Power windows? Yep...the first owner ordered them, and Elliott kept them.
At another northern Alabama Mopar show, this time in Huntsville, Elliott asked around and got the name of The Carriage Works, who restored the 413-powered ’62 Plymouth Sport Fury convertible seen in our July issue. The Carriage Works’ Tim Snitger was there that day and, before long, the Polara 500 moved to his shop for a 1½-year restoration. “I wanted it to be the best and out-look anything on the road,” says Elliott. “That’s the way I had it restored.”
Fortunately, all of the ’63’s original pieces were all there. No replacement, reproduction, or fabricated sheetmetal is to be seen anywhere—they’re the same stampings that Hamtramck Assembly welded together nearly 50 summers ago. Same for the Stage II Max Wedge and the not-reproduced Polara 500 trim pieces.
No power steering or brakes here, just like on the lighter-weight Dodge and Plymouth Max W
The first time that Elliott showed it, at last year’s Huntsville Mopar show, he scored Best in Show. Then, after getting a haul from The Carriage Works up to Ohio, Elliott entered it in the Mopar Nationals, where it took first place in the B-Body Original ’62-’67 class.
And he just might win that trophy again this year. “They have invited me to bring it back this year,” says Elliott. “I don’t know whether my wife’s going to let me do it, because it’s kind of expensive to trailer that car all the way up there to put it in the show, but I’m hoping to do that.”
The odometer shows less that 19,000 original miles, and Elliott hasn’t put very many on it since the restoration was completed. As the lighter-weight, Stage II-powered ’63 Dodge 330s were running consistently in the low to mid 12-scond range on the quarter-mile, this Polara 500 will likely run 13.00 in the quarter without breathing hard!
Elliott, his wife Florene (and four-legged friend Layla) pose with their Polara 500 outsid
The Stage II Ramcharger was the capper on a very successful 1963 for The Dodge Boys Thanks to quality improvements that led to Ma Mopar’s first five-year, 50,000-mile powertrain warranty (which Max Wedge cars didn’t have), the B-Body’s Elwood Engel-influenced restyling, the A-Body’s makeover into the Dart and the “family-size” C-Body 880 and Custom 880 in the lineup from the get-go, Dodge had a winning sales year. And, thanks to the Stage II Max Wedge, Dodge cleaned up on the strip, too.
’63 Dodge Polara 500 convertible
Owned by: Florene and Elliott Parker
Town Creek, Alabama
- Engine: The original Stage II 426 Ramcharger, restored by R&R Speed and Machine, Huntsville, Alabama.
- Transmission: Restored original 727 TorqueFlite with dash-mounted pushbutton shifter restored by Pat Heron, Huntsville, Alabama.
- Rearend: Restored original 8 3/4-inch with a 3.91-geared Sure Grip.
Dodge’s Exner-era weirdness gave way to the Engel era’s slab-sided styling for 1963. Chrom
- Suspension: Restored original: (Front) Heavy-duty longitudinal torsion bars and tubular shocks with an anti-sway bar. (Rear) Heavy-duty leaf springs with tubular shocks.
- Brakes: Restored original non power-assisted drum and shoe brakes all around.
- Wheels and Tires: 14 x 5.5-inch steel wheels wear a set of reproduction BFGoodrich 7.35-14 whitewalls, and a set of "spinner" wheel covers that Polara 500s and Custom 880s shared back then.
- Body: Low-mileage original ’63 Dodge B-Body convertible unibody restored by The Carriage Works, Huntsville, Alabama, using all its original sheetmetal.
- Paint: Black acrylic enamel, sprayed on by The Carriage Works, Huntsville, Alabama.
- Interior: Restored to factory-fresh condition by Richard Cunningham at The Carriage Works, Huntsville, Alabama. Auto Custom Carpets made the repro press-molded carpets that just dropped right in, as well as the Dodge-logo floor mats atop them.
Warranty? What warranty? Max Wedge-powered Mopars like Elliott’s Polara 500 got this glove
Undo four bolts a side and uncap a ton of power.