Kansas Coronet: 1957 Dodge Coronet

It’s ridiculously-obvious to say that “They don’t make cars like this anymore”, but if any of us here at Barn Finds were going to say something ridiculous it’s me, it’s in my contract. This incredible 1957 Dodge Coronet project can be found here on eBay in Roslyn, New York. There is a $6,999.99 buy it now price or you can make an offer.

This, my friends, is how you do a mean-looking car, not the ridiculous, gaping, angry-headlight/eye, razor-faced blobs of today. The emotionless shark-eyes look is more menacing to me than having some clown in a plastic 2019 electric shaver-mouth, angry-headlight car riding my bumper, especially when they’re sipping a latte and texting their broker at the same time. The 1957 Coronets were redesigned again in the era when car companies spent a lot of time and money almost totally redesigning their vehicles every two or three years and sometimes, every year.

Even with an AWOL letter-D on the hood and AWOL paint on the same hood and most of the front end of this car, this is one fabulous design. I’m trying to figure out how the top portion of the front end of this car is almost totally devoid of paint but a lot of the rear portions look like they were repainted not that long ago, especially in the opening photo of the incredible tailfins and rear of the car. It goes from shiny-new to rusty-old in the span of 18-feet. What a great grille, though!

Here you can really see the variation in the paint on this car. I can’t imagine that’s just due to the front of the car being by the overhead door. The seller says that this car is originally from Salina, Kansas, maybe it was sitting outside for a few years/decades? It has had the floors replaced which is great, but you can see that the body will also need a lot of work. I believe that this is a Coronet Lancer hardtop coupe but I’m not positive. Anyone? I would need a double storage unit just for this beauty compared to squeezing a couple of small oddball cars into one storage unit now.

This won’t be an inexpensive restoration by any means. We don’t see the underside at all but if it was sitting outside for an extended time to fade that paint as much as it has, I’d like to see the underside. Especially since the floors were bad enough to have been replaced. Trim pieces and details like that will be crucial, hopefully a good portion of those pieces come with the car.

There is no word on what the engine is and the VIN that’s listed is no help, but they say that it runs great. I believe that with the two-barrel carb it’s Dodge’s Red Ram 325 cubic-inch V8 which would have had 245 hp and 320 ft-lb of torque. That’s an impressive amount of power but with a two-ton car, the 0-60 is just over 9 seconds. Not blinding by any means but more than good enough to keep up with almost anything on the road today, and you’d be doing it with incredible style. Any thoughts on this Coronet?

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Comments

  1. TimS Member

    What a color combo this must have been when new. And what fun it would still be to drive today with all that torque.

    10
  2. Dave Mika

    Yea, she was clearly a looker in her day.

    7
  3. Moparman Member

    @Scotty: “What a great grille, though!” Grille? What grille? All I see is a HUMONGOUS bumper; probably weighs 3-400 lbs. alone! But you’re right, “The emotionless shark-eyes look” works for this car! :-)

    11
    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha, you’re right, Moparman! There isn’t much grille there, come to think of it. I could lift the grille if it had one, the bumper not so much.

      7
  4. Will Fox

    Overall, this `57 isn’t bad, but I have more questions than the photos answered. Like, where are the door panels? And associated hardware? I see the Lancer spinner wheelcovers on the front seat–thank God for those! But with missing parts, am I getting those too for the price? $6,999. is a little high; this is NOT the Custom Royal, which was above the Coronet in trim levels. I would offer $4900. and see if he bites. If not, no worries. I know where a MUCH, MUCH better Custom Royal is! It costs more, but is 3 times the car this is.

    6
    • Cadmandan

      Tell me about it and where .

      1
  5. stillrunners

    Dang…..and it still has it’s factory hub caps !!!

    1
    • Billy

      So, say again how much you like the ridiculous, gaping, angry-headlight/eye, razor-faced blobs of today — I couldn’t agree more, unfortunately Japan not Detroit wears the automotive design mantle now and I wonder if we’ll ever get it back. Like Exner said, “we’ll do fins until something better comes along”…and decidedly, razor-faced blobs ain’t better.

      4
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I find it hard to believe the paint goes from gorgeous to gunk in the length of a car body. It will take work to bring it back, but bring it back it should be. Won’t be cheap but it does make a statement.

    5
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    Man, Chrysler had so many and great variations on tailfins during this ’57-’60 period. Like this Fury,it’s so perfect.

    10
  8. Joe Haska

    I agree with what you have this is just as cool. I can’t believe when I was in high school ,I would not have had this car ,if you gave it to me. Now, I just wish I had the time and money to restore it, who says you don’t get smarter as you get older!

    1
  9. Ben T. Spanner

    My first car was a 1957 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer 2 dr HT in green and while. Mine was light green where this one has darker green. Mine was a 325 with a 4 bbl and a limited slip rear end. Front upholstery was shot, but Sears had left over seat covers for cheap in green only.
    This was the first carb I ever rebuilt, a Carter AFB, if I remember correctly. That was in 1965, and any of these mid 1950’s Mopars weren’t worth much, but they were great cars.

    4
    • JGeezer

      I had the same as my first car, but black & gold (striking!) and 18-year old me was happy with no LSD – that thing would smoke a rear tire half a city block.

      2
  10. Lawrence W Graham

    Those spinner hub caps are GOLD !!! I worked for a guy who bought one new….the same popular color ..it was quite fast too !!!

    1
  11. JimmyinTEXAS

    I had a great uncle that had two 50 model fords in his garages. One had a door that closed and one was open. Those cars had been there for about twenty years when I saw them and the one in the enclosed garage looked as nice as the rear of this car on both ends, the other looked like this car, nice on one end, not so much on the other.

    1
    • grant

      Exactly what I was thinking. Backed into an open garage. Or stall…

      2
      • Steven Ligac

        Myself exactly. :-)

  12. dweezilaz

    Ahhh, Scotty. When I was about 10, these were just used cars, 9-10 years old. They looked wildly out of date and, to my eyes, scary and sinister. You nailed their persona perfectly.

    With such beautiful new ’66 and ’67 models plying the roads of the period these looked like dinosaurs from a distant era.

    3
    • r s

      “sinister”

      To my eyes the 57-58 DeSoto captured the sinister look best. Get one like this in all black and wow…

      Despite its popularity (and I love ’em), put a ’57 Chev next to this DeSoto and it looks like a bath tub in comparison.

      4
      • r s

        Your carriage to Hell awaits…
        DeSoto Fireflyte Hearse.

        4
    • r s

      A 1966 Chevy was a very pretty car. A 1966 Dodge Polara or Monaco… not so much.

  13. Richard Fortney

    Looking at the paint, I would be concerned about a rearend collision

  14. Matt

    The ’57’ Dodge is another ’57’ car that I have always liked along with the Chevy, the Ford, and most of the others through the 55, 56, 57 era.

    Matt

    1
    • r s

      I love all those 50’s cars – really I do – but the Mopars come across like a four-meat pizza while the Chevy looks like a cheese sandwich, and the Ford looks like the package the cheese came in.

      1
  15. TimM

    Really nice car for not a bad price!!!

  16. Robert White

    You can’t polish a turd, but apparently you can paint one.

    Bob

    • Dickie F.

      I did a double take on the engine photo with “they say that it runs great.”
      And it looks like that?

      2
  17. Michael

    It’s all aerodynamics, crumple zones and pedestrian safety considerations now. Back then it was ” Get the kids, dog and picnic basket Martha ! I wanna try her out on the new interstate “!

    2
    • r s

      If you’ve seen any videos where they crash old cars vs. new ones it’s amazing and scary how badly the old cars folded up like accordions. I wonder if some of that isn’t due to testing with old cars that have rust on the backsides of the fenders etc. but even so, cars are actually better designed and built today.

      Just nowhere near as good looking.

      1
  18. JimmyJ

    My dad has one of these ,he bought it in 1992 it’s very nice like solid #2 it’s exactly the same but red and white.
    Parts are very hard to find as there are no repops like the chevys so sometimes ‘good enough ‘ is the best u can do.
    If u buy my old man has trim and motor parts plus he’s a great guy and won’t screw you on pricing.
    Very hard car to restore because they were crusher bait for years .
    He also has full custom royal trim if anybody’s interested .
    Mopar or no car!

    2
    • Del

      Begging for resto mod.

      426 Hemi and torqueflite.

      Redo interior tuck and roll.

      With swivel buckets from a period Chrysler.

      3
      • r s

        I WISH they would bring back swivel buckets. What a great idea those were. No clumsy twisting to get out of the car, just spin the seat 90 degrees.

        2
  19. r s

    “0-60 is just over 9 seconds. Not blinding by any means but more than good enough to keep up with almost anything on the road today”

    Mmm, I don’t think so. A 2019 4 cylinder Camry can do 0 to 60 in under 8 seconds. With the V6 it’s under 6 seconds. I think those are not wildly faster than the rest of the crowd these days.

  20. r s

    I wish they’d have parked that Dodge completely in a closed garage. Imagine if the front of it looked as nice as the back.

    1
  21. Barry

    Big car. It would take 2 dogs to bark at it.

    4
  22. Sal

    The 59 Dodge Royal was my favorite. My Dad had a ’58 Custom Royal in white and red. Beautiful car.

  23. James Burton

    i remember growing up my dad had one of these solid black with thhe dual antenas twin mirrows and red an silver int.. then my dad got a corvair and just parked it in our yard. there it sat and just rotted away. eng. locked up transmission went to hell. i wished i had it know. i got a buddy who has a covertible one of these. man its breathtaking.

    1

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