Mopar Survivor: 1963 Dodge Polara

Fords and Chevrolets from 1963 get a lot of coverage and examples turn up all the time for sale via the various old car mediums. Mopar examples from that era? Not so much so. And for that reason, among others, I am pleased to present this 1963 Dodge Polara for review and consideration. It is located in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is available here on Barn Finds Classifieds for $5,800.

The 1963 Dodge Polara occupies an interesting space as it was a full-size model in 1961 and then down-sized for ’62 through ’64, unlike its Chevrolet, Ford, and Pontiac competitors. Supposedly this was the result of an overheard conversation at a social function, by a Chrysler executive who misinterpreted what a competitor was stating. True or not, I don’t know and to mitigate the circumstance, Dodge did extend the wheelbase of their ’63 and ’64 Polara by three inches. Regardless, this ’63 Polara is a nice looking and sized automobile. Yes, it has four doors and it’s not a Polara 500, two-door hard-top but it is a four-door hard-top with its breezy, panoramic, no obstructed side view.

The story is that this Polara was a garage find about four years ago, it had been sitting for approximately 25 years at the time. While the mileage is listed as 53+K miles, it is not claimed as accurate. The exterior is in sound shape, with no obvious rot, creases, dents, or crash damage. The finish is faded and burned off in places such as the roof, tops of the fenders, and quarters but all-in-all, it presents well from a solidity perspective. The seller has inspected the underside and states there is no sign of rust or corrosion, just a small bit of surface rust in the trunk and that’s it for body deterioration.

This Polara is powered by a 305 gross HP, 383 CI “B” block V8 engine, and the seller claims, “This is an excellent driving auto. It goes down the road just as cool as it looks.” The engine has had numerous improvements/parts replaced, including, a new 2 barrel carburetor, new sparkplugs, wires, cap, rotor, Pertronix Ignitor ignition electronic distributor, coil, muffler, tailpipe, battery, water pump, alternator, and in-trunk volt regulator. Other new components include new brake hoses & wheel cylinders, some new steel brake lines, new leaf springs, a new gas tank & float, master cylinder, and five new tires. This Polara is good to go.

The interior of this Dodge hard-top presents pretty well other than a seat seam that has let go. Other things that will require attention include the top of the backseat backrest (sun damage), headliner replacement, and new or refoamed sun visors. So, while the interior is not perfect, it is completely usable and repairs or improvements can wait until a later time. Perhaps best of all, and it wouldn’t be this vintage Mopar without the push-button actuated transmission selector for the TorqueFlite automatic transmission.

We all gravitate towards muscle cars of this ’60s era while four-door hardtops like this Polara get short-shrift. Fortunately, the seller saw the value in resuscitating this old Dodge, and it didn’t end up as shredder fodder on its way to Asia;  it deserves a second time around. As a tribute to its staying power and longevity, the seller has even retained the original bill of sale! The price seems reasonable for what this Polara is. The seller has put a good deal of effort and expense into it already, so it really needs very little, cosmetics mostly. Worth considering, don’t you think?

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Comments

  1. Bob C.

    Love it. That is quite the face on this thing. A little less radical than the prior year.

    Like 8
  2. DrillnFill

    Nice car and reasonably priced. I’m sure the 383 will be a lot of fun, and you’ll probably be the only guy at the car show with a Polara sedan. Raise the back a little bit and put some white letter tires on those black steelies!

    Like 5
  3. Stevieg

    An old lady across town had one of these, but a 2 door post coupe. I actually think it was a different model, but used the same platform.
    I used to have friends on that part of town & was there frequently. Even as a young kid, I would see this old car and drool. It wasn’t a muscle car & my friends all thought I was a little “off” because of my appreciation of this car. I believe it even had a slant 6 in it because it had the sound they make.
    In the late 1980’s & early 1990’s, this lady was older than dirt then. Probably no longer with us.
    I still roam that side of town frequently. Haven’t seen the car in a long time. I wonder what happened to it.

    Like 7
    • Nikrnic

      2 door post, most likely a 330 model, a favorite for drag racers, light and solid.

      Like 1
  4. Howard A Member

    Buddy of mine had this exact car in the late’70’s. It had a damaged right front fender, so we took it off, hung a light and turn signal from the bumper, and drove the behoozes out of that car. In the rain, the unfendered front tire shot a rooster tail 20 feet in the air. Just one of the many $100 dollar beaters that were all around us. I think we got stopped once, as in Wis. every tire needs a fender. I think he junked the car after that.

    Like 8
    • Ken Jennings

      That is a funny story! What engine did that car have, remember?

      Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        Standard issue 318. I remember, it was the classic little old lady car,,no not THAT little old lady with a Dodge, just a hum-drum everyday car, that beside the damaged fender it was clean as a whistle. Cars like this were dime a dozen in the 70’s. You simply discarded one, and picked up another.

        Like 9
    • YourSoundMan

      Howard A: What about the rest of the rooster?

      Like 3
  5. Ken

    The 1962-63 Dodges had faces only a mother could love. The ‘62-63 Plymouths, on the other hand, were nice-looking cars. Dodge designers lost their way for a few years there.

    Like 6
  6. Chuck

    Oh that Exner clan

    Like 4
    • Bill C in MA

      “Oh that Exner clan“, please explain.

    • Ed P

      Exner got blamed for the poorly received design. But the truth is, he was home recuperating from a heart attack during most of the design phase and had little involvement.

      Like 3
  7. Troy s

    Nice old family hauler, from a much different era. The ’63-’64 two door Dodge/Plymouths get plenty of attention the four doors not so much, I guess I could say that about every brand. It’s all in the wickedness these can have visually with mag wheels and a thumping engine under the hood, that draw me to these older Mopars. Nice find.

    Like 3
  8. Jost

    I wish I had the room for this car. My first car was a 63 dodge 440. That was the trim line just below this. It was also a 4 door but had the 225 slant six. Even 16 year old me could not destroy that engine. The torque flight was not doing to well though. To many neutral drops. I can go on and on with story’s about my time with that dodge , suffice to say when I was done with it I junked it.

    Like 3
  9. John S.

    One of the “Top-25” ugliest cars… ever!

    Like 3
  10. JP

    My friends mom had a ’61 & he beat that car so bad that we made it down the shore in record time!

  11. TJ

    Back in 1971 a friend of mine in high school had a 1963 station wagon version of this car with the 318 CID engine he bought for $50. I never liked the looks, but I was amazed at how well it held up with all the abuse it received!! We use to drive it off road in the Santa Monica mountains in Southern California without getting stuck. One time he ran out of coolant when a radiator hose broke and it overheated so bad it finally stalled. When it cooled off he Replaced the hose added coolant and it started right up with no problems. He eventually sold it for $100 after graduation with just over 200,000 miles.

    Like 4
  12. Johnny

    I have a 64-330 -door. Bought it in 1974 for $110. Drove it all over the place,. It has a 318 push button on the left of the steering wheel. Good dependable car. Their used to be a saying. If you go to a used car deakel and want a good-reliable car. Get a 4 door. Its owned buy a family man who has to take care of it. The two doors are troubles. They had the he– ran out of the.Still goes today. I,d like to have this car. Sox & Marin race team had a station wagon.They used to tow their race car. I read a article about it. The decided to get another car,but first they were gonna see how tough the motor . They drained the water and oil out of it.Started it up and put a brick on the gas pedal. It ran until it overheated and quit. They decided to let it cool off. Put oil and water back in it and see what happened/ It ran perfect and they drove it along time after that. I know I accidently drove my old Dodge truck hard one time in from Norfolk,Va–a 400 mile trip. The next day I started it up and the oil light started flickering. I turned it off and checked my oil and it was 4 quarts low. I filled it up and drove it alot after that and it never made a bit of noise. Back then they made good vehicles.

    Like 2
  13. PatrickM

    Even with all the owner/seller (same person?), has done here, there is still a lot of rust to deal with. No underside pics. (How many times do we have to say this?) No a/c, (a must here in mid-Atlantic coast). I just don’t think I’d pay more than $3,000.00 for it. There is a lot of work still to be done, including a pain job. I almost seriously considered this one.

  14. Patrick J. Flynn

    I agree this was one of the ugliest cars ever produced but time passes and it finally found it’s MOJO. I wonder if it had the “push button drive” my dad’s old Plymouth Wagon had…Strange but different.

    Like 1
    • Ed P

      All Mopars with automatic transmission had push buttons from 56 to 64

      • Miguel

        No they didn’t.

        For example the 1963 Sport Fury was available with a floor shift automatic.

      • Ed P

        Floor shift would have been an option on some cars but push buttons were the standard.

      • Miguel

        I was pointing out when you said all automatics were push button, that was not correct.

  15. Joel

    They also had a 1963 Dodge 330 there was just a few made, I had one and loved it.

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