1971 dodge polara wagon destiny

Xavi3r

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Hi,

As some of you may know i have a 71 polara wagon, 318ci, all original.

I have the car for 10 ? 15+? years now and it is time to take a decision.

The car was perfect when I got it nothing to do.

Now, after so much years outiside it starts yo become a wreck.

I did a very bad decision years ago and now time to pay the price : car was outisde under a plastic wrap so water did the job and now there are holes over the doors... this is only NOW that I made what sould have been made so much years ago... sometime my brain do not connect.

( i fabricated a cover that do not let the plastic wrap touch the body and let air pass for the car to dry.. )

Just so you know tires have not been replaced and are holding air at the right pressure...

In france you can't have papers for it without made something illegal and honestly there is now so much work to do that this eventuality slowly goes away.

The car has to pass an inspection and cant be driven now. Starts and run ok but just in the garden.

- engine bay is now all rusty ( was ok when I got it ). Last time i cheked ( oh i forgot to tell that I can only see the car like 1 day in a year.. ) a squerrel mad a nest in the admission ( cleaned ) and i placed an alternative tank to start the car.

- interior is ok, complete in front, have the modling in rear but no bench ( was a hearse).

Carpet is dead. Vinyl roof is dead.

- chrome bumpers are ok but front has a 2cm rust area. Valence is very nice. Rear is good. Like are good except right rear as a broken red glass ( my bad).


- body is still overall good for everyone lookinf for traditional parts : door perfect, fenders perfect, truck good, rear fender good, underside still ok but a lot a rust in front since there is an infiltration ( reminds me.that i forgot to put rust stop... ) but no holes for now.

2 bad areas : bottom of windshield pillar as a hole ( was the only thing when i got the car ) and holes now in the space between roof and rear doors and windows. Not large but long, you can put fingers in it. In my opinion if you repair this the body is like perfect.

Windshield is broken ( small, driveable but broken).

So now. It is time to make something.

I do not want to pit money in a car the cannot be legaly on the road. Just so you know i already replaced the brake system once ( cailpers and tubes ) and i think that after so much time it will be to de redone again, after 0 miles !

1st option : part out. I can take time on next year vacation to do it. But my biggest concern is the body that is in too much great shape to be scrapped. I can cut it properly but what for if no one wants parts...

2nd option : i can buy a roller with tilte and made this car live by it.

But it has to be a 1971, polara or monaco car because all the parts match. The best would be a roller without engine and trans and interior but in great shape, i cant do body work or can't spend money to save a 318 and a dashboard.

I saw some interresting car for sale but nothing that matches now. And this will be a least a 5000$ joke just for the ride overseas...

Best would be a wagon like it but 4 doors is cool too.

For exemple the was a 1969 polara wagon for sale with justdonated on ebay for around 1500$, if it was a 1971 it could have been a good deal ( but there was no title).

3rd option : ( just thought while writing this ). Maybe i can buy a title why plates to someone in the usa and try to go with belgium to have a title. Ok it is not right but not wrong regarding in saving a car. The only concern would be the customs i have to check that.
But that would imply a lot of work and some money to put it back on the road.


Let me know what you think.
 

Xavi3r

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Last picture taken 1 week ago.
20220731_200511.jpg
 

Xavi3r

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No the car is violet, i would say plum crazy but it is strange. I will ask my brother for the tag
 

Xavi3r

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Hum... my broyher just told me no tag. I must have removed in a time i was thinking to switch with a plymouth fury title...
I may have the tag at my home, we will have to wait the end of this month that i come home.
 

thrashingcows

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Not sure what the laws are like over in France and Belgium but just swapping VIN tags might be illegal? But as it sits now I think you're right it would turn into a money pit and a loosing battle since you don't seem to have a place to work on it and keep it out of the weather.

Probably best to put it up for sale complete and let someone else deal with the issues that it has...rust, body work, mechanicals etc. Think you would save money in the long run by selling it and buying another clean restored car and having it shipped to you....but only if you have somewhere to keep it stored inside so you don't eventually end up in the exact same situation. ;)
 

Big_John

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IMHO, you've had the car for a long time and done nothing with it. Read that line to yourself about 20 times.

The hard truth is you aren't going to do anything with it... It's not going to fix itself either.

So, just sell it as is (your best bet) or try to part it out. Problem with parting it out is there's a lot of time and work involved... and not just taking the car apart. You have to deal with storing parts and shipping. Shipping being the worst part... And you'll have to be patient as it may take a while (months) to sell everything, even at fire sale prices.

You've also mentioned that it was used as a hearse. An actual hearse (used in funerals) or was it a "first call" transport vehicle? It seems to me that a hearse might attract a buyer too.
 

Xavi3r

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Not sure what the laws are like over in France and Belgium but just swapping VIN tags might be illegal? But as it sits now I think you're right it would turn into a money pit and a loosing battle since you don't seem to have a place to work on it and keep it out of the weather.

Probably best to put it up for sale complete and let someone else deal with the issues that it has...rust, body work, mechanicals etc. Think you would save money in the long run by selling it and buying another clean restored car and having it shipped to you....but only if you have somewhere to keep it stored inside so you don't eventually end up in the exact same situation. ;)
Yes it is not legal but i do not understand if you use an exact same car title. I understand when people put v8 papers on slant 6 cars.. but when there is no solution to save cars without papers i support to do something like this. There should be a legal solution.
 
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Xavi3r

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IMHO, you've had the car for a long time and done nothing with it. Read that line to yourself about 20 times.

The hard truth is you aren't going to do anything with it... It's not going to fix itself either.

So, just sell it as is (your best bet) or try to part it out. Problem with parting it out is there's a lot of time and work involved... and not just taking the car apart. You have to deal with storing parts and shipping. Shipping being the worst part... And you'll have to be patient as it may take a while (months) to sell everything, even at fire sale prices.

You've also mentioned that it was used as a hearse. An actual hearse (used in funerals) or was it a "first call" transport vehicle? It seems to me that a hearse might attract a buyer too.
Yes that's the earth of the question, seeing the car slowy rot. I did things in the past but without the possibilty to run... and.then, you find a job 1000km away with the mind to keep working.for it but you do not do it. ( you know that kind cars sitting.in fields and when you ask owner to sell they say : i'll fix it later ! )

In belgium there was 2 types of hearses :
- hearses from commercial chassis like cadillac
- hearses from station wagon like this polara. It was used has a hearse but is a true wagon, they just put removable hearse things on it and midified the rear door.
 

Big_John

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In belgium there was 2 types of hearses :
- hearses from commercial chassis like cadillac
- hearses from station wagon like this polara. It was used has a hearse but is a true wagon, they just put removable hearse things on it and midified the rear door.
I probably should have been more specific.

In the US, there are funeral coaches, known as hearses. Usually Cadillacs and Lincolns these days. Then there are "first call" or removal vehicles. Generally speaking, they are something like minivans or something like that. If let's say someone died at home or needed to be transported to somewhere else, the minivan would be used. Pretty much all the funeral homes have the removal vehicles, but several homes might use the same hearse for funerals.

My ex-wife has some family in the funeral business and I learned a bit about this part of it.
 

Xavi3r

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Hum.. i cant answer that. For me there is no reason that this wagon was transformed into a hearse without being used as a hearse.
I can't tell for past times, now there are first call but they look like the hearses ( in france ) witch have lost all the funeral ornements. I do not understand people now, they are so embarrased ( and, in a paradox, selfish ) of semselves that dying is a shame that no one should see. Hearses in france are common vans now. Even posting a picture of these things is a disgrace.
 

patrick66

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You've also mentioned that it was used as a hearse. An actual hearse (used in funerals) or was it a "first call" transport vehicle? It seems to me that a hearse might attract a buyer too.

It's not unusual for an American wagon to be converted to funeral car usage in Europe. In fact, I had a 1967 Belvedere I six-passenger wagon which was one of three identical black with blue interior cars shipped new to a funeral car converter firm in Brussels, Belgium. They essentially had the seat folded down and a roller platform installed. No body mods, other than the hearse ornamentation inside and outside of the car. Mine was one of two sold to a funeral home in Antwerp that was owned by two brothers. The third went to Sweden from Belgium. My car was well-suited for the purpose. It had XHD Hemi torsion bars and rear springs, with Hemi 11" brakes all around and a 3.91 8-3/4 gear ratio. It also had a 225 with a three-speed column shifter. It also had power steering, clock, cold-climate HD heater, and blue vinyl seats. The 200 km/h speedo was pretty cool! The car had 19K kilometers on it (12K miles) from new. I bought the car in 1990, and then shipped it back to the US in 1992. I owned the car until 1998, when I traded it for a complete paint job on a '67 GMC Suburban I was restoring. By the time I got rid of the Plymouth, I had swapped in a '68 K-member, a '73 360 and automatic, and added power disc brakes.

My German neighbors questioned my use of a Leichenwagen (hearse) at all, much less as a car one would want to have as a driver! My theory is this - Ambulances are vehicles where people actually die. In a hearse, your customer is always dead. So, if you are one to believe in spirits and such, they are likely to reside in and haunt an ambulance versus a hearse. A used ambulance doesn't creep me out either; but is either were to do so, it would be an ambulance, no doubt in my mind. Sadly, first-response cars tend to be minivans (sometimes a Suburban, though). More and more, you'll find morticians using Ford Transits or the hideous Ram/FIAT van-things for these purposes. The price on a Cadillac or Lincoln as a coach-built hearse is pretty crazy!

I still have the build sheet on the Belvedere, plus a few 35mm pics of it somewhere. If I can find those, I'll post in a separate thread.
 
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