1960 Dodge Polara




For the 1960 model year, Dodge introduced a new line of automobiles, the Dart. These cars were full-sized and highly successful and not to be confused with the even more successful compact Dart, introduced for 1963.

The earlier car’s success proved to be a double-edged sword for parent company Chrysler for two reasons: (1) The Dart stole sales from sister division Plymouth as they were the same size, underneath the same car, were better looking and had a somewhat more prestigious nameplate. (2) They also stole sales from the even larger senior Dodges, the Matador and top-of-the-line Polara, making the seniors extremely rare today.

For the most part, I prefer the styling and trim of an automobile to be on the understated side, witness most of the cars in the collection. There are a few exceptions, however, and the Polara is one; I liked them from the moment in October of 1959 when I first saw them. Dad purchased a little-used example in 1961, a black four door sedan that did not have the optional “shark’s gill” aluminum trim piece on the lower quarter panels. I, of course, was nutty about the car, took my driving test in it, borrowed it for the Senior Prom, blah, blah. As a result, I just had to have one and the search took many years, as one would expect.

Once again we were fortunate to find a Southern California example, sad but rust-free, straight and honest. Where, as mentioned, I like to keep our restorations to factory specifications, on this Polara I diverted a bit. Originally the car was cocoa metallic with a contrasting white top. We changed it to black, with the top now becoming cocoa.

Most people have never seen one of these cars and that, combined with the car’s, uh …  presence, shall we say, elicits a plethora of comments, thankfully always positive!

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Last Updated June 4, 2008
May 2004  © Richard Carpenter

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