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Power to the People – 1968 Dodge Polara 500 Convertible 440ci

Sold – $21,000 (plus fees)

As Dodge’s full-size car offering in 1965, the Polara came in an extensive range of body styles including sedans, hardtops, station wagons, and most beautifully, convertibles. In 1967, the entire wheelbase of the Polara was lengthened by a full inch with six inches added in total. The effect was a softer riding, more luxuriously accommodating vehicle that blended a styling update the same year with newly mandated government safety measures. The following year, Polara 500 sales would total out to 4,048. Among those, a mere 129 cars were the recipients of the massive 440ci (7.2-liter) V8 engine. Moreover, a paltry 24 of those engines found homes inside of a convertible body configuration; this is one of those. 

At 219-inches, our Polara 500 convertible is a rolling testament to the might of 1960s American metalwork. Painted in Light Green (F) by Dodge in 1968, the paint currently on the panels is a reapplication from the 1990s intended to correct flaws and finish failures. The color is still in almost pristine condition, aside from a chip in the rear quarter panel by the trunk. Furthermore, the seller informs us that zero metal work was required during that restoration. As such, the brightwork and exterior trimmings are also all original and fantastically evoke the essence of sixties style. 

Partially concealed in the rear, the 15” wheels are original, as are their covers, and have been fitted with Goodyear whitewall tires. Notably, the hub caps have their correct center caps that denote this example came equipped with the optional disc brake equipment. Although the body was restored, the green cloth convertible top was not since its functionality was not compromised with age. However, the seller informs us that the zippered rear window can be recalcitrant to use. 

Awaiting inside this chariot are black vinyl bucket seats complimenting a black vinyl rear bench seat. Manually operated, the seats do provide passengers seatbelts since they were mandated in 1968. Below the chairs is black carpeting, although the color has faded to a red hue with its age. A tilt-column steering wheel is an additional option added by the current owner. Additionally, they installed a rear speaker for use with the factory-supplied Dodge Music Master AM radio. 

Nestled below the stereo head unit is an optional Airtemp air conditioning system that was recently recharged. To the right is the original cardboard glove compartment, although the seller says it is in poor condition. On the other side of the dashboard is a two-spoke steering wheel out front of a horizontal 120-mph speedometer conjoined into a cluster with fuel level (non-functional), coolant temperature, oil pressure, and alternator gauges plus an analog clock. Seventy-eight thousand miles are stated on the odometer, that has knowingly eclipsed 100,000 before. Also optioned from the factory were power windows. 

At 7.2-liters, the 440ci V8 is a burly behemoth of an engine. During the 1990s, our examples motor was rebuilt. Recently, since coming out of storage, the carburetor was restored, the fuel system flushed, a new battery installed, and a new factory-supplied fuel pump were all put into the Polara. At the same time, the brake system underwent maintenance, and all of the fluids were replaced. An estimated 350 horsepower is sent from the V8, through the three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission and then on to the rear wheels after passing through a Sure Grip rear end. Performance is exemplary, given the age and maintenance upkeep. However, the seller states that an exhaust leak is audibly apparent when the hood is open. 

In 1968, this Polara arrived at the Claude Short Dodge dealership in Santa Monica, California. A copy of the original window sticker shows all of the optional equipment and standard equipment that totaled the cars MSRP out to $5,139. As a birthday gift for the original owner, she kept and regularly drove the Polara until trading it back to the same dealership in 1989. At that point, the dealership refurbished the car and used it as a promotional piece that won several awards which will be included with the sale. Additionally, the factory service manuals, a parts catalog, restoration book, several magazine articles, extra battery, spare tire, and photographs will be handed over with the sale. To find such an exclusive car from the sixties, in such prizeworthy condition is a rarity, which makes this Polara perhaps the most desirable of the 24 ever produced. 

To bid on this Dodge, click on the link here!  

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