The Polara was not the most successful Dodge model, and it was born due to a misunderstanding of a GM statement.
Chrysler's management heard a rumor that Chevrolet will downsize their cars and ordered Dodge's design department to rush a smaller Polara into production. Since it wasn't a car built over a chassis, it was challenging to meet the request, and the designers had to cut some corners to meet the deadlines. They burned the midnight oil and drained gallons of coffee, but in the end, they introduced the completely new Polara in 1962. It was built over a B-platform, with subframes connected to the body panels.
The overall design was good, with a front fascia that featured a pair of headlights inside the chromed grille and another pair mounted on the front fenders. They resembled the image of a space shuttle since the U.S. was involved in the space-race. The marketing department chose the Polara name after the "Polaris" star. In coupe shape, the Polara featured specially profiled fenders, with gutter-like elements spread from fenders to the door panels.
Inside, the designers installed a V-shaped, two-spoke steering wheel. The instrument cluster featured five dials and a linear speedometer placed on top of it. Its push-button transmission was inspired by sci-fi literature, and the whole futuristic concept was an incredible achievement, considering the short time when the project had to be finished.
Built on a 116" (2.946 mm) wheelbase platform, the Polara was fitted with existing engines from Chrysler's parts bin. Power came from a 5.9-liter engine, which was the only option. Later on, the carmaker realized its mistake and ordered the designers to make a longer vehicle, and the 1963 model was introduced on a 119" (3.022 mm) platform.