AJ’s Car of the Day: 1964 Dodge Polara 500 2-Door Hardtop

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1964 Dodge Polara 500 2-Door Hardtop

Car: Dodge Polara 500 2-Door Hardtop

Year: 1964

What makes it special: The Polara was introduced for the 1960 model year as Dodge‘s top-of-the-line full-size car, after the introduction of the Dodge Custom 880 in 1962, the Polara nameplate designated a step below the full sized best trimmed Dodge model, Polara had been downsized to what was in effect intermediate, or mid-size status that year. In its various forms, the Polara name was used by Dodge until 1973, when its position in Dodge’s line-up was replaced by the Dodge Monaco.

What made it famous: The 1964 models received a revised front end and new tail lamps to distinguish them from the 1963 cars. Rear end treatment took its inspiration from the Chevrolet Impala, the Polara models now featuring six small, square-shaped taillights of three on each side surrounded by an attractive bright trim panel. Lesser mid-size Dodges featured only four taillights with two on each side and lacked the bright trim panel. A sensational new “C” pillar for the hardtop coupes, combined with the more attractive front and rear end styling, made the ’64s look totally new and longer/ lower/wider as well, resulting in a significant increase of sales over 1963. The Dodges were available with optional V8 engines of up to 413 cu in. These mid-sized Dodges and similar models from Plymouth competed successfully as stock cars in NASCAR races, and in stock-automatic classes in drag racing, where their smaller size and lighter weight gave them an advantage over the larger cars from Ford and General Motors.

Why I would want one: Something different. It’s got great looks, but it’s also not as common as Fury’s, Belvedere’s or many other Mopar offerings you’ll usually see at car shows.

Fun fact: The name Polara is a reference to the Polaris star, in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race during the early 1960’s. The Polara was a competitor to the Ford Galaxie 500 and the Chevrolet Impala.