Black
Fawn
426 HEMI V8
3 Speed Automatic
  • Rotisserie restoration
  • Larry Shepard-built 426 Hemi
  • A727 push-button automatic
  • 8 3/4-inch Sure Grip / 3.91 gears
  • Gary Ball Super Stock interior
  • Rocket Racing wheels

The “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” mentality was as its height in the mid-1960s, when manufacturers worked overtime to promote their cars through drag racing. General Motors took a break from factory racing that started in 1963, leaving Ford and Chrysler to duke it out for the 1964 season. Both companies brought serious firepower to the table but Mopar was packing a legend – the 426 Hemi. This 1964 Plymouth Savoy A-864 Super Stock tribute pays homage to those factory-built racers by wrapping a brutal Larry Shepard-built Hemi in a glossy black shell, complete with a period-correct Super Stock interior. Extensively restored and well-executed, the car has already taken first place prizes including Best in Class at the 2012 Mopar Happening in Belvidere, IL. If you love Hemi power but prefer mid-sixties styling, settle in and take a closer look at this '64 Plymouth.

This street fighter started life as a run of the mill Belvedere powered by a 318. Discovered in Utah, the car was purchased from an owner who had cared for it since 1966. From there, the car was stripped, media blasted and rotisserie restored from the ground up. Looking over the car today, it's obvious the restoration process was a tedious one – even the hardware is immaculate. The car is by no means small, but every panel remains laser straight and covered in a slick coat of black paint. The car presents well from all angles, offering undistorted reflections with more depth than most swimming pools. Look closer and note the excellent panel fitment and even gaps. There were definitely no shortcuts taken here.

As you would probably expect from a car modeled after a factory-built racer, ornamentation is minimal. At the front, a re-chromed bumper tucks neatly under an intricate grille punctuated by round headlights. It's a distinctive front end, capped off by a fiberglass hood with a menacing functional scoop. Behind the hood, the new windshield is kept clean by a single wiper on the driver side. All around the car, the glass looks great, matching the quality of the trim and paintwork. The driver side vent window and passenger rear quarter glass both display vintage drag racing stickers from Indianapolis and Columbus, respectively. Along the sides, only Plymouth badging and chrome door handles distract from the sea of glossy black. Unlike the white that most factory racers shipped in, black works well with the car's unique lines. At the rear, another show-quality bumper sits below a pair of layered taillights, topped by a wrap-around chrome strip and Plymouth lettering that spans the length of the deck lid.

Of course, showing off the latest and greatest hardware was the whole point of these factory racers. In 1964, that hardware came in the form of the mighty 426 Hemi. This Savoy features a healthy 426 built by ex-Chrysler engineer and famed engine builder Larry Shepard. The core is a 1968 Hemi block that sports a forged crank, Ross pistons and a glossy coat of Hemi Orange paint. At either side, aluminum heads are tucked neatly under chrome Super-Stock badged valve covers. At the top, a vintage cross ram intake makes a big visual statement while offering space for two Holley four-barrel carburetors. Thanks to a distinct lack of accessories, the front of the engine turns only an alternator and fan while a four-core radiator works to keeps the Elephant cool. Around the engine, a mixture of gloss back and satin black set the stage for the Hemi. Like the rest of the car, the bay shows well and carries an air of authenticity. Details like the single horn setup, brake booster and firewall accessories back up that air. Turn the key and the Hemi rumbles to life with little drama, bellowing an authoritative exhaust note.

Put this Mopar on a lift and you'll find an undercarriage every bit as clean as the top side. In the center, a rebuilt A727 automatic transmission features Hemi clutches and a reverse valve body. From there, power is channeled to an 8 ¾-inch Sure Grip rear packed with 3.91 gears. Compared to the factory 4.56 gearing, this setup is significantly more street-able while keeping strong launches within reach. Around the drivetrain, solid floors dressed in glossy black paint set the perfect backdrop for a rebuilt suspension that stays true to its factory origins. Up front, torsion bars support the front end while parallel leafs and Super Stock springs keep the rear planted. Having the car on a lift also provides a great view of the impressive ceramic coated TTI headers that flow into large three-inch exhausts hushed by Dynomax mufflers. Steering and braking are both manual efforts but fresh front discs and 11-inch rear drums do a great job at reining in the 426. At the corners, painted 15-inch Rocket Racing wheels wrapped in Goodyear rubber connect the vintage chassis to the pavement.

The original A-864 cars featured a lengthy list of weight-saving measures between the doors. This street fighter recreates almost all of them including, deleted rear seats, arm rests, sun visors, dome lights, coat hooks and cigarette lighter. What remains is a focused interior consisting of two Gary Ball A100-style seats mounted on top of fresh carpet. At either side, simple reproduction door panels offer only door pulls and window cranks. From the driver seat, a clean factory dash features fresh chrome and original instrumentation that keeps tabs on temperature, fuel, speed, oil pressure and voltage. One of the most interesting pieces is the vintage Jones/Motorola cable driven tachometer perched on top of the dash. Below the dash, two Stewart Warner gauges provide even more insight into the under-hood happenings. Controls for the pushbutton transmission are located to the left of the gauge cluster and, if you look closely, you'll notice first, second and drive have been reversed from their usual order. Behind the rear-seat delete panel, the trunk presents as authentic with a correct floor mat, spare tire and massive Super Stock battery all hidden beneath the deck lid.

A real A-864 would set you back the price of a few college educations and be a questionable street car at best. With jaw-dropping good looks, an air of authenticity and a Larry Shepard-built Hemi in the K-frame, this award-winning '64 Savoy is not only a great value, but a fun cruiser guaranteed to net a few trophies for the game room. Are you ready to relive the glory days of drag racing? Don't miss out on this Plymouth.

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