smaller big cars would be hot in 1962, and the 1962 Dodge Polara
500 convertible was no different. Most buyers thought otherwise, but the
lighter, sportier new Darts and Polara 500s were hot on the street and
unbeatable on the dragstrip.
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car buyers were rushing to compacts by 1962, so Dodge seemed to have
good reason for drastically shrinking its standard cars that year.
Trouble was, size still mattered to big-car customers, so Dodge's "New
Lean Breed" was a tough sell. Oddball styling didn't help. As a result,
Dodge dropped 30,000 sales on top of 1961's 25-percent decline. Things
would have been worse had true big Dodges not been hastily reinstated
during the year.
The 1962 Dodge Polara featured standard bucket seats.
the downsized '62 Dodges that did sell were 12,268 top-line Polara
500s: hardtop coupe, hardtop sedan, and convertible with standard
bucket seats and a 305-horsepower 361 V-8. A 310-bhp version was
available, along with 330- and 335-bhp 383s and -- the real excitement
-- a big new 413 Ramcharger with up to 415 bhp. Though few Polaras got
that thumping "wedgehead," it made the light Dart two-door a dragstrip
terror, and Dodge soon ruled in quarter-mile contests. At least it was
consolation for the dreary sales performance.
For more classic convertibles of the 1960s and 1970s, see: For more information on all kinds of cars, try these:
- Classic Convertible Cars: See profiles on more than 70 classic convertibles.
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