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Shown in the photograph is the tail fin of a 1955 Dodge Lancer, which was captured on the streets of Havana, Cuba.
This detail is a reminder of the imaginative designs of automobile manufacturers in mid-century America. They wowed consumers with sleek, ultramodern 'dream cars' slathered with chrome and fins. Historically these cars arrived at a time when war-weary, car-deprived Americans were discovering that cars were really about - fantasy. These cars were from an optimistic time when the future was bright. The automobiles were completely different from the era of cars before it and the era of cars after it. It was just the era of free imagination and pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable.
Dodge used the Lancer name from 1955 to 1959 to designate both two- and four-door pillarless hardtop models in the Coronet, Royal and Custom Royal lines. The Custom Royal Lancer was a hardtop only and top-of-the-line model for Dodge in 1959. There were 6278 2-door hardtops made and 5019 4-door hardtops made in 1959. Only 11,397 Custom Royal Lancers were made. The Custom Royal Lancer featured a big-block engine, 361 cubic inches at 305 horsepower. A D-500 option was available, which was a 383-cubic-inch engine with a single Carter 4-barrel carburetor rated at 320 horsepower and a Super D-500 engine option, a 383-cubic-inch engine with dual 4-barrel carburetors rated at 340 horsepower. The Custom Royal Lancer also featured padded dashboard, steering wheel, Lancer emblems on the fenders, steering wheel, hubcaps and glove box, foot-operated windshield wipers, dual radio antennas, deluxe side trim and thick chrome eyebrows. Optional equipment included power windows, brakes, air conditioning and swivel seats. The Lancer designation was dropped for 1960.
May 3rd, 2012
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