1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer / Photos, Model History, Specifications

Featured is a beautiful, stylish 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer. This was the first year for this top of the line Dodge. The car’s styling is unique and several automotive writers called it the most beautiful car of the 1950’s.

1955 dodge
1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer

The 1955 Dodge Lineup

Dodge produced three models for 1955 and these were the entry level Coronet, followed by the Royal and the Custom Royal. Buyers were in for a pleasant surprise with each model showing an entirely new modern look. It’s important to note that the 1955 model year was Dodge automobiles third year with it’s V-8 engine. The newness of this V-8 power was made part of the advertisements Dodge ran for the Custom Royal Lancer where the Red Ram V-8 was highlighted. This was a big departure from years earlier advertising where Dodge cars offered only an inline six engine.

1955 Dodge Custom Royal Styling

With the 1955 model year Dodge made automotive history.  Noted Chrysler designer Virgil Exner unveiled the new “Forward Look” styling for the 1955 Dodge. The Forward Look embodied sleek and sharp styling and a hint of jet age flair which more than one automaker employed during the mid to late 1950’s. Every 1955 Dodge automobile was now four inches lower than the tall 1954 models.

A new top-of-the-line Dodge Custom Royal entered the lineup with a more powerful standard V-8 and additional trim. The car also carried small “fins on top of fins.” Both Royal and Custom Royal models could be ordered as two-door Lancer hardtops and four-door sedans, while the Royal also had a station wagon and the Custom Royal had a convertible and hardtop sedan. Tri-color paint schemes were popular and eye-catching for both models.

The top of the line Custom Royal was only sold as a two door hardtop, four door sedan, or two door convertible. All hardtop coupe and Custom Royal only convertible’s were called “Custom Royal Lancer”. Early cars had Royal Lancer nameplates, later gaining the word Custom as well. The four-door went from Royal and Custom nameplates to Royal Lancer and Custom nameplates; and, at some point in production, gained fender fins and “spear” side trim. Custom buyers not only got upgraded interiors, but special rear light bezels and, for the Lancer, chromed rear fins.

1955 dodge car

The 1955 Dodge Custom Royal had a new split grille plus flashy side trim and metal trim around the windows.

Popular accessories included power steering and brakes. Buyers could also get a four-way power seat (up, down, forward, backward), spinner or normal wheel covers, a foot-pumped windshield washer, wire wheels, air conditioning, rear seat speaker, spotlight or mirror on either or both sides, various lights — backup lights were only standard on the Custom Royal — day/night mirror, radio (AM, station-seeking or manual tune or pushbutton), and turn signals (standard on all but Coronet).

The 1955 Dodge Custom Lancer La Femme

Introduced in the spring of 1955 was a special version of the Custom Royal Lancer named “La Femme.” This special model, targeted at female buyers, came as a two door hardtop and had a two tone paint scheme of Sapphire White and Heather Rose. Also included was gold La Femme script which replaced the Custom Royal Lancer script. The model’s interior also used shades of pink and purple along with lavender white. Along with it came a purse that matched the interior color scheme.

This special model was produced for only two model years with an estimated total of less than 2,500 models built. This makes the La Femme Dodge models relatively rare today.

1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Specifications

Several engines and power levels were available with the 1955 Dodge automobiles. Engines included a 230 cubic inch straight six, a 270 cubic inch Red Ram V-8, 325 cubic inch V-8, a 350 cubic inch V-8 and a 361 cubic inch V-8.

Standard with both the Dodge Royal and Custom Royal was the 270 cubic inch Red Ram V-8 delivering 183 to 193 HP configurations.

Transmission was a Chrysler PowerFlite two speed automatic.

Dimensions include a 120 inch wheelbase, 212.1 inch overall length, 74.5 inch width, 60.6 inch height. curb weight 3,675 lbs. 

Total 1955 Dodge production totaled 313,000 vehicles. Total Custom Royal production was 89,250 vehicles.

Related Auto Museum Online articles include…

1956 Dodge DeSoto Firedome Seville

1955 Chrysler 300

Reference material for this article includes…Dodge 100 Years by Matt Delorenzo…Dodge Dynasty : The Car and the Family That Rocked Detroit by Caroline Latham…Complete Book of Collectible Cars by the Editors of Consumer Guide.

dodge royal lancer

The 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Collector Car

Today, the 1955 and 1956 Dodge Royal and Custom Royal are terrific cars from mid-1950s Americana. The high-horsepower cars are particular fun to drive, and all of the models have a more subdued look than the next generation Dodges, which some buyers prefer.

Auction sales for the 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer in showroom condition can reach over six figures. Those in excellent condition can generally fetch $60,000 to $80,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)