Dodge Accessories

Dodge Polara Accessories

Dodge Polara Introduction

The Dodge Polara is an automobile introduced in the United States 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 best trimmed Dodge model. 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. The name Polara is a reference to the Polaris star, in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race. The Polara was a competitor to the Ford Galaxie 500 and the Chevrolet Impala. The 1960 Polara and other full-sized Dodges featured styling cues carried over from 1959 models, itself an evolution of Virgil Exner's "Forward Look" cars introduced in 1957.

The top-of-the line Polara and Dodge Matador continued to ride on the 122-inch (3,099 mm) wheelbase of their predecessors, while a new line-up of still full-sized Dodge Darts rode on a shorter 118-inch (2,997 mm) wheelbase. The Polara was available as a 2-door convertible, 2-door hardtop coupe, 4-door hardtop sedan, 4-door hardtop station wagon, and conventional (pillared) 4-door sedan. Like these cars, both 1960 full-sized Dodges continued with the make's styling hallmarks of stacked "jet pod" euro tail lights from CARiD.com, however, the size of the lights was greatly increased compared to the previous year's lamps, with the lower lights set into the rear bumper. The design also incorporated Dodge's trademark shortened tail fins, which included small vertical tail light lenses placed on the vertical surface at the back of the fin.

Dodge Polara ChromeUp front, the car featured a small grille consisting of eight stacks of chromed rectangles nested in a massive (and complex) front bumper assembly. As the top model in the line-up, the Polara featured better interior fabrics and trim treatments. Polaras also received more trim on the outside of the car, most notably a chrome stone guard aft of the rear wheel housings, a full-length chrome spear, and a wide chrome base to the chrome spear atop the headlight housings. For 1961, Dodge dropped the Matador, leaving the Polara as the sole "senior" Dodge model. Darts on the shorter wheelbase continued. For 1961, Exner's styling department reversed the car's fins, making them taller as they flowed toward the rear window.

As the fins sloped towards the rear of the car, they cut slightly towards the center (to allow the single tail light housing on each side) of the rear of the vehicle, wrapping downward and then back along the side fender to form a C-shaped line accentuated in chrome. The overall effect made the rear of the car seem to "pucker" from the angles the design created. Up front, the massive bumper treatments that had been a Dodge hallmark since 1957 were replaced with a simple bar design, above which was a massive concave grille shared with the Dodge Dart. The 1961 styling overhaul of the Dodge line-up was different from anything else on the US market at that time (save the 1961 Plymouth, which was equally unique in its styling) and consumers voted on the 1961 restyle with their car-shopping dollars.

Dodge Polara WheelsIn 1970 the Polara would receive new front and rear styling that included a bumper that wrapped around the grill and custom headlights available at CARiD.com. The Polara 500 was replaced by the Polara Custom in hardtop coupe, 4-door hardtop sedan, and conventional 4-door sedan body styles. There was also a stripped-down Polara Special available as either a 4-door sedan or station wagon. 1970 was the last year that the Polara would be available in a convertible body style (with a scant 842 produced, making it extremely rare today), and Dodge would never again offer a full-sized convertible. Also exceptionally rare for 1970 was the "medallion" rear bumper. This bumper featured in all of the sales literature was discontinued after late August or early September 1969 production and replaced with a plain bumper lacking the center Fratzog medallion.

Despite the fanfare, Dodge dropped the "Super-Lite" option at the end of the 1970 model year because of lack of consumer interest and various challenges to its legality in certain states. The Polara Special disappeared for 1971, but a new sub-series was the Polara Brougham positioned above the Polara Custom, but still a step below the Monaco, the Polara Brougham was available only as a hardtop coupe or 4-door hardtop sedan. The 1972 model year would see a fairly significant facelift with new sheet metal and the disappearance of the Polara Brougham model. 1973 models received new front-end styling in which they lost the previous wrap-around front bumper. The redesigned 1974 Monaco would only serve for four model years before being replaced by the unsuccessful Dodge St. Regis.