For 1957, Dodge invited consumers to “Step into the wonderful world of Autodynamics” with its newly styled range of “Swept-Wing” automobiles. Atop the brand’s model range were the Custom Royal models, which came powered by the Red Ram V-8. Those wanting more thrust from their Custom Royals had several options, including the range-topping 310-horsepower Super D-500 V-8. Last weekend, a 1957 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer two-door hardtop with both the Super D-500 V-8 and Airtemp factory air conditioning traded hands at the RM Sotheby’s auction in Detroit, selling for a fee-inclusive price of $49,500.
Chrysler’s marketing department kicked into high gear to promote the new 1957 Dodge models, which featured Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” styling. Ads described elements of the new design by sparing no hyperbole; the grille, for example, was a ““crisp, clean Mono-Grille that’s smartly massive,” while the front lamp arrangement boasted “hooded, Twin-Set Driving and Parking Lights – in a distinctive side-by-side ‘foreign car’ arrangement.” Describing the overall look of the 1957 Dodge models, ad copy read, “The graceful, classic lines sweep back, back, then flair up with a dramatic flourish of soaring swept-wings.” Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that sales grew by nearly 17 percent from the year before.
Changes to the Custom Royal models weren’t limited to the exterior, either. Underneath, the new front suspension utilized torsion bars for a big improvement in ride quality, while the rear suspension retained a tried-and-true leaf spring design. Further aiding ride comfort, wheels were decreased in size from 15-inch to 14-inch, allowing the use of a taller tire sidewall to soak up bumps and potholes.
The standard engine for Custom Royal models was the 325-cu.in. Super Red Ram V-8, which produced a respectable 260 horsepower. Those wanting more output could select the D-500 engine option, which raised output to 285 horsepower from the same displacement, but the top engine choice was the Super D-500, which added a second four-barrel carburetor to deliver 310 horsepower. The three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission became an option in 1957, but a three-speed manual transmission was also available for those who preferred to row their own gears.
Chassis 37275779, the car sold on July 25, was well-equipped, built with options such as air conditioning, a power front seat, power brakes, power steering, power windows and a push-button radio. Recently restored in paint code TLC (Glacier White with Velvet Blue Metallic), the car was sold from the collection of Howard and Norma Weaver.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Kurt Ernst.