based on early '60's Mopar Logo

Mopar Memories -- yarns spun, stories told!

Tales of '62 to '65 Mopars that got away; that stole our hearts; that burned vivid images in our mind that still pleasantly shock us today....

1964 Dodge Polara 500 Convertible

Dave Harms wrote:


I think I was about 14 the first time I saw this 1964 Polara 500. My oldest brother stopped by the school to pick me up in his new buy, (I think about Fall of 1971). On the way home, he stopped in his usual spot to dump the clutch. Man, what a thrill. He parked it in the winters and only occasionally drove it in the summers. I recall one time when he had the front buckets out doing some clean-up, when he reached up and turned the key for some dumb reason. Off down the driveway he went. No seat and driving a stick. We had a good laugh. This car was his toy.

1964 Dodge Polara 500

His "real" car was his 1971 Cuda 340 which he ordered with all the options at the time. He kept the Cuda for a year then bought a 1972 Charger 500 with all the options. Then, after another year, he traded in the Charger for another brand new Cuda 340. Fully loaded of course. During these few years he was fighting leukemia. After having the Cuda for about 4 months, he started loosing his battle with the disease and couldn't drive the cars any more due to the fact that the disease was working its way into the spinal fluid. He was essentially going slowly paralyzed. He died in July of 1973. I then bought the 64 Dodge from my folks for $500. They traded the Cuda in for a 73 Chrysler. We saw the Cuda around town for a long time and always heard about how fast it was from the new owner.

But on with the 1964.... I also parked it in the winter and drove it during the last couple of years of high school. When I graduated in 1976, I packed it full of my belongings and moved to Kansas to work for the summer. It broke down after getting there and sat for a couple of weeks while I earned my first paycheck. That fall, I went back to Michigan and decided I needed something better. So I traded it in to the dealership where my brothers worked for a 1973 Chevy Impala. As I was driving the 1964 up to finish the deal, I felt like backing out on the deal. However, I completed the transaction with deep regret.

A couple of months later, a Chrysler dealer from up north in Michigan, took a liking to the 1964 and bought it to add to his collection of Mopars. To finish this long story, my sister found the VIN number a couple of years ago and had a cop friend run it in the computer. It turned out that the same guy who bought it 20 years ago still had it. She went and looked at it and told him our history with it. He let her and her husband take it for a drive. She got his phone number and gave it to me and said the guy would consider selling it back to me. After a few weeks of negotiations, I bought the car back after almost 20 years to the day!

Being as he was a dealer, he never took the title out of my name. So I flew from Colorado up to Michigan and drove the car back. It was such an incredible feeling when I first saw the car and then sat in the seat. I could see my brother again taking the thing through the gears. My sons want to drive it to school and around the town. I haven't let them yet. I figured that they can wait like I did.

The picture below is the day my sister first saw it and drove it after 20 years.

1964 Dodge Polara 500

And this is a recent photo of the 1964.

1964 Dodge Polara 500

It has the original convertible top. The original 383 was replaced with a newer 383 in the early 90's; (i.e., the engine is from a 1969 Roadrunner and was put in the car in the early 90's). I did, however, get the original engine in the deal. The seat covers are all original too. It is on its third paint job.

Not many people have the opportunity to buy back a piece of their past as I did. I just love taking my wife for rides in the thing. It makes her giggle when I take the 500 through the gears.

1964 Dodge Polara 500

Thanks, Dave!

I really did not know where to put this web page. Since you now own the car, the car belongs in the site's B Gallery Web Page for certain, but with the incredible family history it belongs in the Reminiscing section too!

I went with my heart strings and put the 500 in the Reminiscing - Stories section of the web site. This is the story of one Mopar that got away, but then came back! [see update below]

We all wish we could capture a Mopar that we owned in the past. With the intense connection to your brother ans interest in the 1964 by your sons, I suspect the Mopar is a true family heirloom.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Gary H.

Update: I have revised this page to cross list it on both sections!

January 3, 2000; revised July 24, 2000

Go to the Reminiscing - Stories Web Page / Go to the B Body Index

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