Works in Progress
1964 Dodge Polara 500 'vert
Mike Fischer writes:
When I turned 16 my parents promised to help me buy a '63
Valiant 'vert, red w/white top. Well, that didn't happen: I got a Honda 50
instead. Next up was being accepted to college; promised again - screwed
again. This time it was over a red '64 Polara convertible, red with white top. I had
the down payment, paperwork in hand, and I just needed a co-signer. They
decided they needed a car and bought a new Pontiac: I got the hand-me-down
1960 Dodge Dart that was on its last leg.
After that, Lord knows why, but I started driving GM things.
But I never forgot that '64 Dodge and got back to the Mopar fold in 1973 with family cars. In 1991 I went to Monster Mopar Weekend in St. Louis with a full blown case of mid-life crisis.
Low and behold there sat a '64 Polara 500 'vert, red with a white top, for sale! It was rough and barely
drivable, but all I could see was that 1964 Dodge sitting at King Dodge that
I never got.
I bought it and brought it home. As much as I tried, given money reality and
my wife's health, (sadly, she passed away 3 years ago) I just could never get far
on the restoration.
The 'vert sat almost to the point of not being goodenough to resurrect.
Now it is September 2001. I'm remarried just over a year to a wonderful lady
I went steady with in 1964. Yea you guessed it. She was the one I was trying
to impress with the Polara. No decent car, no girl, but I got her 36 years
I talked her into going to the Monster Mopar just to convince her
there's a reason for my Mopar insanity. Originally she was a common sense
person and kept me in check. Struck up a conversation with a fellow Moparian
trying to sell him my '78 Little Red Express because he had a '79 and could
complete the set. He handed me a flyer on the cars he had for sale, including
a red '64 Fury 2 dr ht. My wife remembered her mom's Fury and wanted to see
Off we go to Illinois and she fell in love with the car and had to have
it. We agree to buy the car, but a week later while driving about a mile from
our house we do a double take.
Sitting in a driveway is a white '68 Dodge Dart GT V8 for sale.I Check
it out the odometer says 29013 and not a rust hole to be seen . Under the
car and hood its still white and the interior is perfect. Trying to contain
myself, I call the people selling the car that night, hoping they don't know
what they are sitting on. We bought the car for a lot less than it is worth and
it is a original 29013 mileage car, complete with its window sticker! The
bill of sale says the seller's Great Aunt traded in her '54 Dodge toward the '68, and we got all the other
paper work goodies. My wife sold her 2000 Dodge Stratus and the Dart is her daily driver, weather permitting.
Now what do we do about the '64 Fury? We both agree that unless we
buy the Fury we would be cursed forever and our Mopars would turn into
phords wearing bowties.
So add the Fury to the ever increasing group of cars.
Trying to decide which '64 to restore, I do the logical thing and
start whining about how I had my '64 first. After all, she had her '68 Dart
and we should start on the Polara. Using all my powers of logic [read
b*ll***t] I suggest that it would cost a lot less to restore a rust free '64
Polara 500 'vert, thus saving more money for her '64.
I think we've all learned the logic of buying something on sale to save money, and besides I "just
happened" across one on the Internet the nite before in Austin Texas.
Off we go to Texas a week before we are committed (which by now my wife is
threatening me with) to go to Florida. We see the car and it is as promised:
another red 'vert with a white top. For some reason it had been painted black,
but it was virtually rust free and complete: a nice 383 auto with Sears add-on air
conditioning. Ahh the good old days. We buy the car. Love that wife she
gives in again.
We plan to ship it to Florida and back we go to St. Louis, pack, and
off to Florida we go hoping to beat the Polara there. Congrats to the
shippers: it arrived one day before us, and in great condition. It took us about
a month to find someone we trusted with the Polara. Restoration is in
Finally, after 38 years, the circle is nearly complete for me. Next up is
Gail's '64. I'll probably hold on to my first '64 and bring it to Florida
along with all the spare parts I've been stashing for eight years in
February and do a little parts swapping here and there.
Sorry about the long winded story, but once MOPARS are in your blood,
there is no cure.
In fact, a funny thing happens, every time we pass a used car lot or
a junk yard and my wife is straining to see if there are Mopars hidden. Next
she will turn to me and say DAMN! look what you've done to me now I'm as
"bad" as you are.
I just grin and give a little laugh.
Great story, Mike!
Indeed, the "cure" is impossible.
You've got Dodge Fever...
January 30, 2002; June 28, 2002