1959 Dodge Custom Royal Sedan (RHD)
|Interior||Black & White|
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.