based on early '60's Mopar Logo

1963 Dodge 440

Don Dulmage writes:

After 9 years of racing our 1974 Dodge Charger my wife and I decided to build a street car.

My all time favourite car is a 1963 Dodge 2 dr htp and so I hung a picture on the wall of the shop so I would be focused on the idea.

When my friend Gearge Watson phoned to tell me he had found a '63 I was not long buying it.
1963 Dodge as found 1963 Dodge as found
These pictures are of the car as it was found in the garage where it sat in British Columbia for 23 years.

I had collected some Max Wedge parts including a block, a set of Stage 111 bare heads and a Max Wedge cam. Some friends found me a cable shift big block trans. So I was on with the restoration!
1963 Dodge

Loading the 1963 Dodge on the trailer after purchase

As you can see it is not perfect but it is getting there.

1963 Dodge Interior

Someone had cut the rear valance of with a torch and there was no grill. The passenger side of the car looked like it had been parked in the garage by a blind man and the passenger front fender was stuffed in about 1 inch where the headlight goes.

1963 Dodge pass fender

Since the car was from British Columbia and had been stored inside for 14 years there was almost "0" rust. The frame had been dented by being chained down by heavy chains when tranported but because it was not rusty we were able to fix it perfectly. The rad support and passenger splash pan were bent badly but a bodyshop owner friend of mine said because the car was so solid and because the metal was fairly thick compared to a modern car it was fixable. It took me several weeks but it came out fine as you can see.

1963 Dodge pass side splash pan

The body is now at the paint shop and the 426 wedge is being rebuilt.

Engine compartment

We will build it the same as the Old Reliable 440 we built in our book by the same name. The only difference will be the slightly smaller 426 bore (4.25 inches) and the Stage 111 heads. As the engine, including all machine work, except the crank, will be done in our home machine shop we will have lots of pictures as we go.

Stay tuned, 11s or bust!

Update, January 2000

The engine compartment is painted...

Engine compartment

Update, April 2000 Visit Don's Web Site for additional details.

Upadate, May 8, 2000

1963 440 new interior

Side view, painted

1963 Rear, with paint

'63 Dodge 440 painted!

Update August, 2000:

'63 Dodge 440 painted!
The chrome is installed and the wheels on!

Update August 2001

'63 Dodge 440 -- motor in!
As of yesterday noon the 426 is sitting in the 1963 Dodge. I can not believe the amount of room around it. There is a lot more than in the 1974 Charger with a 440.

See Don's Finished Dodge

See some tech tips shared by Don during this restoration.

Thanks, Don!

Looks like you found a great candidate for restoration!

Thanks for letting us follow along with the '63's progress.

Who will you root for when the your 1974 races your 1963?   smile!

Gary H.

November 27, 1999; January 6, 2000; April 26, 2000; May 8, 2000; May 20, 2000;
August 9, 2000; November 9, 2000; November 19, 2000; December 10, 2000; August 31, 2001; Moved to Gallery Page August 9, 2002

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