Dodge Coronet Lancer Hardtop

By 1948, as the postwar “seller’s market” peaked, Chrysler management correctly understood that automobile buyers would shift their priorities from utility and economy to those of style and performance. Salvation came in the form of Virgil Exner, who left Raymond Loewy’s design firm in 1949 to become Chrysler’s head of advanced styling. Exner acted quickly, unleashing a series of styling exercises, show cars and a mild restyling of the Chrysler line in 1953. Indeed, his “Forward Look” of 1955 was an inspired stroke of genius, imparting a modern flair to all Chrysler products.

Extensive wartime research by Chrysler in search of an improved liquid-cooled engine for the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft was capably refocused and applied postwar to the development of a new and powerful overhead-valve V8 engine for automotive use. First offered in 1953, the powerful “Red Ram” V8 engine grew to 270 cubic inches by 1955 and, with its responsiveness to simple tuning, helped Dodge to establish its enduring high-performance image.

While the 1955 Dodge models shared their basic body design and layout with their Plymouth cousins, a longer 120-inch wheelbase, unique styling features and myriad interior and exterior color schemes clearly distinguished the Dodge line.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2010 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan.

175 bhp, 270 cu. in. “Red Ram” V8 engine, PowerFlite two-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 120"

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Dodge Coronet Lancer Hardtop