In November of 2016, I purchased a 1973 Dodge Polara that had been sitting for years next to a home in the Warren/Conner Avenue area of Detroit. This car has special order and “999” trim/paint codes, a factory electric sunroof, Aztec-themed stripes, a customized interior and 4 die-cast chrome badges that say “Sundance” in an old-west font. The workmanship is high-quality; not a backyard-custom. Amazingly, the car survived very well and it is my intent to preserve and restore it.
I think this car was built to be shown with two other 1973 C-body cars, the sailing-themed Mariner (Chrysler Newport) and skiing-themed Aspen (Plymouth Fury). I’ve spent some time in the Detroit Public Library reading Detroit & Chicago auto show coverage from 1973 which mentions the Chrysler and Plymouth versions; however the Detroit show coverage specifically mentions the lack of a Dodge show car.
A Plymouth Sundance package (with similar Aztec themes) debuted the following year on the mid-size Satellite model. It seems logical that the Dodge Sundance was pulled at the last minute to avoid confusion and perhaps Dodge was even given the Aspen name as a consolation prize; which we all know debuted as a compact in 1976. Thus I believe the Dodge entry was never shown, and it simply ended up on the Lynch Road employee-purchase lot without any fanfare.
It would be interesting to document this little slice of Mopar history while performing the restoration. If anyone can shed light on this story, or could direct me to someone who could; it would be greatly appreciated. Before I came to own this Dodge, I met the original owner of the Chrysler Mariner at a cruise night in the north Macomb area. That car was in good, original condition and I would appreciate being put in touch with the owner or his family members as well in the hope they could fill-in some missing pieces.
Contact Chris with any helpful information
Chrysler Employee, St. Clair Shores City Councilman and Mopar-aholic.
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