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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 11-20-2020, 05:43 PM
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So was this a max wedge engine or a hemi? Two cars, so maybe one of each? The picture of the car shows a Hemi Logo on the front fender. That's what confused me and made me curious.

I was in first grade in 1964, but I remember watching those cars, of that era, race. I have always be a fan.

It is my opinion that at 426 cid, the max wedge engine could make as much power as the hemi, if rpms stayed below 7000 rpm. I don't think the hemi heads start to shine until you are pumping more air. Was that what you saw, as well.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2020, 01:51 AM
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One of each, Rick. The '63 was a complete from the factory aluminum front end MaxWedge car. We ran the 11:1 compression engine the first year and the 13.5:1 engine the second year. Both were stunning.

The '64 car was another original from the factory race package that had the aluminum front end, doors, plexiglas side windows etc. the whole lightweight package. We switched the '64 iron heads for a set of the '65 aluminum heads to get some additional weight out of the car.

The Hemi definitely made more power than the MaxWedge but the engines were cammed very differently. We used a custom version of an Isky 1012-B cam in the MaxWedge. It was around 270 @ 0.050 and 0.540 lift on 104˚ lobe centers. The Hemi used a 590 that was as the name implied 0.590 lift and it was also on 104˚ lobe centers. Later we switched to a Crane R296 with 0.750 lift which was much better than the already very good 590.

Had we experimented with cams like the R296 in the MaxWedge motor I am certain there was considerable undiscovered horsepower to be had. Maybe not as much as the Hemi because of those stunning (at the time) intake ports but still a lot more.

Both cars were torqueflites and we would just idle start the cars because we had those little 8 or 9 inch 069J converters from Chrysler. Idle starting with good air would pick the front tires at the launch in either car. Low speed throttle response was truly amazing no matter which one you drove.


Ed
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2020, 06:20 AM
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Joe is still around and kicking. He is retired these days. He was in Law Enforcement and retired as a Police Chief a number of years ago. We still talk and reminisce about the "good old days"

Sadly the cars were sold for pennies on the dollar compared to what they would be worth today. Both were original factors lightweight race only versions of the cars and were special to me. Depending who you talk to there were either 50 or 100 of these extraordinary cars that Chrysler ever made. The 64 car had one of the 2% relocated wheel bases that preceded the 1965 AFX versions that visibly moved the front and rear wheels substantially forward.

The '63 car was my favorite race car. It raced a total of 998 times and won 993 of those races. I have never had a car like it before or since.

The '64 car was just chock full of neat little race oriented features like the A100 seats, no rear seat, aluminum doors, no window crank mechanisms (a strap to pull up the window) plexiglass side windows, thin Corning glass rear window and a bunch of other nice race car .

fond memories ...
Ed
Good for you and joe !!

Did you purchase those cars new? Used? What years did you own/race them?
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2020, 10:18 AM
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We were the second owners for both cars. The '63 was bought in '66 or '67 and the 64 was bought in '70. In fact we got the '63 the same year I bought my Street Hemi, so it had to be '66. I think we paid $1,500 (or less) for the '63 and about the same for the '64 — unbelievably good buys. For that matter, the Street Hemi was only $3,000 — brand new!

There were a total of four of us who pooled our resources to go racing. In the beginning we all took turns driving but Joe was clearly the best of all of us and in the end it was only him at the wheel. I did the engine and Greg and #4 who my old brain cells have sadly forgotten were enthusiastic extra hands that made the whole thing work.

In those days all of us only made about $100 a week. We were anything but bucks up racers. However those times and a few that followed became the memories of a lifetime for us.

The '63's original name was Donkey Freight and on the driver's side rear most corner of the trunk, the original owner painted a little inscription that said, ' We Haul A$$' (without the dollar signs) and with the image of a donkey high tailing it out of there. I liked the inscription enough that I sold everyone else on the idea of keeping it. Sadly, I can't recall the '64s original name anymore.

Fun times and fun years ...


Ed
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2020, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by eschaider View Post
One of each, Rick. The '63 was a complete from the factory aluminum front end MaxWedge car. We ran the 11:1 compression engine the first year and the 13.5:1 engine the second year. Both were stunning.

The '64 car was another original from the factory race package that had the aluminum front end, doors, plexiglas side windows etc. the whole lightweight package. We switched the '64 iron heads for a set of the '65 aluminum heads to get some additional weight out of the car.

The Hemi definitely made more power than the MaxWedge but the engines were cammed very differently. We used a custom version of an Isky 1012-B cam in the MaxWedge. It was around 270 @ 0.050 and 0.540 lift on 104˚ lobe centers. The Hemi used a 590 that was as the name implied 0.590 lift and it was also on 104˚ lobe centers. Later we switched to a Crane R296 with 0.750 lift which was much better than the already very good 590.

Had we experimented with cams like the R296 in the MaxWedge motor I am certain there was considerable undiscovered horsepower to be had. Maybe not as much as the Hemi because of those stunning (at the time) intake ports but still a lot more.

Both cars were torqueflites and we would just idle start the cars because we had those little 8 or 9 inch 069J converters from Chrysler. Idle starting with good air would pick the front tires at the launch in either car. Low speed throttle response was truly amazing no matter which one you drove.


Ed
Ed,

How many rpm were you spinning both engines?
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2020, 05:27 PM
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I really regretted not doing this:

About 1977 I found a lime green original hemi car at a car lot for ~ $600 or so. It was a 1970 Dodge Charger, but the hemi engine had been replaced with a 440 six pack. It had the manual 4spd.

At the time, my girlfriends older sister's husband (later my brother-n-law) had stopped traveling full time with Bill Maverick Golden - Little Red Wagon wheel stander - after getting married. However he continued to work with Maverick and they talked regularly until his death, but I digress.

Anyway my brother-n-law had a hemi out of the Wagon. He said the cylinders were bored to the max and stroked to 500 cid. The cylinders were worn, too far to race, but it would make a good street engine. It might have used a bit of oil. Of course it would need an intake, since the Wagon was a blown engine. He said he would let me have it for $50 if I would buy the Charger and put it in it.

I was thinking of getting married myself and talk myself into passing that up. One of my regrets.

Last edited by olddog; 11-21-2020 at 05:35 PM..
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2020, 08:57 PM
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Ed,

How many rpm were you spinning both engines?
We shifted the MaxWedge at 6300 rpm, give or take, Rick. We shifted the Hemi at 7800 rpm, give or take. This is why I said I suspect there was considerable more performance to be had with the MaxWedge had we done some camshaft experimentation.

At that time Chrysler was 'sort of' like Ford over the last ten years with the Modmotor and the Coyote. Ford killed off all ModMotor performance parts availability from Dearborn and also in the aftermarket so the Coyote did not have a sibling competitor.

Chrysler did sort of the same thing but not as aggressively with the MaxWedge engine. The Hemi was their future, the MaxWedge was the girl they went to the dance with but did not come home with.

In the end the Hemi was obviously the more competitive of the two but that did not mean the MaxWedge was without merit. The engines and the cars were nothing short of stunning and I personally believed (as was later borne out) that the MaxWedge cars had a lot of performance potential that remained untapped for years.


Ed
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by olddog View Post
I really regretted not doing this:

About 1977 I found a lime green original hemi car at a car lot for ~ $600 or so. It was a 1970 Dodge Charger, but the hemi engine had been replaced with a 440 six pack. It had the manual 4spd.

At the time, my girlfriends older sister's husband (later my brother-n-law) had stopped traveling full time with Bill Maverick Golden - Little Red Wagon wheel stander - after getting married. However he continued to work with Maverick and they talked regularly until his death, but I digress.

Anyway my brother-n-law had a hemi out of the Wagon. He said the cylinders were bored to the max and stroked to 500 cid. The cylinders were worn, too far to race, but it would make a good street engine. It might have used a bit of oil. Of course it would need an intake, since the Wagon was a blown engine. He said he would let me have it for $50 if I would buy the Charger and put it in it.

I was thinking of getting married myself and talk myself into passing that up. One of my regrets.

Those woulds, shoulda, coulda's sometimes come back and haunt our memories. I know that feeling. Sort of like an itch you can't scratch


Ed
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by eschaider View Post
We shifted the MaxWedge at 6300 rpm, give or take, Rick. We shifted the Hemi at 7800 rpm, give or take. This is why I said I suspect there was considerable more performance to be had with the MaxWedge had we done some camshaft experimentation.

At that time Chrysler was 'sort of' like Ford over the last ten years with the Modmotor and the Coyote. Ford killed off all ModMotor performance parts availability from Dearborn and also in the aftermarket so the Coyote did not have a sibling competitor.

Chrysler did sort of the same thing but not as aggressively with the MaxWedge engine. The Hemi was their future, the MaxWedge was the girl they went to the dance with but did not come home with.

In the end the Hemi was obviously the more competitive of the two but that did not mean the MaxWedge was without merit. The engines and the cars were nothing short of stunning and I personally believed (as was later borne out) that the MaxWedge cars had a lot of performance potential that remained untapped for years.


Ed
You can never seem to find apples to apples data to prove anything in this world, however I think your experience agrees with my observations over time. The hemi had massive breathing capability, but it improved very little at low volume pumping rates. The Hemi didn't start paying dividends until the pumping rate was increased, either by rpm or cid. When they stroked them out to 500 cid and spun them ridiculously fast there was nothing that could compete with them at the time.

I also point at NASCAR back in the day. The Ford 427 FE SO held their own against the Hemi on some tracks and even eked out a win here and there. The Hemi heads were superior, but it couldn't take full advantage of that fact.

Last edited by olddog; 11-22-2020 at 12:03 PM..
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Old 11-22-2020, 01:53 PM
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You can never seem to find apples to apples data to prove anything in this world, however I think your experience agrees with my observations over time. The hemi had massive breathing capability, but it improved very little at low volume pumping rates. The Hemi didn't start paying dividends until the pumping rate was increased, either by rpm or cid. When they stroked them out to 500 cid and spun them ridiculously fast there was nothing that could compete with them at the time.

I also point at NASCAR back in the day. The Ford 427 FE SO held their own against the Hemi on some tracks and even eked out a win here and there. The Hemi heads were superior, but it couldn't take full advantage of that fact.

I would agree with you, Rick. The low speed through midrange performance of the MaxWedge was pretty much on par with the Hemi. Once the Hemi hit its stride in the upper rpm ranges it was nothing short of amazing. The Hemi car would MPH anywhere from 10 to 15 mph falser than the wedge — again I think some camshaft experimentation could have substantially shrunk but not eliminated the difference.


Ed
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