1955 Dodge Royal Lancer
The 1955 Dodge lineup, consisting of the entry-level Coronet, Royal, and ornate Custom Royal, was a major departure for the company. Driven almost out of business in 1953 and 1954, the Chrysler Corporation was revived with a $250 million dollar loan from Prudential and new models designed by the legendary Virgil Exner. The Dodge lineup was positioned as the mainstream line in Chrysler's hierarchy, between Plymouth and DeSoto.
The Royal (and Sierra wagon) were the next step up. Featuring only the V8 engine, the Royal also lacked the 2-door sedan and wagon models available in the Coronet line. Early hardtop coupes lack the "Lancer" script, although they were officially Lancers, but later models wore "Royal Lancer" badges.
The flagship model was the Custom Royal. All hardtop coupe and Custom Royal-only convertible models were called "Custom Royal Lancer", and the "Custom Royal" sedan gained the Lancer badge soon after its introduction as well. The Custom line featured unique chrome tailfins (although early model year cars went without this trim), special tail light surrounds, and an upscale interior. Backup lights were standard on the Custom line but optional on all others. The Custom Royal also featured the hemi 270CID Super Red Ram engine.