|The 1967 Dodge Monaco 500 convertible was unique to the Canadian market and not sold in the United States. The attractive cabriolet listed for $3,995 f.o.b. Windsor, Ontario.|
“Whatever your young heart desires, Dodge delivers it big!” shouted the advertising for the 1967 model season. There was certainly no question that the Dodge Division’s senior lines—comprised of the Monaco and Polara—were impressive vehicles in size, riding on 122-inch wheelbases. As posh as could be, Dodge promised to deliver prestige and liveliness for the young at heart. Advertising also offered the illusion of glamour, even when driving to the dentist. “Any time you step into big Dodge you get a night-out-on-the town feeling. Feels great! Is great! And you look great!”
Styling for 1967 featured a most subtle delta theme in a larger, more massive split grille than seen last season. In front, the delta dipped down into the bumper. At the top it reached upward to form part of a raised chrome eyebrow over the dual headlight pods. The centre of the grille was composed of finely ribbed vertical bars that Vee’d gently at the mid-section on the Monaco and the 500 made use of a distinct finely crosshatched design. An ersatz light bar was carried from the mid-section, across the grille to the inner headlight. The word D-O-D-G-E was spelled out in large letters on the hood and a gracefully raised wind split caressed the length of the hood to the windshield.
|In the Monaco line, Dodge offered a sleek four-door hardtop that sold for $3,431 when equipped with the 3.6-litre (225-cubic inch) Slant Six engine.|
The slab sides of the envelope were punctuated with a stem-to-stern brightwork strip that turned down the extreme backside of the rear fender to end as a discrete accent mark over a heavily pronounced body flare that emphasized the rear wheel opening. On some models this brightwork was replaced with tasteful pinstriping. Fenders were flush with the bumpers. More expensive models were bedecked in rocker panel trim as well. At the rear, Monaco and Polara carried oversized delta-shaped tail lamps, slightly sunken into the bumper.
All of this added up to owning a car that would deliver pleasure. Sales personnel were trained to emphasize the performance, beauty, size, comfort and prestige. “Get together with Dodge and you realize what it means to own a marvellous car at a price that makes good, common sense.” Words like “Thrill! Jazz! Posh!” and “Whoosh!” were all added to this year’s sales vocabulary in an attempt to woo customers from the competition.
|Interior of the swanky 1967 Dodge Monaco 500 was fit for a king.|
Crowning the Dodge family was the Monaco 500 two-door hardtop and a sleek convertible. These king-sized beauties were equipped with sumptuous shell-type bucket seats with a fold-down centre armrest. In the rear, the bench-type seat was fashioned to resemble the buckets up front. Vinyl upholstery colours were blue, copper, red, white on black and black. The Monaco 500s were equipped with the 5.2-litre (318-cubic inch) V-8 engine. It was distinguished from lesser kin by heavy rocker panel moulding and brightwork ad well as special “500” insignias.
All Monaco and Polara models were available with the Dodge Hi-Performance 6.2 litre (383 cubic inch) V-8 as optional equipment as was the Dodge Maximum Performance 7.2 litre (440 cubic inch) V-8. The latter was not permitted when ordering three-seat wagons, however. All engines were mated to a three-speed manual transmission or for a few extra bucks one could order Chrysler’s tried and true TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Advertising teased. “Put your foot to Dodge and big Dodge Moves. Better believe it! Thing is, Dodge makes no noise about it. Dodge whispers along whether you’ve powered it with a thrifty 225-cubic inch (3.2-litre) Six, or one of the four big mile-eating V-8s.”
The 1967 Dodge Polara station wagon carried a list price of $3,433. The plain Jane was an honest bargain capable of carrying six passengers, or everything needed for a good Grey Cup tailgate party.
The pretender to the throne was the Monaco, which came as a two- and four-door hardtop, a four-door sedan and a two- or three-seat station wagon. Now, the Monaco 500 convertible was unique to Canada and not offered in the United States. Like the Monaco 500 soft top, the Monaco convertible also boasted a power top in black, blue or white and featured an air-tempered glass black window, too.
The Monaco got around town nicely enough courtesy of the 3.2-litre (225-cubic inch) Slant Six engine as standard equipment. Other engine options were available as was a choice of transmissions.
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Monaco interiors were upholstered in vinyl and seats were of the “sofa-wide” bench variety, fore and aft for the wagon and convertible. Other Monaco models were dressed in a combination of cloth and vinyl, Interior colour choices were limited to blue, turquoise, red and tan but the cabin was still carpeted throughout with deep-pile broadloom.
|Instrument panel of the 1967 Dodge Monaco 500 featured large white-on-black dials. It boasted a centre console with optional tachometer.|
Both Monaco and Monaco 500 were offered in 22 colours of Acrylustre finish, promising a new car look for longer than competitors’ vehicles. Like American Motors products, these were built of unitized construction and the bodies treated with a seven-stage rust protection programme. The heater and defroster were standard equipment as was an aluminized muffler and tailpipe. Nice touches included an electric clock, carpeting throughout and lamps galore lit the interior. The Monaco station wagon was kissed with walnut grain appliqué on the sides and an electric tailgate was standard on the three-seat model.
The Polara 500 lineup was comprised of a hardtop, a four-door sedan and a two- or three-seat station wagon. Exterior colour choices were offered in 19 rainbow hues but upholstery selections were limited to blue, turquoise and tan.
Last year’s base Dodge Polara 880 was shorn of its number designation and returned to the lineup as simply Polara for the 1967 season. The entry-priced Polara stood alone with a very modest four-door sedan and a two- or three-seat wagon. As befitting its status, the stripper was available in only 17 exterior colours.
|1967 Dodge Polaris in the design studio.|
Prospective owners were invited to “build in” the power and luxury items wanted in order to own the greatest car that even sped down the road. Optional equipment for Dodge was listed as “Jazz” and included air conditioning, tinted glass, a heavy-duty alternator and battery, automatic transmission (which came as a package when radio and power brakes were ordered), power brakes, bumper guards, disc brakes for V-8 models, an electric clock, a centre console, rear window defogger, a sure-grip differential, electric door locks, headrests and seat belts, an engine block heater, two-tone paint schemes, a number of different kinds of radios, vinyl roof treatments for Monaco and 500 hardtops, power seats, power steering, Tilt-A-Scope steering wheel, heavy-duty suspension, a trailer (towing) package, undercoating and hood silencer pad, mag-type road wheels, three-speed electric wipers and many more items that the Dodge dealer would be only to happy to list off for anyone dropping by the showroom.
A strong selling point was Chrysler Canada’s 5-year, 50,000-mile powertrain warranty. The guarantee covered defects in material or workmanship in the engine block, head, all internal engine parts, torque converter, drive shaft, universal joints, rear axle, differential and rear wheel bearings. Chryco threw in the cost of labour too, should anything go wrong.
The season turned out to be a decent one for Dodge. When the books were closed, the Dodge Polara and Polara 500 had racked up 18,912 units delivered, giving it 11th place in the domestic sales race. The Dodge Monaco and base Polara added another 13,273 sales for the calendar year.
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Copyright James C. Mays 2006
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