50 Year Nap: 1955 Dodge Royal Custom

left front

This Dodge listed here on craigslist in Jacksonville, Florida has been sitting since 1966. In the pictures, it looks complete, original and like it was parked yesterday. If this was a 2 door or a Chevy it would be worth a lot more, but if it’s as nice as it looks, perhaps $3,500 could be reasonable. It’s an automatic with a “Super Red Ram” engine.

dash

The inside looks tidy and complete, typical of a 10 year old car. The seats were likely redone at some point. It looks, at least, like a car you could get in and drive.

right

It would be helpful to have more pictures of the body, of course, but these are just enough to entice local folks to stop in and have a look. That Super Ram Ram looks complete, but there’s no word if it’s seized. As always, it comes down to how much rust there is. There’s no daylight showing through the trunk, but you can’t see anything of the quarter panels. If this old Dodge is rusted much it probably wouldn’t be worth restoring at any price. If the engine is seized it would be questionable. In the best case, it will still take a lot of mechanical work to get this running again. There’s also the question as to why it was parked in 1966. You might discover engine or transmission problems. If it turns out to just need the usual fuel and brake work, wouldn’t it be a nice driver?

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Comments

  1. Rick

    yeah, but a ’55 Chev never came stock with a Hemi as original equipment like this here Dodge did

  2. Ed P

    Nice find. The body appears to be in good shape, for what we can see of it. I doubt the interior is original, but it looks good enough to use. I think the big question is the engine and Powerfilite tranny. I think it would be worth a look.

    • Charlie G

      If the seats were redone, then the coverings came from the Chrysler Corp. Back in 1972, my uncle gave me two of his Dodges. A 55 like you see here with the 354 and a 56 Coronet Royale with the ‘L’ head 6. I still have photos of both vehicles inside and out. Even in 72, with a slight yellowing of the vinyl, the seat covers looked this good in both cars, and the same seat covering was in both cars. Since my father and I were building my mother a new home, it took me several months to get both cars running again. The only thing I tried very hard to do and never quite succeeded in, was getting rid of the musty smell that the cars picked up while sitting in my uncle’s barns. I sold both cars to a pair of brothers down the road while I was in the service. Little did I know that they would use them in the county fair demo derby the summer of 1974. Luckily when I got home on leave, they still had the cars behind a shed, and I was able to salvage the complete dashes, the 354 (the 6 was total trash), the 56’s Powerflite and since derby rules read that all script had to be removed, I got all of the script, the window cranks and door handles back in a bucket. I’ve still got all of those parts in my back shed along with parts from all of the other MoPars that my family and I have owned these past 55 years.

      • Charlie G

        Depending on the model, 18 inches across. The 1960 Dodge Dart line sported 16’s. One more thing – that diamond plate trim on the door cover was manufactured by ALCOA way back from 1948 to 1964 for not only the Chrysler Corp. , but Ford as well.

  3. Pookie Jamison

    Why park it just after 11 years old? That steering wheel looks well used and the seats look like they were just recovered yesterday…. Looks like a nice daily driver

  4. Paul R

    A new battery and a spark plug is removed. That old Hemi is probably stuck.

  5. piper62j

    Would you look at the size of that steering wheel.. I don’t remember how big they were.. Nice car and with a good restoration, could be a great around – towner.. Not sure why the seller didn’t use a flash of some of the pictures, or why there are duplicates, but all in all, nice car..

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