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Hemi-Powered! A Pair Of 1957 Dodge Coronets

Update 3-20: I have revised the engine info. for Coronet #2. – JO

So, is it a good thing if you’re looking for an older car and you find what you want but then you learn that it’s really just half of what’s actually for sale? It could be, depending on the deal of course – sometimes it takes two to make one good one. In this case, we have a pair of 1957 Dodge Coronets, a two-door hardtop and a four-door sedan so there may be some synergy here – let’s take a look. Located in San Diego, California this “Swept Wing” pair is available, here on craigslist for $16,500.

Briefly, Dodge offered three trim levels in ’57 with the Custom Royal on top, the Royal in the middle, and the Coronet bringing up the markers. Coronet offered five body styles including two-door sedans, hardtops, and a convertible as well as a four-door sedan and station wagon. There was also a “Suburban” two-door station wagon that corresponded to the Coronet trim level. Dodge came in seventh place in the ’57 production race with 287K units, of which 160K were Coronets.

OK, Coronet #1 is a two-door hardtop and it has a bit of a “crispy” burned, surface rust look about itself. It’s difficult to get a comprehensive look at this hardtop but from what can be seen, the body appears to be intact, the chrome bits show well and the majority of the stainless trim is still attached.

Does that thing have a Hemi? You bet, it’s a 260 gross HP, 325 CI V8 engine, known as the “Super Red Ram” and tethered to an automatic transmission, either a PowerFlite or a TorqueFlite, which one is not disclosed. It’s a non-runner but the engine is said to turn over. There are no interior images or a description included in the listing, so an inquiry would need to be made.

Coronet #2 is a four-door sedan and is in a bit better shape. It features a two-tone green exterior that is oh-so 1957. The finish is worn but the body appears to be in pretty reasonable condition with no recognizable damage of any consequence.

The seller states that #2’s engine is a 361 CI V8 but it looks like another Hemi an A-Series, Polyspherical V8 to my eyes, one known as the “Red Ram 325”, generating 245 gross HP, and not to be confused with the “Super Red Ram” which is the Hemi engine that’s in Coronet #1. BTW, research indicates that the 361, a member of the B-block series, was introduced in 1958 so there’s some confusion going on here. It too is a non-runner though supposedly turns by hand, and it also is backed up by an automatic gearbox.

There is an interior image included for #2 and it looks to be in fair shape. The carpet is partially missing, revealing a rusty floor, the kick panels are missing and the door panels are either drooping with age or have gotten a hosing at some point in their past. Two ChryCo trademarks are evident, a push-button-activated transmission and a dash-mounted rearview mirror.

The two-door hardtop would be a heck of a looker in restored condition but that’s going to be a significant undertaking. The four-door sedan is likely to be worth less in the marketplace but it will still require a notable investment to turn it around – the engine unknowns, alone, could be a technical and $$$ challenge. So, the price is $16,500 for the pair, what do you think, priced right or not quite?


  1. sakingsbury20 Member

    Jim….the 2nd pic is definitely not a hemi, I do think it is 325ci tho…..if you look closely you can see the two hold down studs on top of the valve cover. also the generator on the hemi is located on the left side of the motor and this is on the right side, but has been changed to a alternator and looks like the carb is a newer model also….so there goes the ” unmolested ” claim in the craigslist ad

    Like 6
  2. Don K

    Really nice to see these in original condition, with only few mechanical upgrades that were likely done back when they were daily drivers, a commom practice back then. As the seller notes only one is a hemi, oh well. Much of the hard to find trim is still there which is an added plus given the rarity of these.

    Like 3
  3. Claudio

    The trunk on the fugly cars is bigger than a pick up truck box !
    I didn’t like these barges as a young kid
    Obviously still don’t

    Like 2
  4. Maggy

    The green one looks like it might be easy to get running.Cool color combo and patina.I’d do that first to see what else it needs to be a driver.The 2 door is cool but to a point of it needs total restoration and that’s gonna be lots of $$$. To bad it couldn’t do a Christine and restore itself.Ha.

    Like 4
  5. tmca

    ‘Coronet #2’ appears to be a Custom Royal, judging by the chrome lettering on
    each front fender. Rarer than a Coronet but still a 4-door sedan.

    Like 1
  6. Don

    I new someone would bring up Christine 🎸

    Like 3
  7. Marc Struglia

    The Transmission on one of them is the 3 speed Torqueflite. Their is 5 buttons on the dash.

    Like 0
    • Rick

      Yes, there are. ;)

      Like 0
    • Eric Flood

      I saw that, too. Reminded me of building road miles as a teen in a ’64 Polara. The buttons were stacked vertical; so you could just rest your fingertips in the gaps and thumb the correct button w/o looking.

      Like 0
  8. Tony

    Car #2 has a first gen poly motor, using the Hemi block and redesigned single rocker heads.

    Like 4
  9. David Foley Dave

    If you look close….it’s not a Dodge hemi…but a Desoto

    Like 0
    • Mark A

      Never seen a Desoto engine that looked like that.

      Like 0
  10. Paul

    The engine is as Tony said, a 1st gen Polysphere A engine and not a DeSoto Hemi. The Spark plug wires go under the valve cover and not through the middle. It’s also not a 361 B engine, all B and RB engines have the distributor in the front, this engine has it at the rear.

    Like 2
  11. Terry

    Oh the memories. My high school car was a 1958 Coronet, two-tone ivory and bronze. Just one of countless trim details- there’s a rectangular outline below the dash mirror between the two knobs with a Dodge badge on it- that’s a revolving ash tray that swivels to hide into the dash. I STILL kick myself for not keeping that car.

    Like 0
    • Marc Struglia

      Was your car a ‘Regal’? they were brozne and ivory or bronze and black. They had the hemi 325 dual quad I believe.

      Like 0
  12. Cooter Cooter

    You could build an entire KIA with the metal in that rear quarter panel—drivetrain and all!

    Like 1
  13. Chris Cornetto

    The only memories of these was pulling a windshield from one for a 58 Fury I had. Say what you will but late 50s Chrysler stuff aside from styling is crap compared to Ford and GM. The brakes are horrible and unlike now in the 80s it was nearly impossible to get mechanical parts. Not good for daily use. I put a 60 413 in mine, ran great, you had to throw out an anchor and put your foot out the door to stop. That drum on the driveshaft ebrake, upper and lower front wheel cylinders and rear shoes that rivaled a golf cart but hey it had a 150 speedo in it, no seat belts, melted bias tires to the ground and the only thing needed to survive was common sense or heavy intoxication. Very expensive restorations here but if your a diehard Mopar nut these hold very unique looks.

    Like 1

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