61 Polaras, 62 Chryslers and 62-64 880's. Same but different

Bill Watson

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Actually, the 122"/126" Dodges and Chryslers were called C bodies in 1962. In the March, 1962 issue of Popular Science the author of the "Detroit Listening Post" was writing about the new Dodge 880 and how it shared parts with the other C body cars. Said it was another way Chrysler was able to modify the big C body models quickly and cheaply.

By the way, if you look at the rear fender and door on the 1964 Dodge 880 in #15 you will see a raised ridge beginning at the rear bumper and ending in the rear door. That little design quirk first appeared on the 1960 Matador, Polara, Dart and Plymouth wagon models. It was there initially to permit Matador/Polara doors to be used on the big Dodge wagons. Thus Plymouth and Dart wagons (122" wheelbase) had to use the same creased rear door as the non-wagon rear doors were too short.

Again in 1961 it was used, this time with Polara's backward rear fin trim ending up in the rear door. Plymouth's wagon rear quarter panels had that same ridge ending up in the Dodge rear door.

Just keep all that in mind if you need rear doors on a 1960-62 C body Chrysler product - the 118" wheelbase Plymouth and Dart rear doors won't fit on the wagons, but all the related makes will. Front doors a little simpler - the nonfinned front doors are all interchangeable.

The basic wagon body was on a 122" wheelbase - New Yorkers were a 126" wheelbase and used a front clip with a longer nose. The 1960-61 Plymouth and Dart non-wagons used a 118" wheelbase.

For some reason the 1962 Rambler Ambassador landed up with rear quarters very similar to the 1962 Chrysler. Instead of a long crease from the rear bumper into the rear door, Rambler had the crease fade into the rear quarter panel within a foot ahead of the rear bumper.

Bill
 

Furious

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Actually, the 122"/126" Dodges and Chryslers were called C bodies in 1962. In the March, 1962 issue of Popular Science the author of the "Detroit Listening Post" was writing about the new Dodge 880 and how it shared parts with the other C body cars. Said it was another way Chrysler was able to modify the big C body models quickly and cheaply.

By the way, if you look at the rear fender and door on the 1964 Dodge 880 in #15 you will see a raised ridge beginning at the rear bumper and ending in the rear door. That little design quirk first appeared on the 1960 Matador, Polara, Dart and Plymouth wagon models. It was there initially to permit Matador/Polara doors to be used on the big Dodge wagons. Thus Plymouth and Dart wagons (122" wheelbase) had to use the same creased rear door as the non-wagon rear doors were too short.

Again in 1961 it was used, this time with Polara's backward rear fin trim ending up in the rear door. Plymouth's wagon rear quarter panels had that same ridge ending up in the Dodge rear door.

Just keep all that in mind if you need rear doors on a 1960-62 C body Chrysler product - the 118" wheelbase Plymouth and Dart rear doors won't fit on the wagons, but all the related makes will. Front doors a little simpler - the nonfinned front doors are all interchangeable.

The basic wagon body was on a 122" wheelbase - New Yorkers were a 126" wheelbase and used a front clip with a longer nose. The 1960-61 Plymouth and Dart non-wagons used a 118" wheelbase.

For some reason the 1962 Rambler Ambassador landed up with rear quarters very similar to the 1962 Chrysler. Instead of a long crease from the rear bumper into the rear door, Rambler had the crease fade into the rear quarter panel within a foot ahead of the rear bumper.

Bill
Very good info Bill!
 

saforwardlook

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Most people think the 62 Chrysler was a 61 Chrysler with the finned shaved off.
But, the 62 Chrysler is actually a Dodge.

OK, let me explain...

When the 62 full size Dodges were dropped, being replaced with the new for 62 B bodies, Chrysler Corp decided to use up some Dodge parts to create the 62 Chrysler. So, they took the 61 Polara body shell, designed some new quarter panels, bolted on the 61 Chrysler front fenders, hood and grille etc, and voila! Instant 62 Chrysler.

The 62 Chrysler didn't use any 61 Chrysler body panels from the windshield back, other than the Chrysler roof. Instead it used existing 61 Polara panels, but with restyled quarters. It used the 61 Dodge doors, trunk lid, tail panel, rear bumper and related bits. Only the quarter panels and taillights were new for the 62 Chrysler. All other body panels were recycled from 61.

Then.... in a weird twist of events, the 61 Dodge "reappeared" mid year 62 as the Dodge 880. This was done because the dealers were having a hard time selling the new smaller 62 B body Dodges, and they begged for a full size car. So Chrysler "created" the 880, which was essentially the 62 Chrysler with the 61 Polara fenders, hood, grille and bumper. It looked just like a 62 Chrysler from the rear and a 61 Dodge from the front. But, as I mentioned, the 62 Chrysler was really a 61 Polara with new quarter panels. So the 62 880 used the same trunk lid, tail panel, rear bumper as the 62 Chrysler too, which really were 61 Dodge parts anyway.

So in a nut shell:

the 62 Chrysler was a 61 Polara with new quarters, a Chrysler roof, and a Chrysler face.

the 62 Dodge 880 was a 61 Polara with the Chrysler roof, and the same new quarters.

The 63 Dodge 880 also used the 62 Chrysler body from the windshield back, but now had its own front fenders, hood and grille. There were some restyled taillights to freshen up the rear. It still used the 61 Dodge / 62 Chrysler / 62 880 rear bumper, but now used the 63 Chrysler front bumper. The doors were still the 60-61 Dodge / Plymouth smooth doors.

Then the 64 880 comes along. It uses a restyled grille, and the 63 880 fenders, hood and 63 Chrysler front bumper, still uses the 60-61 Dodge / Plymouth doors, but has brand new rear quarters, trunk lid, tail panel, but also uses the 63 Chrysler rear bumper.

So one could argue that the Polara never really did go away, other than for a brief period in the first half of the 62 model year. The 60 Polara became the 61 Polara, which became the 62 Chrysler and 62 Dodge 880, 63 Dodge 880 and then the 64 Dodge 880. The same car kept evolving, with some name and identity changes along the way.

The 60,61 Plymouths, 60,61 Dodges, 61,62 Chrysler, 61 DeSoto, 62,63,64 Dodge 880's all used the same doors [or door front shape on the Chrysler and DeSoto], and the fenders etc will swap between all these cars. Imagine the combinations!

Many have seen the teal colored "Plodge", a 61 Plymouth front end on a 61 Dodge, how about a 61 Plymouth front end on a 62 Chrysler?

or a 61 Chrysler front end on a 64 880?

or a 60 Polara front end on a 61 Polara?

or a 63 880 front end on a 61 Plymouth?

or a 62 Chrysler front end on a 61 Plymouth?

or a 61 Plymouth front end on a 61 DeSoto?

or a 61 DeSoto front end on a 60 Plymouth?

I like the 61 Polaras, but some people aren't crazy about the front end appearance. I think the 61 Polara quarters and taillights are sleek and great looking. So, you could take the front end you do like, and bolt it on the Polara to get the look you do like. I'd like to see a 62 Chrysler 300 front end on 61 Polara.

There are many possibilities to create a weird one off combo. Which is just what Chrysler did to create the 62 Chrysler and 62 880





Last edited by demon; 06/15/20 02:13 PM.












Chrysler Corporation cars were designed with so much interchangeability, that depending on the market, they could mix and match parts and come up with unique cars for unique markets.

Bill Watson has it correct. But maybe more explanation might help.

The full size Chryslers in 1961 were available in 122" and 126" wheelbases. New Yorkers and 300 Letter cars got the 126" wheelbase in 1961 while the 1961 Chrysler Newports got the 122" wheelbase. 1962 300s got the 122" wheelbase while the New Yorkers carried on with the 126" wheelbase.

To differentiate the 1961 Chryslers and 1962 Chryslers in terms of calling the 1962 Chrysler 300s and Newports to be "Dodges" makes no sense. The truth is that the rear quarters on the Dodge 880 were taken from the Chryslers, not the other way around. To post your assumptions as facts isn't helpful.

Exner's designs at that time was hurting Chrysler's sales.
They needed fresh blood in the design studio and got Elwood Engel from Phord in 1961 but his designs were still a couple years away.
Needless to say that Chrysler was scampering by doing some badge engineering after dropping Desoto.

Elwood Engle joined Chrysler in 1963, not in 1961. So technically, Virgil Exner still had some say in Chrysler designs in 1963 and 1964 models. Elwood Engle's design influence began with the slabsides in 1965 where the Chrysler models were introduced with the words "The Most Beautiful Chrysler Ever Built" on the cover of the showroom brochure.
 
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Furious

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To differentiate the 1961 Chryslers and 1962 Chryslers in terms of calling the 1962 Chrysler 300s and Newports to be "Dodges" makes no sense. The truth is that the rear quarters on the Dodge 880 were taken from the Chrysler 300s, not the other way around. To post your assumptions as facts isn't helpful.

The 62 Chrysler uses the 61 Dodge doors, 61 Dodge door pillars, 61 Dodge inner quarter structure, 61 Dodge trunk lid, 61 Dodge trunk opening, 61 Dodge rear body panel, 61 Dodge rear bumper and 61 Dodge rear bumper brackets. It uses more 61 Dodge body panels than 61 Chrysler body panels. In fact the holes for the Dodge lettering are under that wide chrome trim used on the 62 Chrysler. Chrysler simply stamped new quarter panels, welded them to a 61 Polara body shell, placed the 61 Chrysler roof, and bolted on the 61 Chrysler front sheetmetal. that is how they "created" the new 62 Chrysler.

Then the 62 Dodge 880 was created later in the model year, by simply bolting the 61 Dodge front sheetmetal onto this body, and doing some minor trim changes.

Sorry you don't like it, but it's true.
 

saforwardlook

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The 62 Chrysler uses the 61 Dodge doors, 61 Dodge door pillars, 61 Dodge inner quarter structure, 61 Dodge trunk lid, 61 Dodge trunk opening, 61 Dodge rear body panel, 61 Dodge rear bumper and 61 Dodge rear bumper brackets. It uses more 61 Dodge body panels than 61 Chrysler body panels. In fact the holes for the Dodge lettering are under that wide chrome trim used on the 62 Chrysler. Chrysler simply stamped new quarter panels, welded them to a 61 Polara body shell, placed the 61 Chrysler roof, and bolted on the 61 Chrysler front sheetmetal. that is how they "created" the new 62 Chrysler.

Then the 62 Dodge 880 was created later in the model year, by simply bolting the 61 Dodge front sheetmetal onto this body, and doing some minor trim changes.

Sorry you don't like it, but it's true.

Cars are designed at least 3 years in advance of production so your observations presume a lot about how a car is created and both the styling studios and product planning are involved in the design process as well. Interchangeability of parts is part of that process as well as ways to achieve cost cutting. Just because Dodge may lead in some aspects of the production roll out doesn't mean that Chryslers and Dodges were designed in a vacuum apart from each other. The basic bodies are the structures that comprise the production vehicles and the styling studios determine styling overlaps to improve profitability.

You clearly do not have a good understanding of the production process and so your comments are really not useful or informative. They are just observations as to how the designers decided to roll out vehicles and adjust to market acceptance and other unforseen issues. Fins were going away so adjustments to plans were needed.

The basic body structures were the same for all the full size 60, 61 and 62 Chryslers, Dodges and Plymouths and they all shared the A pillars, B pillars and C pillars and roofs in most cases. For 1962, the full size Dodges and Plymouths went away generally and when they didn't sell well, then a Dodge 880 was introduced using the full size body structures common to the full size cars of those three years. You don't understand the basic commonality of basic body structures and sheet metal differences.

Here is just one article that discusses how the 1962 Dodge 880 was created....................................

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/1962-64-dodge-880-and-custom-880

Sorry you don't like the reality, but the 1962 Dodge 880 was an afterthought, not the other way around.
 

Furious

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Cars are designed at least 3 years in advance of production so your observations presume a lot about how a car is created and both the styling studios and product planning are involved in the design process as well. Interchangeability of parts is part of that process as well as ways to achieve cost cutting. Just because Dodge may lead in some aspects of the production roll out doesn't mean that Chryslers and Dodges were designed in a vacuum apart from each other. The basic bodies are the structures that comprise the production vehicles and the styling studios determine styling overlaps to improve profitability.

You clearly do not have a good understanding of the production process and so your comments are really not useful or informative. They are just observations as to how the designers decided to roll out vehicles and adjust to market acceptance and other unforseen issues. Fins were going away so adjustments to plans were needed.

The basic body structures were the same for all the full size 60, 61 and 62 Chryslers, Dodges and Plymouths and they all shared the A pillars, B pillars and C pillars and roofs in most cases. For 1962, the full size Dodges and Plymouths went away generally and when they didn't sell well, then a Dodge 880 was introduced using the full size body structures common to the full size cars of those three years. You don't understand the basic commonality of basic body structures and sheet metal differences.

Here is just one article that discusses how the 1962 Dodge 880 was created....................................

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/1962-64-dodge-880-and-custom-880

Sorry you don't like the reality, but the 1962 Dodge 880 was an afterthought, not the other way around.

You need to do more research. There were no 62 fullsize Plymouths. There also were no fullsize 62 Dodges until the 880 revived the full size Dodge.
Yes, the 62 880 was an afterthought, to bring back the full size Dodge.
Chrysler did some fast "creation" of cars like the 880 to quickly fill market needs.

My statements of the 62 880, 62 Chrysler, and 61 Polara sharing body panels remains correct. Have you looked at a 62 Chrysler and a 61 Polara in person?
Stating that I clearly do not understand the production processes may make you feel important, but after owning, restoring these cars for a lifetime, I can speak from experience. Do you know for a fact that the 62 Chrysler styling was finalized in 1959? Regardless of lead time and production, my point is, 61 Polaras, 62 Chryslers and 62-64 Dodge 880's are all essentially the same car. I did not say the 62 Chrysler was quickly thrown together car like the 62 Dodge 880 was. I was stating that the 62 Chrysler uses many of the same panels as the 61 Polara.

My comments are not useful or informative?
I do not understand the commonality of body structure and sheetmetal differences? Excuse me, but isn't that what this entire topic has been about?
I started this topic to show just that.

I made this post to show people who are interested, that Chrysler Corp had incredible engineering foresight, to make many interchangeable components, providing for multiple combinations, resulting in many different cars based on one easily adaptable platform.
It is you, that needs to accept the reality, that these cars are all essentially the same.
Some people are interested in the interchangeability of these 60-64 full size cars, and showing that Chrysler used 61 Dodge parts on 62 Chryslers, 61 Plymouth wagon quarters on 64 880's, 63 Chrysler bumpers on 64 880's etc is informative to some that have not realized this.
 
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saforwardlook

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I know full well there were no full size Plymouths in 1962 and I said exactly that in my post.

Maybe you just can't write nor read very well as you sound like you don't know how to explain why the bodies are common whereas the styling varies. Most people understand the issue of commonality.

I am done with you now. I still don't know the value of your posts to anyone. I have been restoring these cars at least as long as you and I worked for them in engineering as well. Please show us some of these vehicles you have restored.

Bill Watson who is also respected on this site had to correct your misstatements as well. Likewise for MoPar Maniac. Maybe you know what you are talking about but just can't explain your thoughts in a coherent manner.

Bye.
 
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rapidtrans

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Elwood Engle joined Chrysler in 1963, not in 1961. So technically, Virgil Exner still had some say in Chrysler designs in 1963 and 1964 models. Elwood Engle's design influence began with the slabsides in 1965 where the Chrysler models were introduced with the words "The Most Beautiful Chrysler Ever Built" on the cover of the showroom brochure.

By summer of ‘63 Dad was working overtime on the all new ‘65 C body designs.
The last Exner design, ‘63 & ‘64 Chryslers, were originally to be the new ‘63 Imperial. Instead it went to Chrysler for a two year run while the Imperial was carried over those years. Elwood Engle came aboard Nov. 1961 and began the new ‘64 Imperials
 

cbarge

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Me; "They needed fresh blood in the design studio and got Elwood Engel from Phord in 1961 but his designs were still a couple years away."

Saforwardlook ;"Elwood Engle joined Chrysler in 1963, not in 1961."

Elwood Engle came aboard Nov. 1961
Thanks for backing me up.
I did some research before I posted my comment earlier.
 

jake

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Even if we cannot agree on the beginnings of the 880s, I think we can agree that in the end, they are damm sexy!
Ibt2t8Vy6v7fUW-UnR4NQ80ynNTOitLUhI6U4NM-pmaddwawHrN958vmFGIg_cPFL0VaZ5w=w1157-h867-no?authuser=0.jpg

x5kfhgqujHHEkE9FHSJC5gbfDRDTUOAd-id_Di4KT2TsOFNLtv1aGF4yDX5KPJ-nljc1tbQ=w1157-h867-no?authuser=0.jpg
 

Furious

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I know full well there were no full size Plymouths in 1962 and I said exactly that in my post.

Maybe you just can't write nor read very well as you sound like you don't know how to explain why the bodies are common whereas the styling varies. Most people understand the issue of commonality.

I am done with you now. I still don't know the value of your posts to anyone. I have been restoring these cars at least as long as you and I worked for them in engineering as well. Show us some of these vehicles you have restored.

Bill Watson who is also respected on this site had to correct your misstatements as well. Likewise for MoPar Maniac. Maybe you know what you are talking about but just can't explain your thoughts in a coherent manner.

Bye.
I will make this very simple.
Take a 62 Dodge 880, replace the quarters with 61 Polara quarters and what do you have? Basically a 61 Polara.

Bill Watson did not correct any mis-statements. He added valuable information.

You say Mopar Maniac had to correct me? 62 Plymouths and corresponding Dodge models ARE B bodies.

Mis-statements? Perhaps you should research Elwood Engle. his styling at Chrysler started well before 1965.

Not sure why you need to turn this into a big debate. Some of us are here to help each other out, rather than nit pick and act childish.
 
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Furious

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The basic body structures were the same for all the full size 60, 61 and 62 Chryslers, Dodges and Plymouths and they all shared the A pillars, B pillars and C pillars and roofs in most cases.

Now this, is a mis-statement. Actually a couple of mis-statements.
No 62 Plymouth shares a single body part with any 60, 61, 62 Chrysler or Dodge, since there was no full size 62 Plymouth.
The 61 Chrysler does not share the B pillar with the 62 Chrysler, however, The 61 Dodge DOES share the B pillar with the 62 Chrysler.

So, I need to justify to you, with photos of my restorations?

How about dropping your ego down a few notches, and just enjoy the cars?
 

Furious

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Even if we cannot agree on the beginnings of the 880s, I think we can agree that in the end, they are damm sexy!
View attachment 386305
View attachment 386306
Yes they are! Beautiful 880!
Also, this photo shows very clearly the lower body line of the quarter panel, that Bill Watson was referring to. This lower body line, and wheel opening began with the 1960 Dodge Polara, and remained through the 61 Polara, 62 Chrysler, 62-64 Dodge 880.
 

saforwardlook

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Apparently Engle did join Chrysler in 1961, as the source I referenced had it wrong compared to Wikipedia. That would make more sense in order to have been able to design the 1964 Imperials and the 1965 slab side products............

and I will just add that a 1962 Chrysler was a revised 1961 Chrysler Newport more than it was a revised 1961 Polara since it had the same front fenders, hood, grille surround, front bumper and bumper brackets, the same hardtop roof including its A pillar and C pillar plus its own unique new rear quarter panel. And the B Pillars were essentially the same with the same lower sill area and up to the striker area and above - only the styling related shape of the metal at the very top was different from a 61 Newport. It then took only the 61 doors, decklid, rear bumper (and in-between panel) from the Polara and that was pretty much it. So to me, a 1962 Chrysler was a more of a revised 1961 Newport rather than a revised 1961 Polara.

And similarly, a late introduction 1962 Dodge 880 was a 1962 Chrysler with a 1961 Dodge front end. Even its roof was the same as a 1961 Chrysler Newport, and not even the roof from the 1961 Dodge Polara at least on the 2 doors.

That is why I believe saying a 1962 Chrysler was just a revised 1961 Polara is not a worthwhile statement and pretty meaningless in the big picture of things. It just shared a few pieces from the 1961 Polaras by comparison with a 1961 Newport.

All of this is just an observation of interchangeability in motion and nothing more - i.e. nothing of real significance.

And all these cars are long gone in the memories of more than 99.999% of the population.

Furious said he had been working on these cars most of his life, so why can't he just show us some of his cars rather than turn it into an ego thing?

Also I referenced that Engle started in 1963 based on an incorrect reference that came up on Google, and I never said he started in 1965.

And the smaller 1962 Dodges and all the Plymouths were just intermediate sized vehicles and were not designated by Chrysler Corp as B bodies at the time if it really matters.
 
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Bill Watson

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You may be surprised how much Chrysler Corp cars shared. For roof panels for the 122" and 126" wheelbase models :

1867 873 - 4 door Sedan & Hardtop Sedan - Low rear window - Dodge Polara, DeSoto and Chrysler.
2093 264 - 4 door Sedan & Hardtop Sedan - High rear window - DeSoto and Chrysler.
2188 716 - 4 door Hardtop Wagon - Dodge Polara and Chrysler.
1952 642 - 4 door Hardtop - High rear window - Dodge Polara.
1869 615 - 2 door Hardtop - Low rear window - Dodge Polara
1952 666 - 2 door Hardtop - High rear window - Dodge Polara

For the 118" wheelbase models and related 122" wheelbase wagons -
1964 370 - 2 door Sedan and 4 door Sedan - Plymouth and Dart
2188 713 - 4 door Sedan Wagon - Plymouth and Dart
1869 615 - 2 door Hardtop - Low rear window - Plymouth and Dart
1952 666 - 2 door Hardtop - High rear window - Plymouth and Dart

The numbers for 1960 seem to be completely different from 1961, while the opposite is true for 1962 numbers. Will have the 1962 numbers sorted out later. Using the Canadian parts catalogues and and they sort the parts used in the US and highlight them. But not separate them from the Canadian.

Not surprised many people use A, B, C and D for the bodies prior to 1965. All Chrysler fans know what each letter refers to and thus use them for easy identification. And I have to admit I am one of the guilty ones.

Had a couple of inquiries about Dodge Polara/Monaco production for 1965 and 1966. Will have production figures for the US market ready later today. I have production figures for the American market, but nothing for the Canadian market, or total production for the years 1965-1973.
 
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