1963 Dodge 330 Wagon Max Wedge "Candystick"

With the successes piling up for the RAMCHARGERS, and Dan Mancini's idea of running 2 cars, one automatic and one manual, plans were created for the team's new addition.  As per Mancini's thoughts of one car being called Candymatic and the manual car being called Candystick, the boys began to discuss pros and cons.  With the difficulty of traction with the manual transmissions, it was concluded to try a Station Wagon for the Candystick car.  Wagons having much more weight at the rear of the car, in theory, would be better suited for that combination.  So the order was put in, and Frank Wiley at Dodge was more than happy to oblige.  A brand new 1963 Dodge 330 Wagon was constructed for the RAMCHARGERS in their (now) signature canvas.... Bright White with Red interior.  Outfitted with a manual transmission and the earth-shaking RAMCHARGER 413 Maximum Performance engine, the team was ready to tackle the Chevys and Pontiacs from a different angle.  


Seven trademark Candy Red stripes encompassed the roof and tailgate of the wagon, with a matching pair on the sides.  As well as the name "Candystick" on the quarter panels.  The familiar HODGES DODGES sponsorship was applied as well.  The only thing missing was the name RAMCHARGERS down the sides.   While waiting to be lettered with their logo, the wagon was taken to Detroit Dragway for some testing.  On the second burnout, as Mike Buckel dumped the clutch, the Borg-Warner T-10 dumped its guts and failed.  That was literally the end of the Candystick project.  There would not be another manual transmission car for the team until 1970.  Had the A-833 4-speed manual trans been around in 1963, the fate of the Candystick may have had a different path.  But as it stood, it just was not going to be good enough for the RAMCHARGERS and their quest for dominance.


Completely disappointed with the wagon and the less-than-desirable T-10,  Frank Wiley was notified and another automatic equipped 330 sedan was traded to the team in its place.   The wagon, with its candy stripes already painted on, instead of being shipped back to Chrysler for redistribution, was offered to Al Eckstrand to campaign under his "LAWMAN" banner.  Eckstrand being a corporate lawyer for Chrysler, and an established Super Stock driver who had recently burned his bridges to drive for the RAMCHARGERS, was a perfect resolution for the unwanted wagon.


Now there is some debate on this car, as it was never raced in competition by the RAMCHARGERS  Nor did it ever don the iconic name/logo on the sides.  However, it was ordered by the team, built by Chrysler for them, and prepped for racing by the RAMCHARGERS in their shop.   So it does deserve a small place in the history books of the RAMCHARGERS.


After Eckstrand took possession of the car, it was lettered with his logo and photographed for Cars Magazine's September 1963 issue. Eckstrand raced it as the LAWMAN, off and on, for the remainder of the 1963 season.  Where the Wagon ended up after the 1963 season is a mystery a mystery.




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