1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer D-500

Here’s something you won’t see today, a car with five names. Count them, five:  presenting the 1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer D-500. But then, the automakers tended to take everything over the top in the 1950s. It’s what makes the cars of the era so memorable.


The mouthful of names makes its own kind of sense once you break it down: Custom Royal indicates the top-of-the-line trim level in the ’56 Dodge lineup, which also included Coronet and Royal.


Lancer refers to the pillarless hardtop body style; that is, there’s no fixed steel post between the front and rear side windows, creating an open, convertible-like look when the glass is rolled down.


And D-500 denotes the most powerful production engine in the Dodge catalog for 1956, a 315 CID Hemi V8 with 260 hp.  The D-500 models sported small crossed-flag emblems on the corners of the hood and deck lid that were called “flags of destination.”


Excess abounds in the Custom Royal Lancer. Even two-tone paint wasn’t flashy enough. This car rolled out of the plant with three-tone paint: Sapphire White over Iridescent Charcoal over Oriental Coral. Top off all this with Virgil Exner’s Forward-Look styling and its glorious tailfins, and you have one of the wildest Dodges ever built, and one of the most coveted among collectors today.











  • Penny Kemmerer
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I had one of these back in the early 70’s. I absolutely loved it. The most comfortable car I have ever owned. Very powerful!

  • jim
    Posted July 3, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    What is a ’56 D-500 315 cid engine worth today?

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