys. Compression is sparked by eight high quality Mopar Electronic Suppression plug wires that are snapped onto a date-correct points distributor. And the resultant combustion is cooled by a date-correct radiator that comes complete with fresh hoses and new squeeze clamps. Visually, the car’s Ruby Red engine compartment is clean and understated. Thanks to ample dyno break in time and carburetors that were tuned using air flow and heat readings, the big engine runs just as well today as when it rolled into Powell Plymouth’s showroom 48 years ago. And naturally, all the little details like new decals, stainless fluid lines and a date-correct oil pan are all present and accounted for.
According to the Auburn Hills gang, nothing tracks down the road with the confidence of a torsion bar Mopar. And when you combine that surefootedness with this Belvedere’s lightweight body and dragon slaying powertrain, you’re in for the ride of your life! The high powered big block churns torque through a tough A833 4-speed manual transmission to an original, factory-narrowed 8.75 rear end. During the restoration that transmission, which is a correct piece that’s dated slightly after the car was assembled, received new bearings, new synchros, a new clutch and pressure plate and a correct cast steel bellhousing. And that rear end, which rides below original factory frame weights, was fitted with a new Sure Grip differential and tall 4.10 gears. At the ends of that stellar drivetrain, an original torsion bar front and leaf spring rear suspension, which has been completely rebuilt from top to bottom, helps increase both drivability and track times. At the sides of that stellar drivetrain, original Max Wedge exhaust pipes whisk spent gases to either manual dumps or factory replacement turbo mufflers. Braking is handled by heavy duty, 10 inch manual drums at all four corners. Steering feels firm and responsive thanks to a factory-correct manual rack. And all this first rate hardware proudly stands on a set of 14 inch body-matched steel wheels which spin fresh 205/75 Hurst radials and 215/75 Hurst cheater slicks around pristine stainless center caps.
Take a look inside the car and you’ll find a spacious and airy environment which has enough room to haul the whole family in comfort. Top dead center is a pair of red bench seats that are lined with new padding, stitched with NOS covers and accented by bright stainless trim. Below those seats, new black carpet does an excellent job of highlighting the car’s original, and re-chromed, Hurst shifter. In front of those seats, a two-tone dash hangs a silver ’49 Plymouth-inspired instrument panel next to original radio and heater deletes. At the sides of those seats, fantastic SMS reproduction door panels display a prominent 60s design theme behind great looking stainless, fresh chrome handles and correct vinyl armrests. And above those seats, a correct white headliner is both tight and stain-free. In front of the driver, a restored steering wheel spins a red rim around a pristine chrome horn ring. And behind the passengers, a fully-sorted trunk anchors a plaid mat under a full-size spare tire and a correctly placed reproduction Mopar battery.
The sale of this prized Plymouth includes the aforementioned Galen Govier inspection, a receipt and dyno sheet from the big engine’s teardown, a small stack of miscellaneous restoration receipts, a few key restoration photos, and a summary of the car’s history and restoration that was typed up by the car’s current owner and restorer.
This aluminum-nosed Belvedere is a super cool piece of muscle car history that’s easy to imagine as the focal point of a sunny 60s track day. With its top shelf V8, all-business interior and clean styling, it represents the perfect compromise of American style and performance. If you’re looking for a top-notch classic that’ll draw a crowd wherever it goes, your search is over!