Red Ram Royal! 1955 Dodge Lancer

Sometimes, a particular make, model, and year of an automobile has been covered so extensively, there’s really nothing more that can be said about it. Take a ’55 Chevy for example, what more can be said that hasn’t already been said? I dunno, I’m out of ideas and that’s why I’m so happy that a ’55 Dodge Royal Lancer has rolled my way. I know little about Dodges from that era so let’s investigate this seldomly covered subject. This Dodge is located in Farmingdale, New York and is available, here on eBay for a reduced BIN price of $8,545. There is a make an offer option too.

Dodge had three trim levels in ’55 starting with the Coronet, then the Royal, and finally, the Custom Royal occupying the top drawer. The “Lancer” designation was utilized on two-door hardtop models across all three lines as well as on the Custom Royal convertible. Dodge produced about 273K cars in Model Year ’55 with the Royal Lancer accounting for about 25K copies.

Well, this car definitely looks like the ’50s with its extensive stainless trim and tri-tone paint job. the seller claims that this 30-year barn find is, “SUPER SOLID WITH ALMOST NO ROT OR RUST“. The driver’s door tells a different story as the bottom of it doesn’t look too sound. The finish appears to be fair but the seller has employed the old trick of photographing the car while wet which can artificially enhance its appearance. The extensive trim is all still attached but the chrome-plated pieces, like the bumpers, are getting thin. The wheel covers are missing but that’s about it; all-in-all, this Royal Lancer’s exterior is not in too bad a condition.

It is stated that the condition of the 170 gross HP, 270 CI “Red Ram” V8 engine and its accompanying PowerFlite automatic transmission is unknown but the motor does turn over. The car’s title is in the previous owner’s name so this one sounds like a quick flip and that is probably the reason for the little knowledge and listing information regarding the powertrain. The engine is very original looking and nothing appears to be missing but it looks as if it hasn’t run in decades.

It’s tough to get a good look at the interior and as is often the case, there is an obligatory box sitting on what looks like a recovered front bench seat.  The dash and instrument panel are dusty and tarnished and the headliner has become holey. Oddly, the back seat is showing some rips, something usually not found in the less commonly occupied seating area. Taking a few minutes and making a minor attempt to clean up the floor would go a long way in making the interior more presentable. And let’s not forget the steering wheel as it appears to be disintegrating.

The seller opines, “This car needs to be restored“. I would agree with that statement but it’s obviously something that he is not interested in taking on. My thought is that no one else will either at his asking price. He’s reduced it once but it’s probably going to require considerably more downward pressure before someone bites. And I hope that happens and the next owner would consider keeping it stock. This is no ’55 Chevy, there just aren’t too many Mopars from this era still available, and keeping it as Dodge intended so many years ago would be nice, wouldn’t you agree?


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  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    “No rot or rust.” I’d be inclined not to believe the flipper judging by the obvious rust in the drivers door. I’d also want to check for bondo and see how many pounds are present in the cars lower body. If this Dodge spent its life in the North East, I’ll wager the floor and trunk have some rust issues, areas of the car the seller doesn’t mention. He also mentions the car was stored for 30 years in a barn. I would like to know where the car was for the pervious 35 plus years; on the road in rust-producing New England? It’s a sharp looking car, one that deserves to be restored but the seller obviously knows next to nothing about it so I wouldn’t attempt to buy it without a thorough inspection in person. The supplied pictures are terrible, possibly on purpose but also likely because the seller just doesn’t know how to photograph a car properly. It’s also interesting to note the mileage isn’t disclosed. At any rate, I’d be wary of this seller.

    Like 15
  2. Gary

    Poor thing, I’d done a in person inspection on it for sure. Overpriced by about 7k

    Like 9
  3. Rodney - GSM

    “…pants on fire”.

    Like 12
  4. Rodney - GSM

    It gets even better. Zoom in on the only interior photo. There is a dusty chauffeurs cap on the front seat. If I’m not mistaken, it reads, “Rust Assured Livery Service”. I could be wrong…

    Like 2
  5. Slantasaurus

    Steely Dan would call this a Red Ram Royal Scam.

    Like 3
  6. chrlsful

    lub da ‘instant polish’ they give w/the garden hose (not 1st or last0. No comprehension what it looks like ina pic?
    A sprayed down car from the garden hose.

    Like 2
    • Dwcisme

      I went to a public auto auction a few times where they sprayed down every car before it entered the ring. Made any brightwork shine and hid clear coat problems.

  7. Russ Ashley

    At my age now (80) I have no intention to ever restore another vehicle, but being an ole Mopar guy, I love this car and would love to have it if I had the energy and desire for another restoration. I hope someone gets it and gives it the attention it deserves. When I was 14 in 1955 when this car was new. My Dad was car shopping and brought home a new Dodge exactly like this one, and we all took a ride in it. I was extremely excited thinking we were getting it. Dad let us out and headed back to the dealership with it and came home with a four door Plymouth which had absolutely no options. Not even a radio or heater, which he later purchased from Western Auto.

    Like 7
  8. Andy B

    Definitely a flipper. Almost 13,000 positive reviews on eBay, soooo….

    From what I could see zooming in on a the interior shot, drivers side floor board looks VERY rusty, but nothing shining thru that can be seen.

    I’d offer him $800…

    Like 1
  9. Lance Platt

    Years ago, a friend bought a 56 Chrysler like the one his parents once owned. The body looked better than this but the frame was rusted through. So let the buyer beware on any old vehicle. The title issue is a second red flag. Even when it is being flipped, it doesnt take much trouble to go to the DVM and pay a fee for a clean certificate of title. If the previous owner didn’t have a valid title, then there are more legal problems. The obvious problem that was discussed is the fact that the car is a Dodge not a 55 Chevrolet so the resale value plummets. I like Dodges but a collector car is an investment.

  10. Morley Member

    I want this . Pull the engine and sell the rest for what you can get. This is the perfect engine for an open motor highboy hot rod. This is when the word RAM meant something.

    Like 2
  11. Morley Member

    I want this . Pull the engine and sell the rest for what you can get. This is the perfect engine for an open motor highboy hot rod. This is when the word RAM meant something.

    Like 2
  12. Jerry

    It says Red Ram but it’s a wedge not a hemi. This engine was common in the Plymouths while Dodge used the Red Ram Hemis.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Not only is this engine not a hemi, it’s also the low power version with a 2 barrel carb.

      Like 1
    • md

      …actually, it’s a poly-sphereic engine, the wedge came later.

      Like 1
      • Russ Ashley

        I’m not positive, but I have read that a set of hemi heads will bolt on to this era of poly engine. The heads have to be from the same era which limits the availability somewhat.

  13. Gray Wolf

    Jack up the antenna (if not rusted) and put another car under it! Hit a bump and half of the body would be on the ground!

  14. B. A. Schoen

    New York doesn’t title old cars (pre 1973?) the only official paper you can get for a motor vehicle that age is a “Transferable Registration”.
    Hey! It’s New York, we do things our way.

  15. md

    Jim, the “Lancer” designated the hardtop for all models – including the four door.

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