2014 Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction

1959 Dodge Custom Royal Sedan (RHD)




Engine V8, 361-cid
Gearbox 3-speed automatic
Body Work Sedan
Colour Black
Interior Black & White
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel disc
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

By the end of the 1950s, the decade of excess was almost over but for the auto makers everything peaked in 1959 - particularly fins. The '59 Dodge took the styling of the 1957-58 models and exaggerated everything, from the basic dimensions to the brows above the headlamps and, of course, the fins. Built on a hefty 122-inch wheelbase frame, all Dodges for 1959 came with Torsion-Air front suspension and leaf springs at the rear. Dodge's model range consisted of three trim levels, namely the base Coronet series, the mid-range Royal and luxurious flagship Custom Royal, with lots of additional exterior chrome moldings and more equipment inside. The interior was particularly impressive, from the machine-turned instrument panel housing aircraft-inspired gauges to the ornate cloth inserts on the seats. The Custom Royal was sold either as a sedan, hardtop sedan, hardtop coupe or convertible, with the Lancer badge applied to both hardtop derivatives. Dodge had two standout new features for 1959, one of them being the so-called 'swivel seat' option and the introduction of a high performance 383-cid V8 which, in twin carburettor Super D-500 guise pumped out 345 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, although most models made do with the 326-cid Red Ram or 361-cid Ram Fire V8s. Another feature Dodge experimented with in 1959 was the LevelFlite self-levelling system. In Australia the Royal Custom was assembled locally in Adelaide between 1958 and 1960 and these right-hand drive examples sold in small numbers to buyers wanting a full-size American car. Today only a handful are known to the local Chrysler clubs and they are amongst the rarest of all Mopar classics.

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