I am so excited to finally be able to share the story of how the car you so often see on our site, our 1964 Dodge Polara, dubbed, "The PolarBear", came to be. With the release of this three-part series, "The Polara Origins", I am also releasing the newest shirt and sticker to our merch lineup!
The Texas Original PolarBear shirt and Sticker! Order Yours Today!
When I started dating my wife Kate, I very quickly learned of her family’s love of old cars and especially Mopars.
She owns a 1966 Jeepster Commando (see the Hagarty “Why I Drive” video below!), along with a 1970 Dodge Charger 500 (we have since sold to her brother). Her brother has a 1985 Jeep Scrambler, and a bitchin’ 1971 Plymouth Duster dubbed, “Project Plym”. Kate’s dad (who started the Mopar obsession) has a 1971 Plymouth Satellite with a 440 Magnum big block, his last car in his long history of owning numerous hot rod Mopars.
Then along I came. I always had an affinity for cars and trucks. At the time I started dating Kate, I was wanting a classic car I could put my own stamp on. A car not too far gone, and something still drivable. I had never considered a Mopar project, as my family has pretty much always had GM or Ford vehicles.
How I came to be the owner of a Dodge Polara:
A few months into dating Kate, her brother, Russ, had purchased a 1964 Dodge Polara to flip and sell for profit. The car had sat in a field in Waco and was kept running by its previous owner. Kate’s brother got it running well with a few new parts and a good tune-up. The car was now driveable however, due to all the rubber bushings in the front suspension being rotted out, it was a scary ride.
After Russ touched up the paint, waxed it, and cleaned up the engine bay, Russ moved the car to a handful of various locations around town, posted it on craigslist, with no interested buyers. We figured this had to do with the car being a 4-door.
After a few months of the car sitting for sale, I finally made up my mind that the Polara was the project car I had been wanting. When I told Russ, he was so stoked about the car staying with the family, he cut me a great deal which included a trade of a Harbor Freight press and a nice gun. I could not have been happier.
Our first few months:
Over the next few months, I replaced the worn bushings, kept the Dodge cleaned up, and started to dream about how I would rebuild her. (insert Days of Thunder Car talk movie scene). We drove the car as much as we could to car shows, to work and back, and on Sunday drives through the countryside. Nothing quite cruises like the old, big-bodied Mopars with their torsion bar front suspension.
As time went on, the look I wanted in my mind slowly morphed from a lowered custom with a white paint job with red scallops to a solid front axle gasser drag car into the vintage race car. A few things helped me realize this change that really drove home the look in my mind.
I removed the chrome beauty rings from the red steel Mopar Police Wheels. I had already determined I was going to keep the steel wheel with “dog dish” style hubcaps, but once I removed those rings and saw the look of the black wall tires and white lettering, my vision came to life.
The final re-assurance of my vision for the car was coming across a YouTube video from the series, House of Muscle, featuring a 1964 Ford Galaxy Starliner that was built by Fabricator, Ryan Kertz, at his shop at Sonoma Raceway in California. The paint scheme of the Starliner was exactly what I was envisioning for the Polara. An aged paint job with a red roof and big numbers on the doors. Patina’d to perfection.
A few years passed and in 2018 my wife was selected to represent RedKap Workwear as their featured artist at SEMA Show in Las Vegas. RedKap offered to fly us out to Vegas for the show but we had put a couple of upgrades into the Polara and were itching for a road trip to test out the Dodge. We were elated when Red Kap agreed to sponsor our Route 66 to Vegas road trip in lieu of paying for plane tickets! (Check out the Instagram posts to see the trip and all the cool places we went to along the way!)
As you can see, the Polara has had a destiny of becoming the look it is today since day one! Be sure to follow along in Part Two and Three in this three-part series!
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