Rare Barn Find 1970 Dodge Polara 500 Convertible Hits The Strip

First Time Out In 20-Years...

There’s an undeniable allure in breathing new life into an old, neglected vehicle. The challenges of restoring a car kept in a barn can be daunting, especially when faced with rust and a stubborn engine. However, even if the car is not pristine, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.

1970 Dodge Polara 500 Convertible. (Race Your Ride).

A prime example is the recent revival of a 1970 Dodge Polara, which had been tucked away in a barn for two decades and brought back to life for an exhilarating adventure on the drag strip.

Despite its long hibernation, the Polara emerged surprisingly well-preserved. Its black paint still gleamed, devoid of visible rust, and all the chrome trim remained intact. However, the convertible top had seen better days, and the 7.2-liter (440 cubic-inch) V8 engine desperately needed a thorough overhaul. While it may not have been the ideal setup for drag racing, the owner’s enthusiasm and passion for pushing the limits of this classic were genuinely admirable.

Admittedly, Polara’s performance on the drag strip didn’t break any records. With its 440 V8, TorqueFlite transmission, and 3.23 gear ratio, the car’s weight of over 4,200 lbs. presented a challenge. Nevertheless, the owner managed to complete the quarter-mile in 16 seconds, even with a malfunctioning cylinder. That’s quite impressive, considering the circumstances.

But let’s talk about the power of this Mopar masterpiece. In 1970, the 440 V8, the flagship engine of the Polara lineup, was slightly less powerful than the comparable RB engine found in the Dodge Charger and Challenger. While the latter boasted 375 or 390 horsepower, the Polara featured a detuned version producing a respectable 350 horses. Period tests revealed that the two-door model could conquer the quarter-mile in just under 15 seconds. With an engine rebuild, this convertible gem will undoubtedly perform even better.

What sets this Dodge Polara apart, however, is its rarity. Although the Polara enjoyed popularity in 1970, with a total production of 50,400 units, most were hardtops or four-door sedans. Even the station wagon variant found around 6,600 buyers. In contrast, only a mere 842 customers opted for the convertible version. Regrettably, like many other Mopars from that era, numerous Polara models are left to decay in junkyards and forgotten barns.

1970 Dodge Polara 500 Convertible. (Race Your Ride).

It’s been years since the sight of a Polara cruising down public roads, which makes the owner’s commitment to restoring and refreshing this classic all the more exciting. Hopefully, this beauty won’t spend its retirement years locked away in a garage but rather tear up the drag strip on weekends where its V8 engine can truly roar to life.

Source: AutoEvolution via Race Your Ride

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for,, and but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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