Jesse James 1964 Dodge Polara, Roadster Shop, Fuel Curve

Roadster Shop Build Video – Jesse James Polara

Jesse James is a polarizing figure in the world of performance machines and industrial design. Some love him, some dislike him but if you have any strains of hi-performance DNA inside you, you no doubt respect his talent. A lot of folks (like us) envy his Austin, Texas compound where he builds things. All kinds of things. Bikes, guns, knives, most of which are forged right inside his shop. Watching Jesse wield molten metal is just plain rad.



Jesse is incredibly busy. So busy in fact, he recently ordered out. Due to an insane schedule and commitments, his time is precious so taking three or four years to build a muscle car didn’t fit the grand plan. So he did what any smart gearhead would do – he hired the best in the business to build his ’64 Dodge Polara. Jeremy Gerber and the Roadster Shop team took Jesse’s vision of a super sleeper and made it into a bad ass, hemi powered, patina paneled “Hill Country Hustler” as a nod to his affinity for Austin, Texas.

The car, which made its debut at the recent SEMA Show is a brute. With a 426c.i. Chrysler Hemi sporting twin Garrett GTX3582Rs hair dryers, we shudder when thinking about the rear wheel horsepower. Such immense power and torque is useless unless the car is firmly planted to those hill country back roads. And it is thanks to a one-off, custom 3D-scanned Roadster Shop FAST TRACK chassis. The rest of the innards are the best money can buy. With Forgeline’s RS steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps – the ‘Hustler is hot. The above video shows you to what great lengths today’s best rod shops go to craft a modern masterpiece with old world outer skin. The engineering involved here along with all of the artisan metal shaping is fascinating.

Jesse is a champion for industrial arts. He devotes a significant amount of his time to spreading the word about careers in mechanical and engineering realms getting Millennials up to speed on the myriad of career choices available to those who wish to work with their hands. In our book, that rocks! Good on ya Jesse.

Senior Editor, Digital Media

With three decades of automotive journalism under his belt, John Drummond serves as Senior Editor – Digital Media for Fuel Curve and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association where he has worked since 1990. Drummond got his start in motorsports reporting by making a fake press pass to gain starting line access. The ruse worked and he began covering auto races as far back as 1986 in Northern California, eventually getting his stories published worldwide. He has owned and driven everything from a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere to a ridiculously modded Subaru WRX as well as a string of Mercedes AMG’s, most of which had the warranties voided the day after leaving the dealership.

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