Paula and Steve write: We have had our 1964 Dodge Polara 500 Convertible since 1976. When we purchased the Mopar it had been sitting in the elements for several years with the top down. The Dodge was destined for the salvage yard. The original 426 Wedge had been shelled out and replaced with a 383 from a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner long before we acquired the car. We drove the convertible for many years as a daily driver, let it sit for several more and then began a complete restoration around 1991.
Although we lost our garage to a fire in 1995, the DeWitt Volunteer Fire Department was able to push the car off the safety jacks and out of the garage. But, only after they chopped out the side of the garage first to remove their number one concern: the oxygen and acetylene tanks. The chief felt sorry for the guy standing there crying like a baby (Steve). Hats off to the DeWitt fire department! The only damage the car sustained was some blistering to the primer, the convertible top was melted in a few places and some smoke damage to the interior. Luckily, we had the new top stored safely in the house and Steve was able to clean the interior. Luckily also, since Steve was still working on the Dodges body, the 500 was still in primer. In 1996 the restoration was complete. Well, so we thought....
In 2001 our son found a 1964, 426 Wedge block with the correct date stamp, on Ebay. Of course we bought it. We had to drive to Kansas City to pick it up, but it was worth it.
|The Polara 500 now has a 426 Wedge, thats been bored .030 over and has a 4.15 Eagle steel crank, giving the big block a total displacement of 477 cubic inches. The engine has Edelbrock RPM performer heads, a Racer Brown .514 lift - 292 duration cam, Crane molly pushrods and roller rockers, 440 six pack rods, an Offenhauser 360 intake with two Edelbrock 600 cfm carburetor, a Mallory Unilite distributor, Mallory high fire ignition and Hooker Super Comp tuned headers. Behind the motor is an 833 factory four speed and 355 SureGrip rear end.|
Weve enjoyed driving the Polara 500 convertible for the last 27 years. We currently enjoy showing the Mopar and have collected over two hundred trophies. When we are no longer able to drive it, we'll pass the Dodge on to our son. Hopefully, the 500 will be around for many years to come!
September 6, 2009