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Forward Look Project: 1957 Dodge Royal

Chrysler’s 1957-59 products are famous for their “Forward Look” styling which set the competition on its ears. The Space Age was on, and the new cars offered by Chrysler, Plymouth, DeSoto, and Dodge were about as futuristic-looking as any – by 1957 standards, that is. This 1957 Royal was the mid-level Dodge but shared the same low profile and tailfins as the other Mopar’s. Located in Sarasota, Florida, this classic seems to be in original condition and would look sharp once restored. Available here on eBay, the current bidding holds at $3,150 with no reserve.

As a nameplate, the Royal had a relatively short life at Dodge, running from 1954 through 1959. It was discontinued in 1960 when the company reduced its trim level offerings from three to two. The cars were redesigned in 1957 and only changed minimally into 1958, with the most noticeable being the addition of quad headlights. A second headlight would reside in a pod where a turn signal was in 1957. This Dodge has been in the garage since the 1990s, so its two-tone paint will need refreshing along with a bit of work on the sheet metal.

We’re told the body itself is straight with no dents or major dings and you won’t find any patches in the doors or fenders. However, a prior owner did cut some rust out of the floors and applied a coat of POR to prevent further damage, but the rocker panels will require some attention. Although the trunk looks good in the photos, the seller says there are a few pinholes. All the glass is intact, and the windows and doors function properly.

Under the hood resides the “Poly” version of Chrysler 325 cubic inch V8, which was also available as a “Hemi”. The heads and pistons were said to be interchangeable between the two motors. The seller says he/she hasn’t tried to start the motor but plans to give it a try. The driveshaft is out of the Dodge, but the seller will reinstall it before the car moves on. The interior is generally okay, but the front bench seat will need some work. The seller bought this Royal to restore but has too many children and not enough time to get around to it.


  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Yet another cool and interesting permutation on the seemingly endless variations of the forward look cars from Chrysler/Desoto/Plymouth/Dodge and Imperial. It’s mind- bottling how many different models they produced.

    Like 9
  2. Steve

    The Dodge was the least appealing of the Chrysler lines for 1957 IMHO. I would prefer the DeSoto or Imperial.

    Like 3
  3. Jim in FL

    So much style in these. I hope it gets a nice refresh and becomes a driver, it’s something anyone would love spotting on the road.

    Like 22
  4. geezerglide85

    In about 197I had a ’59 Coronet, my father paid 50 bucks for it and only if they delivered it to the house. Had a flathead 6 and 3 on the tree. But 12 year old me didn’t see the shredded interior, rusted rear quarters, holes in floors and nonexistent trunk floor (had a piece of plywood on top of the gas tank). THe ’59’s had longer tail lights and every one was broken. after a year of me tinkering and doing (bad) body work it went to the junkyard. I always liked these and amazed how they survived outside of the rustbelt. We lived in NE Pa. and mine was NY car. Good times

    Like 10
    • Psychofish2

      Yes, learned bondo living in IA and trying to keep rust at bay on my own Dad’s cars during that same period, Geezerglide85.

      Bless him. He still drove my patients to work without embarassment…

      Like 6
  5. DON

    Dodge was the only one that had the stunted fins, Chrysler , Desoto and Plymouth had longer fins. While this is a nice looking car, the other three 1957 Mopars were much better looking, IMHO .

    Like 9
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      And all of them looked much better than any of the Tri Five Chevs.

      Like 15
      • Psychofish2

        I thought they were fine.

        But that ’58? Still hideous after all these years.

        Like 1
    • Psychofish2

      These were late used models when I was a kid and seemed so sinister and sort of evil.

      Still, I used to pretend my bike [Western Flyer Schwinn Sting Ray knock off] was a 57 Desoto.

      Like 8
  6. Kurt

    So much character, buyer please keep these same stock colors!

    Like 2
  7. Carbob Member

    Ah yes good old bondo. All of us in the rust regions got real familiar with bondo. Sort of like Play-Doh for big boys. But the rust always came back eventually. This old Mopar is a good candidate for restoration considering that most of this vintage has totally succumbed to the corrosion cycle. It took me a while to realize that you have to cut out ALL the rusted metal and replace with new metal to stand any chance of a long term repair. Hopefully the new owner will give this old girl the resto she deserves.

    Like 5
  8. Johnny

    Nice looking old car. Sure beats the death traps coming off the assembly line today. I,d rather have this and fix what it needs—you,ll still come out way a head of the price of a new car.

    Like 3
  9. Tom Black

    By the time I was 12 years old, Dad had picked up a ’58 DeSoto that had badly rusted areas above the headlights, which was also a common problem for the rest of the Mopar family of cars. My lessons in the use of Bondo didn’t start there, but rather the use of lead. Dad was a master at flowing lead into areas that needed repairs. He kept that old DeSoto for a long time, passing it down to my sister and eventually me. Long live lead.

    Like 7
  10. Christopher Gentry

    In about 1990 my local Dodge dealer actually had a 58 coronet In their used car lot. This exact same color combo. But honestly in much better shape. I THINK it was $1500.00 firm. Push button automatic. I wanted it every one talked me outta it because of that transmission. Rats

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