Industrial Strength is back and badder than ever at RK Motors Charlotte! It's no secret that I flat-out love these homely early '60s Mopars with the race-ready motors that you could buy off the showroom floor. This matching-numbers, 1-of-5 1963 Dodge Polara 500 is probably the highest quality, most documented, and most historical one we've had yet. And it's black - nasty, I'll-see-you-in-Hell black.
Imagine, if you will, that it's 1963, and you just bought a new 409 Chevy Impala SS. You're king of the streets, right? Then the sad, sad day comes when the guy who bought this sinister Polara rolls up next to you at a stop light and it's all but over before the light even goes green. 426 cubic inches, 11:1 compression, dual quads on a cross ram intake, and a set of 3.91 gears all conspire to put train lengths on your Impala EVERY TIME, leaving you wondering how the hell such a factory built monster could EVER have been released on the public streets.
Well, at least the Impala was prettier, right?
This particular Polara 500 was delivered new in Broken Bow, Nebraska on December 15, 1962, and spent the first year of its life beating up unsuspecting Impalas and Galaxies on the streets. Then, in 1964, the original owner started having problems making the payments on his new Polara, and sold it to a gentleman who promptly shoved it into a barn and stored it for the next 30 years. In 1994, it was discovered by Norm Brady, who had Galen Govier authenticate the car and restored it. The engine was rebuilt by NASCAR driver Alan Kulwici's father before being sold to the current owner for the first time (yeah, he's owned it twice - it's that kind of car). Additional restoration was done, the car was detailed, and two other people owned it, one of whom installed the 100% authentic interior, before the current owner BOUGHT IT BACK. So it has changed hands seven times, but only six people have owned it, and we have documents to back it all up. This is a car that definitely inspires very strong emotions and at this point, the car is in 100% factory original condition. In fact, at the Norwich, New York Memorial Day show, this car took Best of Show honors. Today it shows just 49,938 original miles.
The fender tag breakdown is as follows:
1204 Scheduled production date: Tuesday December 4, 1962
0323 Shipping order number
64 Car line/model: DODGE V8/Polara 5002
Body type: 2-door hardtop
TR 65 Trim grade/Front Seat: Polara 500/buckets – vinyl
M 6 Interior color: Alabaster
P B Roof paint: Onyx (black)
N B Body paint: Onyx (black)
T M Body molding insert color: Ivory (Polara 500)
A 2 Transmission: Torqueflite Automatic
PUSHBUTTONG 1 AM radio with front speaker
J 5 Front heater with defroster
Q 9 Engine: 426 2x4 barrel, 415 horsepower V8 - Max Performance
LCY 2 Order type: sold car
The black flanks on this car are outstanding. I've said it a million times here: if you're going to paint it black, you'd better make it perfect. They clearly spent a ton of time getting the sheet-metal on this car into outstanding condition before applying that inky black paint, because there's nary a ripple or wave anywhere to be seen. Panel gaps are excellent and the reflections in the surface are undistorted and a mile deep. This really is show-winning bodywork, and the understated body of the car is strongly emphasized by the quality of the work. That ivory-colored insert running nose to tail gives it a sleek, race-ready stance and breaks up all that black very nicely. Everything was expertly done, and although the work was done quite some time ago, it looks fresh and beautiful today, a tribute to the outstanding care this car has received.
The trim is understated, a big deal for an early-60s car. It's not dripping with chrome which is why I like these cars so much. They definitely spoke softly. The chrome on this car has all been professionally restored to better-than-new condition and still looks excellent today. The stainless pieces are straight and free of dings and blemishes, and it has all clearly spent a lot of time on the polishing wheel. The emblems have been properly restored, and all the glass and other lenses are clear. The glass is original stuff, and you'll notice that the rear windows carry vintage racing stickers. Too cool.
Under the hood is where the party is, and you won't be disappointed with this car. In 1963, Chrysler upped the stakes in the horsepower wars by boring the 413 out to 4.25 inches, making for 426 cubic inches. The new 11:1 compression 426 Max Wedge engines like the one in this car were rated at 415 horsepower and 470 pounds of torque thanks to TRW aluminum pistons. Standard gear with either 426 Max Wedge motor were high capacity air cleaners for the dual four-barrel carburetors, redesigned cylinder heads with larger ports, streamlined intake valves, enlarged exhaust valves, and a high-life, longer-duration camshaft. The intake is aluminum, and features a short 15-inch ram tube, and the trick header-style exhaust manifolds that dump into a factory supplied H-pipe with cutouts! Race ready? Oh hell yes.
The engine compartment in this car has been fully detailed to show specs, and shows today as well as it did when it was new. The orange paint on the block is blemish free with just the right amount of gloss. The high-capacity air cleaners are the correct satin black with yellow and red warning labels, and the “Ramcharger 426” labels on the valve covers are perfect reproductions. All the hoses and clamps are correct, and the exhaust manifolds have been coated to look like new forever. There's a new red cap battery in the proper location, and a correct ignition coil mounted on the intake. Wiring is highly detailed, and it just looks like an all-business piece of machinery in that black engine bay. Oh, and it runs as great as it looks, with a gnarly idle and a sharp exhaust note that means there will be no sneaking around in this beast. Scary? Only if you own something other than a Max Wedge Polara.
The engine is coded and documented as follows:
4267M-P (426 cubic inch Max Wedge)10-29-18 (built October 29, 18th engine built)Block casting number: AAQA 3R
Head casting number: 2402286 (with correct 4-bolt valve covers)
Carburetors: Correct #3447 Carter AFB 4-barrelIntake manifold: Correct early style 2402726-1
The rest of the drivetrain consists of a rebuilt heavy duty pushbutton Torqueflite 3-speed automatic feeding a Sure-Grip rear with 3.91 gears. The chassis has also been fully restored and detailed, and is correct from the shock absorbers to the brakes to the gas tank. The anti-squeak springs are wrapped around the brake drums, and the factory-style H-pipe with bolt-on cutouts is in place. All the lines and hoses are, of course, new, too. The tires are 235/75/14 radials on original steel wheels with the correct hubcaps - I even like the whitewalls, which only add to the sleeper effect. Hell, I even like that they're a little yellow with age. Who's going to tangle with this beast on the street? Not I, that's for sure.
Inside is that all-new interior that was done just a few years ago, perfectly replicating the original black and white (onyx and alabaster, if you prefer) vinyl setup. The detailing is absolutely gorgeous - can you imagine anyone building an interior like this today? Wow! The console has a brushed aluminum lid, the two-tone steering wheel has been restored, and the gauges look like new. You sit on a set of new black and white seat covers over new foam for a new-car feel, while the carpets and headliner are exact duplicates of the original stuff. The rear bench has a bucket seat appearance, but easily holds three passengers for some hair-raising rides in this beast. An accessory tach and oil pressure gauge have been added under the dash, along with vintage seatbelts. All the weather stripping and window felts have been replaced, too, so the car seals up tight and the doors close with a solid sound. In the trunk, you'll find a correct spare, trunk mat and jack setup.
Documentation on this car is extensive. First there's the aforementioned Govier Report that breaks down the equipment on this car. There is also an original Chrysler Corporation Broadcast Sheet and duplicate IBM punch card. The original owner's state of Nebraska title is included, along with copies of titles and purchase agreements from subsequent owners as well. There are specs on the Carter carburetors from when they were rebuilt and calibrated, a wiring diagram, and photo documentation of much of the restoration work. There are also the original owner's manual, sales literature, Music Master radio operator's manual, as well as an options and accessories brochure. This car has appeared in several magazine spreads, including the March 2004 issue of “Musclecar Enthusiast.”
If you missed some of the other Industrial Strength Mopars that have come through here, including that killer red Max Wedge Belvedere we featured a few months ago, don't hesitate on this one. There is a large and enthusiastic audience for these cars, and they always generate a lot of attention. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who appreciates these cars for what they are - a standard-setting piece of American performance that other automakers just couldn't touch. Say what you want about Ford inventing the pony car or John DeLorean inventing the muscle car with the GTO, but as far as I'm concerned, these Industrial Strength Mopars were the reason the other guys had to get the big guns out in the first place. There aren't many finer examples in existence than this car, and today it is a one-of-a-kind piece that belongs in the finest collection. Call us today.
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What Customers Are Saying
First I would like to say that the staff at RK Motors were very professional and courteous. I was very impressed with the write-up and the details that were presented on this car. The photo shoot was amazing and the video was outstanding. Tony Klein, the consignment manager was amazing to work with. Tony always answered all of my questions within a timely manner. I was impressed with the time frame in which my vehicle was sold. I would and have recommended RK Motors to all of my car enthusiasts. Thank You RK Motors for a great job!