Original Hemi: 1957 Dodge Coronet D500

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The owner of this 1957 Dodge Coronet D500 found it sitting in a field, and he has spent the past three years returning it to a roadworthy state. No aspect of its drivetrain has escaped his attention, and he has treated its original Hemi V8 to a rebuild. Now that the Dodge can prowl our streets again, the owner has decided that the time is right for it to head to a new home. Barn Finder Larry D spotted the D500 for us, and we owe you a vote of thanks for that, Larry. It is located in Denver, Colorado, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $25,000 for this gentle giant.

When the owner found this Dodge, it had been sitting in a field for more than 20-years. He rescued it, and his intention was always to ensure that it was mechanically sound and structurally solid. However, he had no plans to perform a complete restoration. That means that the original Glacier White paint shows plenty of age, and I think it is beyond being revived with a spot of buffing and polishing. There are also a few minor dings and flaws in the panels, but nothing that would take a lot of work to address. The owner’s focus was primarily on addressing any rust problems, and the Coronet was renowned for them. However, this one wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. Both outer rockers had rust, and the owner rebuilt the inners with fresh steel while he was replacing the outers. The trunk pan had also deteriorated, but he has painstakingly rebuilt this, and it is as close to factory fresh as you could hope to find. There are still a couple of spots in the floors and the passenger side rocker that will require attention, but the vehicle is now structurally sound and ready to be enjoyed. The buyer will probably choose to complete the cosmetic side of this restoration, and when complete, it should be a stunning classic. The trim generally looks good, as does the glass. The Coronet rolls on a set of custom steel wheels that wear the original hubcaps.

I really want to meet this owner because I have a feeling that we would get along like a house on fire. I’ve seen owners use all sorts of words and phrases to describe the interior of their pride and joy, but this is the first where the term “hideous” has been used! It seems that the previous owner had it retrimmed as something of a trade deal, and the car was then parked for the following two decades. There is nothing radically wrong with it, as there are no apparent rips or other problems. However, twenty years of UV exposure has left a few items warped and brittle. The buyer could use it as-is for an extended period, but it will eventually require attention. If new upholstery can be found in the correct materials and colors, the inside of this Dodge could look glorious once again.

The D500 is a numbers-matching car, and we now reach the point in this story where this classic begins to shine. It is equipped with a 325ci Hemi V8, a 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. It seems that the vehicle didn’t run when the owner purchased it, but he has spared no expense to rectify this. He pulled the Hemi and despatched it to a specialist to perform a rebuild. The transmission was shipped to another specialist for similar treatment while the owner tackled a few other items. The braking system was rebuilt with a host of new components that included a master cylinder, wheel cylinders, shoes, hoses, and a few other odds and ends. The suspension and steering received a similar level of attention, and then the Hemi and transmission were detailed within an inch of their lives before being returned to their rightful places. It seems that the results justified the effort because the D500 now runs and drives perfectly. The owner supplies this YouTube video of the car in action, and that Hemi sounds sweet and gets this baby up and moving.

If you are looking for a classic car with impressive performance but carrying the sort of character that can only come with age, this 1957 Dodge Coronet D500 must be worth a closer look. I hate to use the phrase, but this car carries genuine patina, and the buyer could use it for years as it currently stands. However, it is also a project car where most of the heavy lifting has been completed, and it now needs someone to smooth out the few remaining rough edges and return the car to its former glory. Do you feel up to the challenge?

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  1. pwtiger

    This has to be one of the coolest cars to show up on barnfinds, I’d drive it just as it is

    Like 51
    • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

      I’m with you on that, this car is simply fabulous! The styling by Exner is as stunning today as it was over 60 years ago. The seller really did a great job getting this jewel up and running; the work he’s done is impressive. I’m just wondering if he’s going to re-coup the money he’s put into it. I’d like to see this car brought to the next level with fresh paint and a correctly restored interior. You almost never see these models today so a correctly restored ’57 would certainly be a treat to see.

      Like 15
  2. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Scrub, polish, paint do what you will all the expensive work is done. Drive as is; okay but at least clean the rust off that left front fender.
    God bless America

    Like 10
    • Mikefromthehammer

      I think it would be cooler to give a few coats of clear coat to lock in the patina. It is a time capsule which should be, I think, kept as it looked when the new owner buys it. The Coronet has earned the right to keep its looks by lasting this long.

      Like 10
  3. Big_FunMember

    This is a car worthy of the ‘Patina’ word that is overused and abused.
    “That thing got a Hemi?”, why, yes, yes it does. And a lot more hi performance items as well. Let’s take a look…
    Trust me – no one will think twice about that left fender – just as well leave it alone – as it will catch a lot of drool when the hood is up…

    Like 16
    • smokeymotors

      Hemi and a typerwriter slushpumper!

      Like 5
  4. Terrry

    Watching the video, the speedo and fuel gauge don’t work. The car sure sounds nice though!

    Like 5
  5. normadesmond

    YES! That he referred to the interior as hideous is brilliant!

    Like 2
  6. Brendon

    beautiful car, would be fun to have and drive around playing some doo wop in

    Like 4
  7. George Kushner

    Reminds me of “Highway Patrol” with Broderick Crawford . 10-4 – 10-4

    Like 12
    • ADM

      They had some great looking cars on that show, and women, too!

      Like 6
  8. Mike

    Black rims give it a meaner look. Cue Peter Gunn

    Like 7
    • ADM

      Poor Craig Stevens. He started out with a beautiful ’58 Desoto convertible, next a 59 Plymouth. Then Exner’s ugly stick really kicked in, with the ’60, and finally a ’61 Plymouth convertible.

      Like 1
  9. Jim in FLMember

    Having resto’d more than a few projects his ask of $25k probably barely covers his out of pocket. Ask me how I know….

    Like 7
  10. Daniel Soukup

    Maybe 175 HP to move all that metal down the road

    Like 0
  11. Doug

    Have seen a couple of the Super D500’s with the Chrysler engine. Could sure live with one of those.

    Like 0
  12. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Clean it, Paint it, Enjoy it.

    Like 0
  13. Andy

    I have always thought these cars are gorgeous from the front wheels all the way back to the taillights, but that front end is positively hideous.

    Like 1
  14. Andy

    I’ve always thought these cars are gorgeous from the front wheels to the taillights, but that front end is hideous.

    Like 2

    A yes for me!

    Like 0
  16. ADM

    Then, of course, there was the wild and woolly D-501.

    Like 0
  17. Kevin

    Love this car,nothing hideous about it to me,I would want it polished up,and a repaint, but nothing outlandish, cruise and enjoy!

    Like 0
  18. b q

    i have a ’57 Coronet blue n white D500 project car. ex missouri highway patrol car. KD500 325 c.i. HEMI V8 / 310 HP, 1 4 bbl, push pull trans… mine needs total restore. i’d sure like to know who rebuilt his 325 for him? my under / over line for a $5 straight bet is it cost him $7k + if he did that engine right? PLUS his time to pull it, DETAIL it to death, and install it, new accessories, etc… now i’m thinking of doing my engine / trans / brakes / suspension and interior, leaving the mostly original and almost rust free body and pans as they are.. decisions decisions decisions eh… but, where will i end up??? 🤯

    Like 0

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