1963 Dodge Custom 880
8-cyl. 361cid/265hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
For 1962, Dodge’s full-size luxury Custom 880 line was critical to the company because of the loss of the DeSoto brand, which ended with a short production run of 1961 models in late 1960. Dodge sought to retain DeSoto buyers with a comprehensive full-size slate of luxury cars.
Buyers in 1962 could order a Custom 880 with four doors as a sedan, hardtop, or a six- or nine-passenger hardtop wagon. The car was also available as a two-door hardtop coupe or convertible. About 17,500 Custom 880 cars were made in this year, with over 11,000 in the four-door sedan body. Just 684 Custom 880 convertibles were made.
All Custom 880 models came with Dodge’s 361-cid V-8 engine, rated at a healthy 265 horsepower. Buyers could spend $400 to upgrade to the 413-cid Ram-Charger V-8 at 410 horsepower. Both engines were mated to a standard three-speed manual transmission, although a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic was also available as an option for $211, and a four-speed manual for $146.
Additional options included power steering, power brakes, power seats, power windows, and air conditioning.
For 1963, the base model name was changed to “880” while the “Custom 880” included more trim. Basic 880 cars were available in sedan and wagon form, while Custom 880 models retained the full range of body styles. The base engine was the same 361-cid V-8, while the optional engine was a 426-cid V-8 at 415 horsepower. Just over 28,000 880-series cars were built in 1963. Apart from some updated bodywork, there were no appreciable changes made for 1964 and about 32,000 cars were built for that year.
In 1965, the new Polara made its debut, along with the Monaco hardtop, supplanting the Custom 880 as the top of the line for Dodge. Bodywork on the 880 remained mostly the same as the 1964 models, though a several V-8 engines were available between the base 361 and the 426 V-8, and transmission options remained the same. This was the last year for the Custom 880, and about 35,000 cars were built.
Collectors gravitate towards unusual body styles including the hardtop coupes and convertibles, with special interest in cars ordered with the high-horsepower engines and a full set of options. Convertible production peaked at 1,416 cars in 1965, and two-door hardtop production at 4,850 in the same year. While the Custom 880 has never been considered a true muscle car, there’s plenty of Mopar muscle in these cars to merit a place in anyone’s collection.