Max Wedge motors delivered more than 400 horsepower and roughly 500 lb-ft of torque. A Plymouth Savoy with a Max Wedge was the first factory stock car to run a quarter mile in less than 12 seconds, hitting the mark in 11.93 seconds in the summer of 1962. In 1963, the Beach Boys recorded “Shut Down,” chronicling a race between a 413 Max Wedge-powered Super Stock Dodge and a Corvette Stingray. 1965 spelled the end for the Max Wedge when Chrysler brought back the Hemi.

Although it wasn’t around for long, the Max Wedge ushered in the era of 400-plus horsepower V8s that powered the muscle car generation’s most beastly models. In an episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage” that featured a Max Wedge-powered 1964 Dodge Polara, Leno highlighted the engine’s importance in paving the way for the cars that followed. “Whenever they talk about the muscle car era, they always start in 1964 with the GTO, and they go to about 1970, but there was a lot happening before 1964. This is a really fast car.”

The engineering that went into the Max Wedge also influenced the development of later engines like the big block 440 that went into Mopar family legends like the Charger, Roadrunner, and Valiant.