In the early 1960s, brothers Andy, Vince, and Joe Granatelli chose land-speed racing as the public proving ground for a new generation of Paxton superchargers. Their recent purchase of Paxton Products from the McCulloch Motor Co. brought with it a poor reputation for efficiency and reliability of a centrifugal design dating to the 1930s. Stodgy, practical Plymouth Division suffered from reputational problems of its own, at least among enthusiasts shopping for new-car excitement. Plymouth—which was always denied the powerful hemispherical V8s enjoyed by stablemates Dodge, Chrysler, and DeSoto—shared a high-performance engine, at last: 1962’s dual-quad 413 Wedge.
The two companies’ mutual rehabilitation project was the twice-blown 1962 Fury photographed on the wrong side of this road by Car Craft associate editor Bud Lang. He explained the makeshift racetrack in Jean, Nevada, as “the former L.A.-Las Vegas highway which was recently displaced by the new freeway” (Car Craft, July 1962). Each of the outboard headlight receptacles fed fresh air to a four-barrel carb through one supercharger. An Isky roller cam, Mallory mag, Jardine headers, and four electric fuel pumps helped the cause. A full interior, rollbar, and multilayer scattershield bumped the load to 3,465 pounds (plus rotund Andy Granatelli’s infamous ballast).
Both average and top speeds for the standing mile (111.50/163.05 mph), 1.3 mile (116.40; 170.14), and 1.5 mile (125.40; 173.73) were recorded by SCTA officials whose hardwired system had to be rolled out, literally, the full length of each course. No national or international records were set, but Lang suggested that one final 2.25-mile charge just before dark of 181.45 mph might’ve been the fastest yet for any new car neither streamlined nor gutted.