You Should Buy This Dodge Polara on a Dare
The car: 1961 Dodge Polara
Location: Burbank, California, USA
Original Ad: Click here
In 1960, Harvard researchers Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert began a research program called the Harvard Psilocybin Project to test the effects of LSD. With the help of poet Allen Ginsberg, they made an effort to introduce the drug to intellectuals and artists and see if the drug could help folks “turn on” and reach a new level of consciousness. One can only wonder if Virgil Exner, Vice President of Styling at Chrysler, was a participant of this study when he designed the 1961 Dodge.
Exner was the industry’s golden boy in 1957 when his “Forward Look” snagged the styling leadership helm from General Motors. Every brand, from Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler, and Imperial had low beltlines and rooflines, and soaring fins, making the rest of the industry (yes, we’re talking about you, ’57 Chevy) look dowdy in comparison.
But all was not well in Highland Park. Increased demand caught Chrysler off-guard, and the rush to meet demand resulted in poor build quality. A recession the following year, combined with Chrysler’s newfound poor reputation, killed sales. And then GM debuted its 1959 line with fins even taller than Chrysler’s. What Exner didn’t realize was that Atomic Age outrageousness (witness the 1959 Cadillac) was on its way out, so when the 1961s were rolled out, it was obvious that Exner was out of touch . . . if not on drugs. With reverse-slanted fins and a sad face, the 1961 Dodge paled in comparison to anything from GM, all of which looked fantastic in comparison. The Dodge was available as a Dart (in Seneca, Pioneer, and Phoenix trim levels) and Polara, with the latter being the larger and more deluxe of the two; it also had nifty taillights, almost resembling an ingrown toenail. And if you think the Dodge is ugly, perhaps you should take a look at the 1961 Plymouth.
But Atomic-Age weirdness does have its redeeming qualities, which is why this 1961 Polara on eBay – a “car of distinction at a moderate price” – caught our eye. It’s local to Petrolicious and while this four-door sedan may not be the most desirable vehicle out there but it makes for an affordable collectible with tons of character. Equipped with the base two-barrel 361, push-button TorqueFlite automatic transmission, and rare power windows and air conditioning, the Polara is a nice older restoration with a repaint and the interior recovered in NOS material so that it “is ready to drive, show and enjoy.” We dare you to find another cheap collectible that is as interesting as this.
If you know of a great, stylish car for sale and would like us to feature it, let us know!
Petrolicious makes no claim as to the accuracy of the information contained in the car’s original listing, nor will it be held responsible for any errors in said information. If you’re interested in this car, do your homework and research it extensively before you buy.