This 1959 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Super D-500 Convertible is a special limited production model and one of a few high performance dual-quad 383CI Super D-500 models known to exist. The car features many luxury options detailed below and was given a body-off restoration in 2005 by model specialist Tom White, which was the subject of two-part feature article (here and here) in Hemmings back in 2007. The car is sold with a clean Connecticut registration and Q-1 from its long-term owner and several awards from two Meadow Brook Concours, Greenwich Concours and the New England Concours.
The 2005 nut and bolt restoration sought to return the car to its showroom original condition. Some minor bodywork and rust-repair was needed in the trunk floor only, and aging paint was stripped and reapplied in proper single-stage PPG acrylic urethane. In the 10 years since, the car has picked up a chip in the paint at the top of the passenger’s door, and a stain is present in the top well liner from washing the car. Panel fitment and alignment are very good, and the folding top is a quality piece by Haartz. The car is an impressive 217.4″ long.
Chrome was sent out for replating and trim holds a deep shine throughout. Lenses are clear and overall finish is said be be show-worthy.
Cool badging can be seen around the body and original-type wheelcovers are fitted, sporting the model’s distinctive late medieval Close Helmet logo set over a black background.
The interior was restored by Jonathan Chase of Skin and Bones Upholstery. Correct front-seat covers in yellow and black and correct NOS fabric and vinyl were sourced. Rear seats, door panels, rear interior panels and beading for the rear seats had to be custom fabricated.
The car is well optioned from the factory with six-way power adjustable seats which swivel for easier ingress and egress, $95.70 and $58.95 options when new respectively. The large instrument cluster is flanked by Chrysler’s push-button gear selector at left and is topped by an upholstered dash and instrument cluster pad. The car also has its original Autronic Eye option.
Also fitted are power windows, a $70.95 option, the Mirrormatic auto-dimming rearview mirror and model-correct tritone upholstery. This particular example is fitted with power steering and power brakes.
Standard Custom Royal Lancers made due with the 361 cubic inch Super Ram Fire V8 engine with wedge combustion chambers, while this Super D-500 was specced with the optional 345 horsepower, 383 cubic inch V8 engine and fed by dual 4-barrel Carter carburetors. A high lift cam with heavy duty valve springs, dual exhaust, and a Torqueflite transmission were also included on D-500s.
This car is fitted with a correct-type ML engine that is reported to be in proper factory specification. It was rebuilt with correct Carter carburetors and intake & exhaust manifolds, double breaker distributor, and dual heavy duty air cleaners. Several rare original equipment items remain, down to the foil that separates the carburetors on the manifold. These parts are irreplaceable and cannot be sourced easily.
Tom White has reportedly decoded the chassis number as a genuine Super D-500. This L.A.-built car has the chassis number at the top of the VIN tag, while examples built in Hamtrack, Michigan put the chassis number in the door jamb. Photos from Tom White’s restoration of the car can be viewed in the gallery.
This Custom Royal Lancer Super D-500 includes an original owners’ manual, and per the seller it is ready for shows or extended cruising. The owner’s representative is handling the sale on his behalf.