We enjoy all Mopars, but like most people, each of us at Mopar Muscle has a favorite or two. Generally, the favorites are Mopars that we once had, or some we wish we had in the past, or simply a model known for racing heritage or street prowess. Scott is fond of the mid-'70s A-Bodies and Randy loves the '70 'Bee he's been driving, but for this author, the '64 Dodge hardtop owned during the mid-'80s was a favorite of mine. So when I spotted a good deal on a '64 Polara basket case in the car corral at the 2011 Mopar Nats, I had to figure out a way to get it back to Florida.

The first '64 Dodge I owned was a Polara hardtop just like this one. I traded a '69 GTX for it back in 1986, and after a lot of work it was a pretty respectable street car equipped with mini-tubs, 5.13 gears, a 727 TorqueFlite, and a high-compression 440 engine with a big flat-tappet camshaft. During college, the coolant froze while the car was stored during a cold Indiana winter, cracking the block and forcing the sale of the car.

Ever since then, I've had my eyes out for another '64 Dodge hardtop, but just haven't been able to find a solid car for the right deal--until now. While cruising the car coral at the Nats, I saw this car on a trailer, mostly disassembled, and without the engine or transmission. Evidently it had been taken apart for paint and bodywork, but after being painted it just sat and the owner didn't have the time or inclination to finish it. After sitting for several years, his wife said it had to go, so he brought it to the Nats with an asking price of $4,000.

Knowing the owner would negotiate, I wanted to purchase the car but had no way to get it back to Florida. Fortunately, with the help of friends Matt Koops, Scott Kowalski, and Bob Rynes, transportation was secured on Matt's open car trailer, which forced Matt to make a huge sacrifice and drive his original '69 Charger 500 back home instead of trailering it. So with transportation arranged, we quickly went back to the car coral and found the owner of the Dodge. Ready to deal, the car's owner said to make him an offer, even a low one, because he didn't want to take the car home. Offering $2,000, he reluctantly accepted, and Mopar Muscle had another project car.

Since we got the car in a state of disassembly, and missing the original poly 318 and automatic, there are several directions we could go with this '64 Dodge. Of course it's tempting to build a street/strip car similar to the one I previously owned, but building a dedicated race car is appealing as well. The Nostalgia Super Stock drag racing class has grown in popularity and looks like a good way to have fun, so we're considering that as well. Visit moparmusclemagazine.com and let us know your thoughts on how we should build our latest project, we want to make sure we do it right the second time around.