When the Polara was introduced to the Dodge lineup in 1960, it served as the top-of-the-line full-size car. It relinquished its position in 1962 when the Dodge Custom 880 became the new top-level full-size model, and the Polara was a step below. The entire Dodge lineup was redesigned in 1962, gaining lighter and smaller Chrysler B-Bodies resting on a 116-inch wheelbase. This was the last year for the compact Lancer which rested on a 106.5-inch wheelbase. Introduced on January 21st of 1962, the new luxury Custom 880 series combined the front end of a 1961 Dodge with the 1962 Chrysler body, resting on the 122-inch wheelbase of the previous year's Polara.
The Polara grew slightly in size for 1963, with its wheelbase increasing to 119-inches and new sheet metal applied to the exterior. With the absence of the Lancer, the Dart became the new compact car, and the plain 330 and 440 remained below the Polara, and the larger 880 and Custom 880 remained above.
In 1965, the Polara moved back to the full-sized Chrysler C platform that it shared with its Chrysler and Plymouth siblings and assumed the position previously held by the Dodge 880. Its 121-inch wheelbase was shared with the Custom 880 and Monaco models and was an inch shorter than the 1964 platform. Station wagons were added to the list of body styles, with seating for both 6- and 9-passengers, joining the sedan, hardtop sedan, hardtop coupe, and convertible. The six-cylinder engine options of 1964 were no longer available on the 1965 Polara, now exclusively powered by V8s. Despite the changes, prices remained nearly unchanged for similarly equipped eight-cylinder Polara with its 1965 counterpart.
The 1965 Polara had a chrome windshield and rear window moldings, and the Dodge name (in block letters) across the center of the hood. There was a bustle-shaped grille flanked by dual round headlights, a stand-up hood ornament, a wraparound chrome bumper, and body side chrome trim molding. Available engines included the 318 CID V8 with overhead valves, a cast-iron block, hydraulic valve lifters, five main bearings, a Carter two-barrel carburetor, and delivering 230 horsepower. The 383 CID V8 had a Carter four-barrel carburetor and delivered 330 horsepower. The 413 CID and 426 CID V8 were available only in 1965, with the 413 delivering 340 horsepower and the 426 with 365 horsepower. The 426 with hemispherical combustion chambers, a Carter four-barrel carburetor, 11.0:1 compression, and solid valve lifters, delivered 415 horsepower at 5,600 RPM. The 'Hemi Eight-Barrel' 426 used two Carter four-barrel carburetors, 12.0:1 compression, and produced 425 horsepower at 5,600 RPM. Most of the Hemi engines were produced for racing, with a few being built for street use and were sold 'as is,' meaning the Chrysler Corporation did not offer a warranty.
A three-speed manual transmission was standard on all Polaras, with a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic and four-speed manual transmission optional. Additional performance options included a Sure-Grip differential, power steering, Auto Pilot, and power brakes. The Polara 500 Sport Package was offered on two-door hardtops and convertibles, and added bucket seats, a console, deluxe spinner wheel covers, and identification badges.
A total of (approximately) 75,100 examples of the Polara passenger cars were built in 1965, plus an additional 22,800 station wagons built in the Polara and Custom 880 series combined. by Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2021
Related Reading : Dodge Polara History
The name Polara first appeared in 1960 on Dodges full-size vehicle line, and the name would continue to adorned Dodge vehicles in various forms until 1973. When introduced, the Dodge Polaras design was similar to vehicles of the prior years, continuing the Forward Look design of Virgil Exner. In the front was a small grille accompanied by a large front bumper. In the rear were taillights termed.... Continue Reading >>
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