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1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration
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PolaraPaul
Posted 2014-07-21 9:08 PM (#449971)
Subject: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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I thought I would share some pictures of the Dodge now home from the restoration shop. It was a tough one to find...had a lead in about 2000 and ended up with that very car ten years later. It was listed in the Harrisburg newspaper on a trip to Hershey in October, 2010. There are only a handful of the 512 made still in existence. Sean Machado had a picture of this car with an '80s restoration at the WPC meet back then. Small world. Chrysler Historical confirms it was sold new in Sacramento at John Drew Motors. Notice the license plate frame, obtained from Big M several years ago. I had it on the '61 Polara wagon, also sold there. The car was white with red interior and pretty standard in equipment. I added power windows and door locks, rear antenna, bumper guards front and back, and air conditioning. I changed the color to black. The red vinyl interior is unique to Dodge that year, as it is antiqued and one year only. Door panels have heat pressing and were made by SMS. Cloth interior was not an option in 1961 on the convertible, and it was tempting to do as the fabric is fun that year. As shown, the car underwent a rotisserie restoration and really had quite a solid body.



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(La femme 61 Dodge 011 (Small).JPG)



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Attachments 006 (Small).JPG (85KB - 129 downloads)
Attachments La femme 61 Dodge 011 (Small).JPG (71KB - 273 downloads)
Attachments 61 Polara 2-7-13 001 (Small).JPG (79KB - 166 downloads)
Attachments HPIM1326 (Small).JPG (79KB - 135 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1739 (Small).JPG (106KB - 166 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1740 (Small).JPG (115KB - 133 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1728 (Small).JPG (109KB - 140 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1730 (Small).JPG (132KB - 138 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1729 (Small).JPG (120KB - 142 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1731 (Small).JPG (107KB - 140 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1723 (Small).JPG (107KB - 145 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1725 (Small).JPG (112KB - 153 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1753 (Small).JPG (116KB - 134 downloads)
Attachments DSCN1743 (Small).JPG (112KB - 155 downloads)
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2014-07-22 12:15 AM (#449990 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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All I can say is WOW!! I wouldn't have even broken stride to check out the white one. But you have , in my opinion, accomplished mission impossible. That is drop dead gorgeous!! Power windows and "factory A/C", fabulous!! Well done. You must be very pleased!
Greg
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imopar380
Posted 2014-07-22 1:12 AM (#449993 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Outstanding!!! LOVE IT. Is it missing the aluminum seat shields or were they not offered on the 61 Polara? I have part of a set lying around but need completely restored.
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polara61
Posted 2014-07-22 4:21 AM (#449996 - in reply to #449993)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Location: Bräcke,Sweden
Very beautiful. Personally I would have left it white, but I'm biased since My car is white.
361 or 383 engine ?
Have you restored the grillemblem yourself ?


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1961plymouthfury
Posted 2014-07-22 6:13 AM (#450004 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Very nice
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60 Imp
Posted 2014-07-22 6:30 AM (#450006 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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Location: North Australia
The car is a credit to you. Well done making it what it is.

Steve.
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PolaraPaul
Posted 2014-07-22 8:27 AM (#450012 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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Thanks for the nice comments. The engine is a 361 bored out to 383 during rebuild. Original grill emblem is restored. No one is re-popping the plastic insert to my knowledge. Dodge did not have aluminum seat trim in 1961.
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wizard
Posted 2014-07-22 8:33 AM (#450013 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Really a sweet ride - well performed work!
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61forfun
Posted 2014-07-22 9:15 AM (#450017 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Gorgeous car, impeccable work. Love the color combo. I added power windows to my 61 pioneer and finally installed my 413 upgrade. Love 61s. So darn odd
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1961plymouthfury
Posted 2014-07-22 9:42 AM (#450021 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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I also wanted to comment that the car would also look really good the color black with a white convertible top
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The Chrysler Kid
Posted 2014-07-22 10:25 AM (#450026 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Location: Ocala, Florida
Looks great!
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JT Vincent
Posted 2014-07-22 4:05 PM (#450063 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Beauty!
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1958firemite
Posted 2014-07-25 9:32 PM (#450488 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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Nice job Polarapaul. Do you have picture of your 1961 Polara wagon.
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fenix
Posted 2014-07-25 10:35 PM (#450493 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Nice car, but not unique enough, I musta passed 3 or 4 of those verts on the way to Wal-Mart this afternoon. :-0 Stunning car, congrats.
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oldwood
Posted 2014-07-26 8:25 AM (#450524 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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That black really makes that Vert stand out. All of Virgil's cars have there own character. Thats great that this car survived a time when people turned there back on the FL cars.
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PolaraPaul
Posted 2014-08-01 10:18 AM (#451240 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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This is my 1961 Dodge Polara Wagon. It was sold at the same Dealership as the Convertible. John Drew Motors Sacramento, CA



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Attachments Pictures of all our cars 034 (Medium).JPG (221KB - 142 downloads)
Attachments 023 (Medium).JPG (142KB - 139 downloads)
Attachments Pictures of all our cars 033 (Medium).JPG (240KB - 147 downloads)
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1958firemite
Posted 2014-08-02 9:35 AM (#451379 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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That wagon is super cool. Thanks for the picture.
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Mike McCandless
Posted 2014-08-02 9:43 AM (#451380 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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Love the cars. Doubt you will ever part with the wagon, but I love it. Nice to see someone do it there way and not get too much lip about it from the original guys.
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1958firemite
Posted 2014-08-14 8:30 PM (#452951 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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Hey could you shoot some interior of the wagon picture. Much Thanks

Edited by 1958firemite 2014-08-14 8:33 PM
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WDJ40
Posted 2014-08-15 11:43 PM (#453087 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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I just found this thread. Wonderful cars, beautiful work and really gorgeous interior and exterior color combinations.

Edited by WDJ40 2014-08-15 11:44 PM
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FIN ME
Posted 2014-08-16 11:39 AM (#453159 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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VERY nice, PolaraPaul!

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PolaraPaul
Posted 2016-10-10 9:46 PM (#523109 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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Posts: 307
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Location: California/Wisconsin
Just had a correct roof rack put on.



(IMG_1341 (Medium).JPG)



(IMG_1342 (Medium).JPG)



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Attachments IMG_1341 (Medium).JPG (182KB - 111 downloads)
Attachments IMG_1342 (Medium).JPG (176KB - 110 downloads)
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oldwood
Posted 2016-10-10 10:55 PM (#523123 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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It doesn't get much more Exner than this!!! Greeeeeeat pair that you have there.
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Windsor59
Posted 2016-10-12 2:26 AM (#523251 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Wow super nice renovatiing at your Polara 61 conv.
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57burb
Posted 2016-10-17 3:39 PM (#523663 - in reply to #523251)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Paul, were you aware that Goodyear had an ad campaign in '61-62 that had several cars wearing translucent, illuminated tires?

One of the vehicles they featured was a .... white '61 Polara convertible.

Here is some info on the HAMB: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/the-mystery-of-the-illum...

And the photos I've found:







Edited by 57burb 2016-10-17 3:40 PM
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PolaraPaul
Posted 2016-12-10 1:27 PM (#528357 - in reply to #523663)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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Location: California/Wisconsin
That cool.
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RUSTORICHES
Posted 2016-12-10 8:25 PM (#528385 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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Great collection and workmanship on the restoration. I don't suppose Virgil Exner ever imaged a following such as this forum while designing these cars. Oldwood's comment of it doesn't get much more XNER than this inspired me to go searching and researching Virgil's history again to refresh my memory and I came across this article on the Corvette Killer here's one of the links http://www.motortrend.com/news/one-off-corvette-fighting-1960-plymo... I hope it works for you guys I've never seen it before Hope you all enjoy



(VirgilExner_02_2000-700x547.jpg)



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Attachments VirgilExner_02_2000-700x547.jpg (89KB - 84 downloads)
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Viper Guy
Posted 2016-12-10 10:01 PM (#528390 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: Re: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration



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Cool! Would love to have the car - would even give up my DeSoto for it.
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PolaraPaul
Posted 2016-12-11 10:32 AM (#528411 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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My 1956 D500 Dodge La Femme is in background. This was at the Concours de Elegance at St John, in Plymouth, Michigan in 2014. The La Femme received a trophy for the Best Use of Color at the show and it included Virgil Exner Jr. as a judge for the Forward Look cars displayed.

Edited by PolaraPaul 2016-12-11 10:43 AM




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Attachments 1-29-15 ALL PHOTOS 1003 (Medium).JPG (192KB - 80 downloads)
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1958firemite
Posted 2019-01-12 2:02 PM (#576662 - in reply to #449971)
Subject: RE: 1961 Dodge Polara Convertible Restoration


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Thanks
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