Larry Wolfe worked his way through a succession of vehicles, including street rods, a full-custom '64 Riviera, several bikes and a string of mid-'50s Ford pickups, before arriving at what may just be his dream ride: his Hemi-powered 1964 Plymouth Super Stock car. Amazingly, the car has yet to see the drag strip -- although that may change this year.
Hard to believe, but the rare Belvedere 2-door sedan began its life with a Slant 6 and three-speed manual transmission for power. It's been transformed into a 485 cubic inch Hemi with the legendary 727 TorqueFlite racing transmission. Dale Henderson of St. Francis, Kan., rehabbed the rust-riddled body and sprayed the correct Plymouth white paint for Wolfe.
Duane Saum bored and stroked the 426 Hemi block to a total of 485 cubic inches after the engine lunched a lifter and wiped out the oil pump. He estimates this version pumps out a healthy 600 horsepower.
It takes a lot of rubber to get the big Hemi hooked up through the 4:11-geared Dana rear end. For now, these 18.5-inch Hoosiers are assigned the task, although they may give way to a set of drag slicks for the Plymouth's first official run down the quarter-mile.
The deceptively low-keyed interior features a bench seat in factory original red vinyl, a new-old stock steering wheel, a B&M racing shifter and a set of racing gauges and switches mounted in an under-dash panel.
Galen Frick, who did much of the fabrication and assembly of the Plymouth, crafted this slick under-dash panel, which houses a transmission temperature gauge, oil and water temperature gauges and a voltmeter. The B&M cable shifter runs a reverse manual valve body in the TorqueFlite racing transmission.
A 20-gallon aluminum fuel cell is a necessity for the Hemi-powered Plymouth, which makes about 6 miles to the gallon on the street, according to the car owner. But, he points out, the 485 cubic inch engine runs happily on 87 octane fuel.