When Jim and I decided to go to the May 3 fundraiser for Cat House on the Kings in Fresno, we also decided to drive, even though the round-trip distance would be 800 miles….
we also decided to go up a day early and get a hotel room for Friday night….
we also decided that we would come back via the loop road that goes through Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park so we could visit the huge, gigantic, monster, really really big sequoias and redwoods….
we also decided to rent a car since rental cars are really inexpensive, they give you unlimited mileage, and they get better gas mileage than our 2002 Toyota Camry….
We stayed at a hotel in Visalia on Friday night, about 20 miles south of Fresno. When I got up Saturday morning, I went to check out the neighborhood, which basically meant that I walked around the hotel parking lot because my choice was that or walking along the freeway.
Around the corner from our room was this really cool car:
That’s a 1961 Dodge Polara, but not just any 1961 Dodge Polara. This one is special.
I spent some time taking pictures and examining virtually every square inch.
As I was taking pictures of the car, the owner came out of his hotel room and unlocked the car.
Check out the pushbutton controls:
The Dodge Polara was introduced in 1960 as Dodge’s top-of-the-line full-size car. The Polara nameplate was retired in 1973.
The owner had just bought the car at auction and was driving it home to California. The trunk was full of historical papers and books documenting the history of this specific car.
In addition to being registered in Arizona as a historic car, its history includes starting out as a police car for the California Highway Patrol, one of only two authorities (the other being the City of Los Angeles) which used the 1961 Dodge Polara with police car outfitting. This was quite a historic vehicle.
The owner’s intention is to restore the car to its police days. I believe he said that he would need special permits in order to do that since installing flashing red lights and other such police outfitting on a car is illegal. Nonetheless, it was pretty cool that the car came with a trunk full of historical documents associated with the car.
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