The automobile featured in this article is a great looking 1958 Dodge Coronet Lancer Coupe. One of the interesting facts about the Coronet model was that it began as the highest trim line from Dodge in 1949 and then beginning in 1955 became the lowest trim line. The 1958 Dodge Coronet was among the fourth generation Coronets.
The 1958 Dodge Coronet
The 1958 Dodges had basic mechanicals similar to the De Soto, but featured special styling. The total redesign of Chrysler products for 1955-1956 was followed by the even more dramatic “forward look” cars of 1957-1959. Styling for 1958 was very similar to that of 1957 with only small changes. These automobiles are great examples of the famous Chrysler Corporation finned cars of the 1950′s.
In 1958 the Dodge division of the Chrysler Corporation had three models: the Coronet…Royal, and Custom Royal. These models used the same turret as some Desotos, but had a special body style of their own. All were to a high degree similar, but with different trim lines and features.
The Dodge Coronet was the base model. The Coronet model did not have as much chrome work as the other two models, which was most noticeable on the front with the lack of ‘teeth’ and dress work. They also had a different rear bumper bar which had little rubber stoppers on the corners. So very different than when the Coronet had been the shining top Dodge model from 1949 to 1953.
The Dodge Coronet began as a full sized car and was so during the 1950′s and some years later. Beginning in 1965 and to 1975 the Coronet became an intermediate size car. As for the names Lancer and Coronet, Lancer would switch over as the badge for the corporation’s new compact car in 1961 (sibling to Plymouth’s Valiant) while Coronet would disappear for a few years and then reappear as a new Dodge mid-size in 1965. This new 1965 model had a muscle car image and as much power as a 426 V8 Hemi could deliver.
The 1958 models were the first Dodges to have four headlights.
The grille and headlights were the most significant changes for the Dodge Coronet for 1958. The headlights were now quad units. The 1958 and 1959 Coronet, Royal, and Custom Royal employed a Desoto Fireflite chassis but had plainer trim.
Dodge focused on improving the engines, which they did, with all engines of the ‘wedge’ single rocker head design. The top of the line engine was the 361-cubic-inch V8 with fuel-injection which was capable of an astonishing 333 horsepower.
The Coronet may have been the base model at the time, but it doesn’t look totally plain. Huge fins, plenty of chrome, and some good options make this a good looking Dodge.
1958 Dodge Coronet Specifications
Since the Dodge Coronet was considered the base model, most were equipped with inline-six engines.The top of the line engine was the 361-cubic-inch V8 with fuel-injection which was capable of an astonishing 333 horsepower.
A three-speed transmission with Fluid-Drive was standard equipment.
The 17-foot, 10-inch-long Dodge provides a true “big car” ride. The spacious cabin is 78.3-inches wide with a panoramic view through the wraparound windshield.
New car price in 1958 was about $2,750.
Find additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below…
The Dodge Coronet Collector Cars
The Dodge Coronet is a reasonably valued collector car. This of course also depends a lot on overall condition and degree of restoration. As mentioned above, the Dodge Coronet itself went from a top of the line car to eventually the lowest trim model.
These values appear to hold true for the two higher trim lines with maybe a few thousand dollars more for the higher trims.
(Article and photos copyright 2016 Auto Museum Online)