For 1960, the Polara was a new nameplate, added to the upper end of the Dodge lineup, in part to prepare for the dissolution of Chrysler's DeSoto division the following year. The new Dodge was one of the final expressions of the age of fins at Chrysler Corporation, and like most designs emerging during the Virgil Exner era it was sweepingly elegant and attractively proportioned.
Exner was a native of Michigan and he began his distinguished career with Raymond Loewy and Associates, working initially on military vehicles, as well as 1939 and 1940 model year cars for Studebaker, a Loewy client.
In 1944, Exner left Loewy to join Studebaker, and had a key design role in the 1947 Champion Starlight Coupe, one of the first all-new American cars to appear after the Second World War He was hired by Chrysler in 1949, and rose in the corporate hierarchy with a series of dramatic dream cars created in league with Carrozzeria Ghia, the Italian designer and coach building house. Exner's work was instrumental in propelling Chrysler out of its stodgy post-war design doldrums, and in July of 1957 he was appointed Vice president of Styling, a first for the corporation. Before Exner, final design yea or nay rested with Chrysler's engineering department, where caution prevailed.
The Polara was offered in several body styles including convertible, hardtop coupe, sedan, hardtop sedan, and two wagons, in six- and nine-passenger configurations. All were powered by a 383 cubic-inch V8, either 325 horsepower (standard), or an optional 330 horsepower version.