based on early '60's Mopar Logo

1964 Dodge Polara 500

October 2011 Mopar of the Month

Wayne writes:  I won the bid on eBay for my 1964 Dodge Polara 500 on Father’s Day 2006. The Polara has the 318 Poly engine with A/C and power steering, 60,250 miles. When I got the Dodge it was factory white. Shipped up from Missouri to North Dakota one week later. The Dodge is the only one registered and licensed in the state.

1964 Dodge Polara 500, front driver side as purchased
1964 Dodge Polara 500, car show plaque The Dodge got off to a good start after arrival. Every January our local car club has its Winter Wheels Show at the Civic Center to give people a break from our long cold North Dakota winters. In 2008 the weather wasn’t looking too good for our show so our club president invited me to bring the Dodge down to fill a show spot. He knew what condition the Polara 500 was in but he said “it is about cars, let them see something original.” So, the first show I enter the Mopar in the unrestored class: I received first place. (There were only two in that class; the other a mid 1970’s AMC Spirit. He got second place and a plaque also.)

I had decided that any car I found if it needed a new paint job it would be repainted 1964 Dodge red. Why? I had a red Polara 500 back in the early 1970’s.

So here [right photo] is the “after” photo of the Dodge. As you will see, it took some time and effort to reach my goal of owning another red 1964 Dodge Polara 500.

The “before” version of the Dodge had the typical body issues, rusty quarter panels and rusty panels behind the front wheel wells. It also had a few creases on the passenger side. All of the exterior trim except for the headlight rings are original also. I found a better set of those and a super guy in Minnesota restored them.

1964 Dodge Polara 500, front driver side restored

The interior was immaculate, just needed a good cleaning and polishing of all of the chrome. Only issues were the arm rest bases which I replaced and a split in the drivers seat which developed after I started sitting in it. Replaced the bucket seat covers, padding and arm rest bases. Everything else is original in the interior. Shows no wear in the back seat whatsoever. Even the original headliner with no stains, sags or anything. Door panels and dash pad perfect also. It still had the passenger mirror on the visor.

1964 Dodge Polara 500, door panel dye
1964 Dodge Polara 500, rear seat restore 1964 Dodge Polara 500, arm reast redo

When it was time to get it repainted I removed anything screwed on, bolted on, clipped on etc. from the exterior and removed everything from the interior except the headliner, dash and speaker deck.

1964 Dodge Polara 500, front passenger side trim off 1964 Dodge Polara 500, off to the paint shop
1964 Dodge Polara 500, rear driver side in body shop paint stripped 1964 Dodge Polara 500, rear driver side in body shop primered for paint
1964 Dodge Polara 500,front driver side in body shop painted, no trim 1964 Dodge Polara 500, from body shop back to home
So while the Mopar was in the shop for its extreme makeover it was time to do some serious detailing, polishing and buffing at home. 1964 Dodge Polara 500 script

Where did I spend my summer, fall and winter of 2010? In the garage surrounded by parts in boxes, bags and on the shelves. Detailing, polishing and buffing. Every part that had black paint on it including the Polara 500 emblem was masked off with tape and/or liquid masker, sprayed with primer and then finished off in flat black. All stainless I polished and buffed myself. Quite the learning experience but well worth it and very proud of my work.

All interior parts, door panels, speaker deck, dash pad, console, arm rests, rear seat and carpet were sprayed with SEM vinyl dye spray. I have had so many compliments on the interior also. Usually the first question is “:Who did your interior and how much did they charge?”

1964 Dodge Polara 500, front seats 1964 Dodge Polara 500, rear seats

The A/C unit is currently on my work bench getting cleaned up before I tear into it and replace the seals readying for the new refrigerant.

The Mopar may not be show room quality but I sure get lots of looks when in town or out on the road. It is definitely a head turner. Always good for striking up a conversation with someone at a parking lot, at the gas station or, of course, at car shows.

1964 Dodge Polara 500, front 1964 Dodge Polara 500, driver side
1964 Dodge Polara 500, rear passenger side 1964 Dodge Polara 500, 318 poly engine
1964 Dodge Polara 500, trunk 1964 Dodge Polara 500, rear

The Dodge is just a fun car to drive and show off. Lots of work went into the Mopar but all well worth it.

Contact Wayne: 1964 Dodge Polara 500, contact owner

Thanks Wayne!

Wow, all your hard work really shows!   smile!

Gary H.

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