1962 Dodge Dart Lightweight
Competition # 28
1962 brought a new Dart from Dodge to the RAMCHARGERS. Again, fitted with the 413 cubic inch RB engine and Long Ram intake manifold, and white paint. But this time the team was able to choose its look, as it was actually being built specifically for us. So, the first ever Dodge Super Stock car was ordered and delivered in White paint with Red interior. This would become our signature look on almost every car to ever don the name RAMCHARGERS on the side. If you research the 62 Dodge "Max Wedge" lightweight cars, you will find that they were equipped with the new "Crossram" intake manifold. This car, being the very first one of its kind, was not built or delivered with that soon-to-be famous Crossram intake, as they were not done engineering and building them at that point. However, it would eventually get one from Chrysler when they did finally become available. Probably the coolest surprise found upon inspecting the new car, was the new engine callout stickers on the valve covers. "RAMCHARGER 413" in beautiful blue and orange over a white background, sitting on top of the bright orange big block valve covers. What an honor. Chrysler was so pleased with the undeniable success of the RAMCHARGERS, that they literally named their new high-performance and race engines after the team. Talk about respect!! This would carry on for many years and multiple different engines, fresh-air induction hoods, and even an entire model of truck!
Of course, the RAMCHARGERS could never leave well-enough alone. This 413 engine was also bored 0.060" over to that same 426 size. But milling of the heads was not needed, as the new engine was already making that desired 13.5:1 compression ratio due to the pistons installed at the factory. As the team had learned on the 61 car, the Short-Ram version of the Long-Ram worked much better with the manual transmission. So, the original modified set from the 61 car replaced the Long-Ram that was factory installed. The first outing with this new car was supposed to be the Winternationals in Pamona, California, in February of 1962. But when the rains came and delayed the event, Mike Buckel decided to use some Vacation Time and take his wife out for an overdue Honeymoon in the new Dart. Mike, being the racer he is, ended up at another track testing the car. And the new combo served right, as it ran the first ever 12 second pass in a Super Stock vehicle. Sounds like every racer's idea of a Honeymoon!
As would also be an inadvertent motto in years to come, if a little is good, a lot must be better. So, the "RAMCHARGERS" name that was seen on the side of 61 car was altered from small red letters, to a gigantic red name that would take up almost the entire side of the new 62 car. The boys wanted people to know when they showed up at the track. Continuous traction and transmission failures would plague the Borg-Warner T10 three-speed manual transmission throughout the first half of the 62 season. So, a Torque Flite automatic was put in its place. The torque was managed much better and traction issues were tremendously reduced. The Dart was faster and easier to drive than ever before. This was the start of something iconic.
Just as was done the year before, again, at the close of the 1962 racing season, this car was sold off in favor of a new 1963 Dodge 330 that the team was acquiring from Dodge. The 62 car was bought by another racer, but was never seen again.
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