CC Capsule: 1969 Dodge Polara and Monaco – Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun


(first posted 11/24/2015)    So many times when seeing a car parked next to a fixed object, getting pictures from all angles is tough.  Such isn’t the case here, since this thoughtful owner has two examples, parked in an opposite fashion.

If a person wants to get ridiculously technical about it, the one facing the garage is a Polara and the other is a Monaco.  Like it really matters – both are C-body Dodges and seeing one at all is a major conquest.

Polara brochure clip

The Monaco, the name for the upper-tier big Dodge, had been around since 1965.  Just keep in mind there is no such thing as a stripped-down version of this car.  However, that statement is arguable since Chrysler still had a three-speed manual transmission (column mounted, naturally) as standard equipment on the Monaco.  Since I couldn’t get closer, this is probably one of the roughly five built with the three-on-the-tree.

1969 Dodge Monaco-01

On the positive side, the Monaco did have a four-barrel 383 (6.3 liter) as standard motivation, with a 440 (7.2 liter) optional.

IMG_0116 - Version 2

This Monaco even has the optional Super-Lite as well as the chrome extending onto the lip of the hood.  No, the light wasn’t on; that illuminated look is called good fortune caused by outhouse luck.


The Polara is the more ordinary sedan and Dodge never made any claims about a stripper version being unavailable.  It was also more popular as over 88,000 were built, about two and one-half times the number of Monaco’s that rolled out the factory door.

1969 Dodge Polara-10-11

Mechanically, the Polara had a 318 (5.2 liter) as standard fare, also backed by the standard three-speed with the Torqueflite being optional.  With seventeen available colors, the Polara had every body style available on the Monaco plus one – all convertibles wore the Polara nameplate.

Did you see the cute brunette at the bottom of the Monaco ad?  Her name is Joan Parker and at age 23 she was a fixture in Dodge commercials during 1968 and 1969.  Here she is talking about a 1969 Polara White Hat Special.

Known as the “Dodge Fever” girl, she’s seen here talking about the Monaco.  Dodge advertising also had the “Material Girl” and “Rebellion Girl”.

chp polaras

Perhaps one of the bigger claims to fame for the 1969 Polara is for those who were overly rebellious.  Over 1,300 Polaras were purchased by the California Highway Patrol.  Equipped with a 440 (what else?) one was clocked at 147 mph during testing.  It looks like all of them are parked here awaiting lights and decals, awaiting their time to deal with various rebellious persons throughout California.

Oddly, these were found in Studebaker Land, on Indiana Route 2 just west of South Bend.  There’s a rebel in every crowd.