based on early '60's Mopar Logo

Works in Progress

1964 Dodge Polara

1964 Dodge Polara

Arlyn T. Anderson writes:

[As of 1998]..., there are brakes to fix, and an engine needing attention, just to get started.


My first car was a 1964 Dodge Polara. That was in 1983-5. It was white, had an automatic on the floor, and listed about four degrees to starboard when seen from behind. In addition, the headliner was falling out, and the driver's door would not close all the way -- only one latch would hold. As a high school graduation present, my parents put a new headliner in it (for $150). My sister got a new transmission ($600) for her graduation in 1980. I am still trying to negotiate the $450 disparity between our gifts.

My brothers and I all called the car "Sherman," as in Sherman tank (not terribly original, but cute I suppose), and one of my younger brothers made some blue decal lettering out of shrink plastic and ironed them onto the driver's door just behind the mirror. It read 'Sherman II.' The added roman numerals just added to the mystique -- after all, that's what all the cool airplanes in World War II were like.

1964 Polara Interior

Our Sherman had a 383 in it that has been the most powerful engine I have fed gas to through the accelerator. We always marveled how we could feel the car "twist" and the front end raise up from the added torque of the drive shaft and rear wheels whenever I stomped on it. Nothing could touch it.

However, when my two brothers started driving, they wanted something "cooler," and ended up with an habitually failing Porsche 924! They have since repented many times to me and claim to have seen the folly of their ways.

Now I am married, have two kids, and I am in graduate school (Ph.D. in Human Communication Studies) at the University of Oklahoma. Last month I stumbled on an add in our local Norman, OK paper for a 1964 Dodge Polara, two door, 318, with push button transmission. My brothers and I used to marvel at the push button transmission described in the owner's manual we had back in the 80s. So I grabbed the family to go look at the car with me. I was just going to show them what dad drove when he was a kid. Yeah right!

Now the car sits in a friend's driveway while I wait for Christmas break to fix the brakes and get the new '64 Dodge Polara running again. The interior is good (not great, but good -- at least the headliner is not falling out), the body is not bad (some spots need some attention), and my brothers are stoked. Shame they all live in Colorado and Washington state (penalty for their sins). As for me and my holidays, we will serve the new Sherman. (Unfortunately, my daughter wants to call the new car the Oneder [read One-der, or Wonder] after watching Tom Hanks' movie, "That Thing You Do," which, incidentally, takes place in 1964.)

1964 Polara 318 poly

I have already ordered the shop manual, and am ready to get to work. As the Valvoline commercial says, "You're born. You die. And in between, you work on cars. Not all of us can be so lucky." How lucky I am. A very Merry Christmas indeed.

Page created December 3, 1998
Updated: January 23, 1999, June 23, 1999; revised and moved to the new web site garage August 18, 1999.

Go back to the 1962 to 1965 Mopar Web Site Home Page.