Friday, February 28, 2014

56 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer

In the  1950's car makers changed model ever year . This was very exciting for 'car nuts' like myself . We looked forward to the new models with great anticipation. It was in fact a waste of money to spend so much capital changing the look each year. That money could have been better spent developing better cars,engines, and safely features.

That aside it was still exciting to see the new models. Chevrolet hit the bulls eye with the '55' model. They missed a little in '56' but hit again in '57'.  These were best sellers when they were new and have become the desirable collector cars today. They are more valuable because they were only made for one year.

For Dodge it was the '56' Dodge Custom Royal Lancer. This car looked good from all angles and was a breakthrough for Dodge.. Dad bought one. Ours was a four door with three three tone paint--[black,white, and yellow].

I was allowed to drive this car on a limited basis even before I had a driver's license. It was the car I drove when I started dating.

In those times upholstery was beautiful but it did not last like today. By 50,000 miles most cars had seams coming apart and holes at least where the driver sat. To the rescue came Fingerhut Manufacturing. They made a clear plastic seat cover custom fitted for each car model. We put these plastic seat covers on this Dodge and they lasted for over 100.000 miles till it was traded. These seat covers were hot and sticky in the summer [no AC] and cold in the winter. The upholstery though, looked just like new for the duration. 

This Dodge had a push button transmission gear selector located to the left of the steering column. Several car makers experimented with the push button gear selector but it never caught on. Americans seem to need a stick of some kind to make driving feel right.

Until this time we had  driven only Chevy's Fords and Plymouth's.  Dodge was a step up. It wasn't a Buick like Uncle Gene drove , nor was it a Packard like Uncle Lester drove. It was however a step up in car hierarchy  for those who were counting.

It did looked good from all angles......................................................

K179 1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Hardtop  Photo 1 K179 1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Hardtop  Photo 7