A Shooting Star: The Dodge Polara
Given how technologically advanced we are these days it’s easy to lose sight of the excitement that people were experiencing during the 1950s when the “space race” was under way between the United States and Russia. Celestial matters were on the minds of many people, and this was not lost on people intent on selling American cars.
As a result, the names of new models often reflected this growing interest in space and space travel. One such vehicle was the Dodge Polara which was named after the star Polaris.
The Dodge Polara was introduced for the 1960 model year as the top-of-the-line full-size car offered by the Dodge division of Chrysler. The first generation of the Polara lasted for just two years, 1960 and 1961. During this time the car was offered as a two-door coupe, a two door convertible, a four-door sedan and a four-door station wagon. The cars were 217 inches long and had a 122 inch wheelbase.
Hints of the “Forward Look” design that was pioneered by Virgil Exner back in 1957 were still evident in 1960 on the Polara with the signature “jet pod” taillights and tailfins though they had been trimmed down a bit.
The second generation of the Dodge Polara was introduced for the 1962 model year and the car got a whole new look.It was downsized and it was smaller and lighter and classified as an intermediate car rather than a full-size vehicle. The Dodge 880 then became the top-of-the-line full-size car within the Dodge line.
The Dodge Polara remained in production through the 1973 model year. After that it was replaced by the Dodge Monaco, but the Polara made its mark and it is a model that is of particular interest to many classic Dodge fans.