The Dodge Custom 880 is one of those strange parts-bin special, stop-gap solution, forgotten footnote cars that just confuses me. It's also one of the few vehicles I can see on the street - when and if I ever do see one - that can leave me completely clueless as to what it is. Case in point, this 1964 example. I was down in L.A. with my friend to go check on his '79 Lincoln Continental Mark V which was being repaired. A few blocks away sat a well-used sedan that looked like nothing I had ever seen before. What the heck was it? I wondered as we drove past for the first time. A Mercury? A large Rambler? On second glance the greenhouse and door handles looked familiar, and something clicked.
For 1963, Dodge could breathe a little easier. The body shell was still based on the 1960 cars, but it got new front and rear ends designed to incorporate a number of existing parts to keep costs down. Sales rose. For 1964 the sedan greenhouse gained a taller, larger rear window that appears to have been cribbed from the 1960-62 Polara 4-door hardtop. These cars were more than just cheap fleet specials - they were marketed as Dodge's greatest luxury option and actually available with pretty hot powertrains, including a 383 Power Pack V8 with a four-speed on the floor.