Rare 1970 Dodge Polara Convertible Emerges After Two Decades, Conquering the Drag Strip -253

Getting a barn-kept vehicle back on the road is a difficult task if it's been neglected for too long. And it's usually the rust and the stuck engine that cause most problems. Things can get easier when the car is still in one piece, but you'd still need to complete a long list of checkups and repairs.

But it doesn't mean you can't take the said classic out for a spin unless it's in tip-top condition. The 1970 Dodge Polara you see here, for instance, was put through its paces after spending no fewer than 20 years in a barn.

And I'm not talking about a drive around the block. Nope, the owner decided to give it some high-revving action at the drag strip.

Granted, the Mopar doesn't look like it spent two decades off the road. The black paint still shines, there's no visible rust, and all the chrome trim is still on the car. But the soft top has seen better days, and the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) V8 engine needs a thorough makeover to run like new.

It's not the ideal scenario for drag racing, but hey, I love it when enthusiasts take the wild road.

Of course, this Polara is not outstandingly fast. While the 440 V8, the TorqueFlite transmission, and the 3.23 gear ratio are all suitable for quarter-mile fun, the combo isn't exactly ideal for a car that tips the scales at more than 4,200 pounds (1,905 kg). But the owner still managed to cover the distance in 16 seconds while running with a bad cylinder.

How powerful is this Mopar? Well, the 440 V8, the nameplate's range-topping unit in 1970, wasn't quite as potent as the similar RB engine offered in the Dodge Charger and Challenger. While the latter came with 375 or 390 horsepower on tap, the Polara featured a detuned version good for 350 horses.

Period tests show the two-door could run the quarter-mile in just under 15 seconds, so this drop-top will do better once the engine is rebuilt.

But the really cool thing about this Dodge is that it's a rare classic. Yes, the Polara was quite the popular rig in 1970 and moved 50,400 units, but most were hardtops and four-door sedans. Even the station wagon variant was relatively popular, with around 6,600 examples delivered.

Only 842 customers selected the convertible. And yes, because the Polara is as sought-after as other Mopars from the era, many are rotting away in junkyards and barns.

I haven't seen one on public roads in years, so the fact that the owner intends to give it a refresh makes it that much more exciting. And hopefully, he won't give up on taking it to the drag strip during weekends. These cars must rev their V8s and not spend their retirement years in garages.

Oh, and if you're unfamiliar with the Polara, this drop-top is part of the fourth and final generation, which Dodge produced from 1969 to 1973. It's closely related to yet another underrated full-size from the era, the Dodge Monaco.

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