Featured here is one of the rarest and most flamboyant Dodge vehicles of the fabulous ‘50s: the 1957 Dodge Custom Royal Convertible.
The Custom Royal was the top of the line for 1957, with the drop-top version considered the most desirable today. (Only 2,456 convertibles were produced that year, and the number remaining is unknown.) The D-500 designation signifies Dodge’s powerhouse engine that year, a 325 cubic-inch V8 with hemispherical heads, a 9.25:1 compression ratio, and Carter four-barrel carb. With sporty-sounding dual exhausts, it was good for 310 horsepower.
Dodge advertising described the ’57’s design as “completely new, from road to roof,” and that it was. The wild “swept-wing” styling featured the most dramatic tailfins in the industry that year. The bold fins were a key part of Chrysler’s corporate design theme in these years, which chief stylist Virgil Exner called the “Forward Look.”
Another advanced feature: broad eyebrows in the front fenders were designed to accommodate quad headlamps, a system not yet legal in all states in 1957. Instead, large parking lamps took the place of the inner, high-beam headlamps as a one-year stopgap measure.
And in place of a conventional grille, the nose features two heavy bumper-like structures stacked one atop the other. Chrome, man! In an era of glorious styling excesses, the Dodge Custom Royal fit right in.
To build your Dodge future classic, visit Dodge.com.