Summer Project: 1955 Dodge Royal


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The seller of this vintage Mopar sedan suggests that this could be a summer project for an enthusiast. If what you want to do is get the car on the road, I don’t think it will take you all summer! It’s located in Farmington, Michigan and is listed for sale here on eBay with a buy it now of only $2,100 but even lower offers are being entertained.


The white accents on the black body are pretty cool;  I don’t remember seeing accents on the rear like that with contrasting paint on any other cars (please correct me in the comments below). Despite areas where there’s corrosion, the body as a whole doesn’t look bad at all. I guess I shouldn’t worry too much about the trailer hitch on the back, but it does make me wonder a little.


It’s a pleasing profile, isn’t it? Keep in mind that this car is only $2,100! Looks pretty good from this point of view, doesn’t it? I think this car has just the right amount of bright trim, don’t you?


Unfortunately, when you look under the car (and thanks to the seller for showing it) you see at least part of the reason it’s so inexpensive. The seller tells us they unearthed it from long term storage last summer and intended to get the car driving and running safely while keeping the cosmetics as they are now. They have installed a new battery, plugs, plug wires and distributor since then. By running the car off an auxiliary fuel tank, the engine started. They have also had new keys made from the locks on the car to get it running.


Although this interior looks quite period, I can’t find any pictures of a 1955 Royal online that have this type of upholstery. That being said, I’ll bet it would clean up pretty well. The seller states that it would have to be redone, but I’m not sure why. I do agree with them that the brake pedal that goes straight to the floor will require some work!


The Red Ram 270 cubic inch V8 runs, and doesn’t sound like it needs a lot of work to keep doing so apart from replacing a dented oil pan (which comes with the car). So really you have brakes and fuel system to sort before the car is driveable. Doesn’t sound like a lot of work to make a $2,100 car into a driver, does it?

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  1. DrinkinGasoline

    It wouldn’t be much work or money to get this Ram road worthy. Sort out the brake and fuel systems first. Get it up on a lift and pressure wash the undercarriage then go to town with POR-15 in a spray gun. Dis-mount the tires and choose a rim treatment then mount your new skins of choice. Attack the body and interior as time and funds would allow. I personally would change the color combo to a black with aqua/teal accents both on the exterior as well as the interior (my wife is very skilled with a sewing machine and replicating patterns). I might even consider a tri-tone color scheme, incorporating a medium gray.
    As far as the chrome goes, I would grind smooth any issues, prep, then use two-part spray chrome to keep costs down.
    For 5k “all in”, I would have a respectable daily driver for all seasons. Every vehicle doesn’t have to be a concours restoration.

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  2. Tom Driscoll

    I own a ’56 Custom Royal Lancer which rides and drives like a dream. I drive it often, and it’s become much more reliable with electronic ignition, dual circuit brakes, and modern alternator. Tri tones were very popular with these cars, and yes, the tail light trimmed in white makes a great accent

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    • Joe Howell

      My Dad had a 55 in this exact tri-color scheme. If memory serves me correctly the seats had an upholstery pattern that looked like this example’s.

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  3. Bruce

    I would tackle it for a daily driver.Bruce.

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