More Dents per Mile: 1972 Dodge Polara

1972 Dodge Polara Custom

I think it’s safe to say that this Mopar design appeals to fewer folks than most designs. This Dodge is an interesting example of a large two door car with few options and a big engine and, of course, tiny drum brakes. It has a 360 “Magnum” V8. This Polara is claimed to have covered less than 25,000 miles with the pedals offered as evidence. It looks to be original and rust free. The seller claims it runs and drives, but does have lots of battle damage.

1972 Dodge Polara

This big car shows lots of scars from being driven like it was a much smaller car. Perhaps it really was driven by a “little old lady” but heaven help anyone in her path!

1972 Dodge Polara Roof

The vinyl roof has been removed and there’s no sign of the rust often found after the vinyl is peeled away.

1972 Dodge Polara Interior

The upholstery looks original and in good shape. There are several cracks in the dash pad.

1972 Dodge Polara Engine

The engine compartment appears to have all the original bits, including that huge AC compressor. They don’t say whether the AC works or not.

1972 Dodge Polara 2 door

Can you imagine parking this barge in your driveway? It’s listed on eBay and it’s right here in Sacramento, California. Bidding is up to $1,800, reserve has been met and it ends on Saturday. This seems like it would be a grand old driver. If you leave the dents no one will dare park near you and changing lanes will never be a problem. Except for improving the brakes, I wouldn’t change much. What would you do with this barge? Is it worth bodywork and paint? Your comments should be interesting.

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Comments

  1. Randy

    Having learned to drive in the four-door variant of this car, I can say it definitely represents “sheet metal insurance.” I drove the car again after 20+ years (it was my father’s, and he never got rid of anything) and I was surprised at how effortless it was to maneuver. It is a land yacht with the turning radius of an aircraft carrier. Drum brakes would have to go; it wouldn’t be safe to operate with them. Maybe some of this one’s battle scars were earned because of that.

    Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but those do not look like 1972 model side marker lights on the front fenders. Maybe 1973 production?

  2. Mr. TKD

    If you check out “Big Muscle,” you can see an instance where one of these has been modded. It’s sharp. The potential for something fun is there.

  3. Dave

    Funny how times have changed, when I turned 16 and got my drivers license I learned how to drive in a car like this. My mom’s ’72 2 door Plymouth fury. It was even the same colour ! The car didn’t seem big to me then, everyone’s parents drove cars like this, dad had a ’70 Caprice 2 door hardtop. My first car I bought that year when I got my license was a ’72 Dodge charger with a slant 6, dad didn’t want me to buy a V8 for fear I’d kill myself. This is a cool example of what us “teens of the 70s” learned to drive in !!!

    • St. Ramone de V8

      So right, Dave! This thing seems huge now, but as we were learning to drive (sometimes recklessly), these were normal full size cars. They were our first cars, often. We parallel parked them, drove them way beyond their safe braking abilities, and went on dates with them. (That was the best! Two couches in one car!) Seems in this case Grandma should have opted for a compact.

      • JCW

        They do seem big today in 71 took driver test in 66 fury 3 9pass. Wagon now that was big.

  4. piper62j

    Gotta do something with the roof, but other than that, leave it like it is and make it safe to drive.. What a boat..
    Great find and a nice car.

    • David Frank david Member

      Thanks! It seems to me I’m seeing “Great find” or something similiar more and more often. That’s always a really nice compliment, especially to those readers who scour the web, find interesting vehicles and send in tips to barn finds. (Thanks for the great tips and for the nice compliments!)

  5. jim s

    i too have driven a 72 dodge, in 4dr, with manual drum brakes, we ordered the car without power brakes. it was a ok driver. depending on the cost to upgrade to better brakes, which may be easier on this car as it looks like it has power brakes already. i would leave the dents but work on the rust. interesting find.

  6. charlie Member

    Brakes – My ’68 Chevelle was a great car except for the non power drum brakes, good for a stop on the level with an average load – say 4 passengers – from 55mph but no more – sailed through a toll booth trying to stop from 65 the first time I had it out on the open road – before cameras so just went on and slowed down to 55 in advance ever thereafter. In ’69 discs were standard on the front – long before recalls but today it would have been. Brake fade is now a thing of the past.

  7. Jubjub

    I always liked these, especially when kinda undercover copped out. Totally Beauford Pusser.

    Sounds weird but I read in a Hemmings article, I think, where a guy put front discs on his 69 Polara survivor and never really got the right feeling or performance improvement he had hoped for. Kind of regretted the upgrade actually.

    Interesting that it has the cornering lamps.

  8. Bryan

    Looks like a front disk brake car to me…check out the master cylinder in the engine compartment! Doesn’t make sense that a Polara with cruise control, vinyl top, air conditioning, and cornering lamps would have just drum brakes anyway.

    I like these cars. I remember them as cop cars in the Walking Tall movies of the 70s.

  9. George Member

    My mother had a 71 Gran Fury, which was essentially the same car

    It didn’t have “anti-lock” brakes

    It had instant pirouette, “hang on for your damn life and discover the love of Jesus” brakes.

    I can’t look at one of these cars and wonder how anyone sold their inadequate brakes with a clear conscience

  10. Rob

    Would make a good Bluesmobile.

  11. John Newell

    What people forget is that this car and other of its ilk were what were called full sized cars. Chevelles, Fairlanes, Road Runners, GTOs and so on were intermediate sized cars. Today intermediate sized cars are considered huge. On the other hand I once parked my wife’s Intrepid next to my 70 Rebel and the Intrepid is longer. But people don’t think of Intrepids as huge. These days there are lots of imports bigger than intermediate sized cars. Some BMWs are tanks.

    On the other hand, no tank made today would have postage stamp sized drum brakes like this old beast.

  12. Bob Michiels

    I am the owner of this 1972 Dodge polara. I had it on ebay and the winner did not follow through with the sale. I relisted the car for sale on Los Angeles craigslist.
    Thanks for all of the great comments on this cool classic.

    Like 1
  13. Bob Michiels

    The Car Sold! Thanks Barn Find!!!

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