The Great Texas Mopar® Auction: Part IX

The clock is ticking … the Great Texas Mopar® Hoard Auction Event is just ten weeks away. On Wednesday and Thursday, October 13th and 14th, the once-in-a-lifetime mostly Mopar vehicle and parts collection of the late John Haynie will be auctioned during an online-only sales marathon. The cars, vans and light trucks will go first, on Wednesday, October 13th, followed on Thursday, October 14th by a massive collection of engines, parts, tools, dealer sales and service items, toys, model cars and general automobilia.

The man in charge of it all is former Barrett-Jackson lead auctioneer Spanky Assiter, proprietor of Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions of Canyon, Texas. In this week’s installment of the auction preview series, let’s examine another handful of desirable vintage Mopar vehicles.

1960 Plymouth Fury: Lot #110

Though it’s been punched in the nose, this 1960 Plymouth Fury four-door sedan (Lot Number 110) is perhaps the most important car in the entire collection. This is the very car a young John Haynie – the man whose estate is being sold off in the upcoming October 13, 2021, auction – crashed in the early 1980s. This car sparked John’s interest in Mopar vehicles and was his first purchase.

After stripping away the mangled fenders, grille, bumper, hood and driver side door, the rest of the shell is very solid … including those wild, sky high rear tail fins. Born with the base 318 two-barrel and three-speed TorqueFlite® automatic transmission, it’s one of 21,292 four-door Fury sedans built in 1960. The big news for 1960 was Chrysler’s fleet-wide conversion from body-on-frame construction to semi-unitized architecture (except for the Imperial line).

As this post-crash “cut away” so conveniently illustrates, this semi-unitized body shell uses a bolt-on front frame stub that attaches to the underside of the floor pan and supports the engine and front suspension. But from the firewall to the taillights, the body is a one-piece welded shell. Here, the wicked tail fins are in amazingly solid, rust-free condition. And though we don’t like the idea of disassembling a car that’s been around for over 60 years, we can see the rear quarter of this “Solid Beauty for 1960” as a cool couch for a ’50s-themed diner or night club.

1963 Dodge 440: Lot #103

If only this 1963 Dodge 440 (Lot Number 103) was a two-door. Then, the “door” would be opened for a Max Wedge clone. But as it is, this four-door – one of 44,300 440 series Dodge vehicles built in 1963) is a very solid restoration candidate. Minimal rust has afflicted its body, floors and trunk. Speaking of the trunk, it still retains the cardboard “modesty panels” installed by the factory to cover the deep voids at each end of the trunk floor where it drops to meet the lower quarter panels. As simple folded cardboard walls, these are among the first items to be lost to time.

Under the hood, we see the base poly-head 318 V8 which for 1963 was demoted to two-barrel-only anti-status. In 1962, an optional Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor boosted the poly 318’s output from 230 to 260 horsepower. Factory air conditioning added an extra $445 to the tab; interestingly, the same $445 also could have obtained the mighty 426 Ramcharger (a.k.a. Max Wedge) in any mid-size model and body style except for station wagons. Yes, a handful of four-door Max Wedge Dodge and Plymouth vehicle were built in 1962, 1963 and 1964, but this isn’t one of them.

Inside, the push-button 727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission added $211 but greatly simplified the driving experience over the base three-on-the-tree manual gearbox. Perhaps the best feature on this well-preserved Dodge is the front clip. The fenders, hood, grille, bumper and related trim pieces are in excellent condition. We don’t want to plant seeds of destruction, but restorers of two-door Dodge vehicles pay dearly for these often missing items. Remember to click on the accompanying bar to view the live action showcase video featuring this car.

1961 Dodge Lancer Shorty Wagon: Lot #102

When it was launched in 1961, the compact Dodge Lancer was nearly two feet shorter and 700 pounds lighter than a standard Dodge. This 1961 Dodge Lancer station wagon (Lot Number 102) takes things a lot further. Somewhere along the line, the entire mid-section of the body was surgically removed and the two ends merged back together in clown car fashion. But the work was actually very well done. This is no clown car.

The lift-type door handles suggest the conversion was performed in the early ’70s (stock Lancer door handles are of the handle-and-thumb-button type). The engine bay is empty though it seems a Slant Six once stood ready. A dual circuit non-assist brake master cylinder conversion supports the early ’70s constriction date. Inside, the instrument panel face plate exhibits the stack of holes seen on TorqueFlite automatic-equipped Lancers and the steering column is smooth, without a manual transmission shift lever handle. But there’s also a clutch pedal. We’d guess a floor-shifted manual transmission was once in play.

Beyond the missing engine, transmission and rear axle, the rest of this funky little Lancer is present and ready for revitalization. The custom made “shorty” driveshaft even rests on the floor, ready to join some future transmission and rear axle installation. The 1961 Dodge Lancer is a very important car. It’s Dodge’s first use of the compact A-body platform which would blossom into legends like the 1968 HEMI® Dart and 1970 Swinger 340, not to mention literally millions of faithful Slant Six-powered Dart transportation modules. But of the roughly 9,700 Lancer station wagons produced in this first year, we think it’s safe to say none were quite like this one.

1962 Plymouth Savoy: Lot #98

This 1962 Plymouth Savoy two-door sedan (Lot Number 98) is the stuff of Super Stock dreams. With its full door frames, fixed B-pillar and minimized use of chrome trim, it’s the epitome of Chrysler’s “less is more” ethos when it came to maximum performance in the pre-GTO era when muscle cars were more about the steak than the sizzle. Though the 1964 Pontiac GTO set the standard for later “image cars”, the beauty of Chrysler’s 1962-65 factory-built drag race machines was the fact you had to look close to tell them apart from lesser commuter models.

This is called the “sleeper factor” and with the optional $612 “Maximum Performance” 413 Super Stock engine, there were no external emblems, stickers or stripes on the body to set them apart from Slant Six or 318-powered models. Though only 300 Plymouths (and 210 Dodges) were built with the 413 Max Wedge in 1962, their ability to run low 13-second quarter-mile times (mid 12s with tuning) made them instant legends. Though the 413 Super Stock was available in any mid-size Plymouth (except wagons), smart buyers chose “strippers” like this Savoy sedan rather than flashier Belvedere and Fury hardtops and convertibles (yes, the Max Wedge could be had in the convertible body style).

Originally built as a Slant Six with a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission and manual drum brakes with manual steering, this no-frills base level Savoy is the perfect launch pad for a Max Wedge clone. The floors and trunk look solid and the all-important body skin is also in excellent condition. To top it all off, it was originally painted Onyx Black, a classic hue for the all-business mood of a proper Max Wedge stormer.

And finally, we have to remember that 1962 was the very first year for the important mid-size B-body platform. Slotted between the compact A-body and the full-size C-body, the B-body would later grow into legends like the Road Runner, Satellite, GTX, Superbird and others. In this debut year, Plymouth built a total of 182,220 mid-size B-bodies, of them just 21,953 were entry level two-door pillar sedans (18,825 were Savoys and 3,128 were Belvederes). Less can be so much more.

1959 Dodge D400 Stake Truck: Lot #96

The Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event isn’t just about cars, there are a number of desirable vans and trucks in the mix. The largest of the bunch is this 1959 Dodge D400 stake truck (Lot Number 96), which was a running, driving machine when parked years ago and is probably ready for more with just a little service. Powering a New Process four-speed manual transmission and 6.2:1 geared Chrysler-built axle with 11,500-pound capacity, the Plymouth-built polyspherical head 318 V8 under the hood was new for heavy truck applications for 1959, replacing the heavier Dodge-built 315-cubic-inch poly-head V8 of 1958.

With its massive 171-inch wheelbase and 6,300-pound rear springs, the flatbed stands ready for serious cargo hauling. The possibilities are limitless. We can see it stacked full of clean used sheet metal panels at the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals swap meet. Or maybe touring major Mopar shows with restored examples of a 1966 426 Street HEMI and 2021 6.4-liter Scat Pack HEMI bolted to the bed floor that can be started up for exciting comparison demonstrations of HEMI engine horsepower. The mind boggles.

Speaking of swap meets and desirable Mopar parts for sale, don’t forget that on October 14, 2021 – the day after the October 13th online auction of the 250-plus vehicles in the John Haynie collection – a second auction consisting of thousands of vintage parts, tools, new old stock items, dealer sales and training materials, toys and general automobilia will also take place. Maybe buy the truck then load it with nifty parts from the second auction and have them shipped home together.

That’s it for this week’s preview of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event. Remember to click on each item presented here for a walk-around video or go to FreedomCarAuctions.com to see lots more.

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