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1963 Dodge Polara 500

October 2005 Mopar of the Month

Bill writes: My Dodge was finally re-completed in November 2004
after a major delay due to career and many mechanical setbacks.
1963 Dodge Polara 500, passenger's side at Ramchargers shop

The Polara 500 was moved from Michigan to Los Angeles in May 2000 and sat in either a car trailer or storage until September 2002. I moved the car into a friend’s garage in Sunland, CA where assembly was completed.

1963 Dodge Polara 500, driver's side front

I started the engine in June 2003 only to find the original block was cracked, propagating, and loosing lots of coolant between the middle freeze plugs on the passenger bank. The car was moved to Royal Oak, MI in May 2004 after another career move where the painfully long task of disassembly and removing the engine began.

1963 Dodge Polara 500, interior 1963 Dodge Polara 500, interior
1963 Dodge Polara 500, interior 1963 Dodge Polara 500, interior

After becoming thoroughly disgusted with not only this problem but problems on two other engines (I have incriminating evidence photos) built by this once reputable Mopar engine builder on the North side of Indianapolis, this engine and the two others were sent to Muscle Motors in East Lansing. Mike, Eric, and Pat at Muscle Motors are absolute professionals.

1963 Dodge Polara 500, 383 engine This engine dynoed 601hp @6100 and 564 ft lbs @5200 (see right:) 1963 Dodge Polara 500, dyno figures

This is a 1969 383 block with the 1958 to early 1963 '324 cylinder heads. Most folks use both block and heads for boat anchors. I wanted to see what could be done with OE castings that don't say HEMI or MAX WEDGE ($$$) rather than go the more common route of buying aftermarket heads. And I still retain a look that is pretty much stock.

1963 Dodge Polara 500, driver's side 1963 Dodge Polara 500, driver's side

I haven’t taken the 500 to the local strip in Milan MI yet. I'm thinking with 9 inch slicks and a 4-speed, there’s no way it will hook up for decent 60 ft. times.

1963 Dodge Polara 500, front view

1963 Dodge Polara 500, passenger side front close up 1963 Dodge Polara 500, front view underside close up
Anyway, I don’t really care.

It was more fun cruising up and down Woodward Avenue for 2005’s Dream Cruise
with heads-up action between the traffic lights every night of the week before Saturday.
1963 Dodge Polara 500, rear driver side view

Now that the 500 is finished I’m concentrating on finishing my black 1963 Polara.

Gary - Thanks for keeping this awesome Web site going!

See the Polara 500’s Works in Progress Web Page.


Thanks Bill!

Great job! Beautiful Polara 500! Well worth the wait!   smile!

Gary H.


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