Dodge Polara D-500 Hardtop Coupe

Dodge’s first D-500 model debuted at the start of the 1956 model year. The origin of the name is a bit controversial, as it suggests the Indianapolis 500, but the Dodge Indy 500 pace cars and series of replicas were all 1954 models. It has also been opined that 500 was the number of cars to be built for acceptance as a production model. Confusing the matter is the crossed-checkered-flag medallion placed on the cars. Regardless, the D-500 package, available on the Royal Lancer hardtop coupe and convertible, comprised a high performance V-8 (260 or 276 brake horsepower, 315-cubic inch Hemi), suspension and drivetrain parts drawn from Chrysler and DeSoto, a larger exhaust, and special ornamentation. Cars were given distinctive D-500 serial numbers. The package was extended to Coronet two-doors and later, without the heavy-duty suspension, to all models. Other versions of the D-500 engine ranged from 325 to 354 to 361 and 383 cubic inches from the 1957–1959 period.

For 1960, there were two D-500s, a 361-cubic inch, dual four-barrel wedge engine making 310 brake horsepower and a cross ram 383 wedge developing 330 brake horsepower. The cross ram placed two 4-barrels on opposite sides of the engine compartment, which were inducted through 30-inch tuned “ram tubes” that gave the engine extra boost.

Model PD2-H. 330 bhp, 383.0 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission, torsion bar independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 122.0 in.

Part of the RM Auctions for John Staluppi in December, 2012.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Teddy Pieper

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