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.

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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)

The 1969 Land Rover Series IIa / Photos, Specifications, Model History

Our featured classic vehicle is a beautiful 1969 Land Rover Series IIa. The Land Rover is a British Off-Road vehicle launched in 1948 and in addition to civilian buyers was used extensively by the British military. Among the owners of the Land Rover over the years were BMW (2000), Ford Motor Company (2005), and from 2008 to the present time Land Rover is owned by the Indian company, Tata Motors.

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1969 Land Rover IIa

The Early Land Rover

The Land Rover was introduced during  post World War Two as the British answer to America’s Willys Jeep. The British Land Rover, most would say, was Britain’s reply to the go anywhere U.S Army World War II vehicle fondly called the Jeep. In fact, the British Land Rover adopted most of it’s traits directly from the Jeep. Just like the Jeep, the Land-Rover was built for tough off road work. It was a vehicle that was built to do the tasks other vehicles of the time could not.

While the Willys Jeep was the first of such a vehicle, it actually was the British who carried the concept even further. The first British Land Rover model (see specs below) was very similar to the Jeep. If you didn’t see the nameplate of the first Land Rover model you may have easily mistaken it for a Willys Jeep. While the first Land Rover mimicked the Jeep in so many ways, there were notable differences. These included fully enclosed front wheels, sharper angular fenders, and head lights mounted behind mesh grille guards.

The early Land-Rover was a four wheel drive “go anywhere” vehicle. Series I through III were produced from 1948 to 1980. The Series II which is our featured vehicle was produced from 1968 to 1971. There was a Series IIA which was built beginning in 1961 and is basically a hybride between a Series II and Series III.

Later models of the British Land Rover Series II came with a variety of options. The Series II pretty much represented the classic Land Rover. Two or four wheel drive and gasoline or diesel engines. In 1970, Land-Rover introduced the more rider friendly Range Rover which had a variety of creature comforts not found in the earlier Land-Rovers. The Range Rover meant to be a more luxurious vehicle. Ruggedness and comfort was the aim and the Range Rover was essentially like many of today’s SUV’s.

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The Land Rover Series II and IIa / Engines and Differences

Introduced in 1958, ten years after the Series I, the Land Rover Series II was the model’s first update. Restyling was necessary to make room for the improvements that had been made underneath that sporty aluminum body.

After the Series II which was produced from 1958 to 1961 came the Series IIa. The Land Rover Series IIA was available as a two door, two door pickup, and a four door. Two items of significance regarding the II1 was that the axles were changed and gave the Series IIa a wider track of 4’3½”. Also, the Series IIa had a 2.25 liter diesel engine as opposed to the prior 2.0 liter diesel.

Other changes from the Series II to the Series IIa’s included headlights which were now flush with the grille, and a new air vent lever.

1969 Land Rover Specifications

Power plant is a 139 cubic inch straight four diesel delivering 66 HP.

Gear box is a four speed manual.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Suspension are semi elliptic leaf springs.

Dimensions include 88.0 inch wheelbase, 142.5 inch outside length, 66.0 inch width.

Total Land Rover Series IIa production for 1969 was 50,550 units. These included IIa’s with 88 and 109 and 110 inch wheelbases. The Late Series IIA’s saw Land Rover starting to limit what was available in the U.S. market. The Series IIa is the vast majority of Land Rover models seen today in the U.S.

Related Auto Museum Online articles…

1967 Kaiser Jeepster Commando

1968 Jeepster Convertible

Reference material for this article includes…The Land Rover Story by Giles Chapman…Land Rover : The Story of the Car that Conquered the World by Ben Fogle.

land rover series 2a

The Land Rover Collector Car

The Land Rover Series IIA has remained popular with collectors and enthusiasts. While very similar in many ways to the Jeep, the early Land Rover is known for added passenger comfort. Original examples in excellent / showroom restored condition such as the one featured here are rare finds.

This particular model sold recently at auction for $38,500.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

The 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine / Photos, Specifications, Model History

Our featured vehicle is a beautifully restored 1941 Lincoln Limousine. This is a very rare Lincoln model with only 295 built. This model debuted after Lincoln’s big Model K was discontinued in 1940. The Model K with it’s V-8 engine first came out in 1931 with luxurious styling. The Lincoln Custom Limousine catered to a small group of wealthy buyers required large, comfortable and luxurious chauffeur driven automobiles. This model was Lincoln’s very low production flagship automobile.

The Limousine

Many people are fascinated with stretch limousines and often curious as to the people who ride in them. The first limousine was built in 1902 and provided a partition between the driver and passengers for the purpose of privacy. What we refer to as a stretch limousine ( longer than a standard automobile) actually was built in 1928 by a Fort Smith, Arkansas by a firm named Armbruster Coach Company.

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1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine













Ford Buys Lincoln

Lincoln was formed in 1917 by Henry Leland. The company made a lot of money building airplane engines during World War One. After the war, Lincoln began building luxury automobiles. The automobile business faltered and Lincoln ended up in receivership. It was 1922 when Henry Ford took over Lincoln from receivership for $8 million and the rest is history.

1941 Lincoln Limousine Styling

The styling for the 1941 Lincoln Limousine goes to Eugene T. (Bob) Gregorie of the Ford Motor Company and was based on the Zephyr Limousines and Town Cars. Seating eight passengers, the automobile offered jump seats and a window behind the drivers seat.

The Lincoln Zephyr has the distinction of being the first streamlined automobile put into production. The Zephyr was intended to give Lincoln a lower priced entry vehicle much like the LaSalle was a lower priced entry vehicle for Cadillac. In fact, the lower priced Zephyr model debuting during the Great Depression went a long way in saving the Lincoln brand.

The Zephyr had all steel unibody construction molded into a aerodynamic design. The streamlined teardrop design was credited to Briggs Manufacturing which was a major body supplier to Ford. The front end of this design was then reworked by Edsel Ford and Ford designer Bob Gregorie.

Where the 1941 Lincoln Limousine was an expensive  luxury automobile, the Lincoln Zephyr touted luxury but at a significantly lower price. Original new car price for the eight passenger 1941 Lincoln Limousine came in at about $3,000. The 1941 Lincoln Zephyr Sedan had a new car price of $1,500 before options.

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1941 Lincoln Limousine Specifications

The 1941 Lincoln Limousine was built with a 292 cubic inch L-Head V-12 engine delivering 120 HP.  The 292 cubic inch L-Head V-12’s that came out in 1940 were discontinued in 1948 and replaced with eight cylinder engines.

Transmission is a three speed manual with overdrive.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Suspension consists of solid front and live rear axles with transverse leaf springs.

As mentioned there were only 295 1941 Lincoln Limousines produced and this is out of a total 1941 Lincoln production of 17,700 vehicles.

Related Auto Museum Online articles you may find interesting include…

The 1941 Lincoln Continental

The 1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupe

Reference materials for this article include..Lincoln and Continental Classic Motorcars The Early Years by author Marvin Arnold…The Lincoln Continental Story From Zephyr to Mark II by Tim Howley… Stretching It: The Story of the Limousine by Michael L. Bromley.

1941 lincoln custom limousine

The 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine Collector Car

With only 295 examples of the 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousines produced, this model is obviously quite rare. The number of these models that exist today and in this type of fully restored condition are certainly even more rare.

As a side note, the 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine model with it’s unique and luxurious styling was used in the Francis Ford Coppola movie The Godfather.

Available recent auction sale prices for the 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine have ranged from $70,000-$80,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)