The near-perfection of the Dodge Polara
History is full of instances where a certain product or person failed to achieve greatness by just a shade of an inch. And someone who is no stranger to near misses at greatness is Simon Cowell, the former "American Idol" host and current emcee of "The X Factor." For example, in a recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine, he discussed the near fame of British boy band Five, one of the many he's seen fail to take the world by storm. According to Cowell, the group had one hit in America, but was never able to capitalize, though they had the opportunity.
Cowell says the band turned down "Bye Bye Bye," the song many of us remember – or chose to forget – that marked the zenith of N'Sync pandamonium. The group passed on the song, leaving it to N'Sync, and the rest is history.
Dodge had similar high hopes for its top-of-the-line Dodge Polaras of the mid-1960s. But, according to How Stuff Works, the car that was ultimately produced was far different than the ones the engineers had originally envisioned. For example, the '64 Dodge Polara 500 model was supposed to have a unique side trim with ribbed texture, a Polara 500 nameplate in the front-fender casting and a host of other performance features.
However, this version of the car was never put on the market. What resulted was a full-size line that was shortened to fit a compact wheelbase, which left the car with an in-between look that wasn't able to appeal to the wider market.
Still, the cars have found the love of collectors in part because of their idiosyncrasies. In 2008, Old Cars Weekly profiled '63 Dodge Polara owner Kevin Pfaff, who loves his version for its dual-quad carburetor, 60's Mopar-style interior and a memorable front with personality.
And since it was top of the line in its day, Pfaff is more than happy with the extras in his vehicle. According to the source, his car has "340 lbs. of extras, including a Sure-Grip differential, power steering, power brakes, electric windows, an AM/FM radio, a heater, a Sun tachometer and seat belts."
And with the 440ci engine he installed, he may have finally perfected the car's performance.