Dodge Coronet III 31955 - 1956
Model: Coronet (1949 - 1976)
Wikipedia (Coronet): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Coronet
The 1955 Coronet dropped to the lower end of the Dodge vehicle lineup, with the Wayfarer and Meadowbrook names no longer used and the Dodge Custom Royal added above the Dodge Royal. Bodies were restyled with help from newly hired Virgil Exner to be lower, wider, and longer than the lumpy prewar style, which in turn generated a healthy boost in sales over 1954. Power came from either a 230 cu in (3.8 L) Chrysler Flathead enginestraight-6, now producing 123 hp (92 kW) thanks to carburetion and other changes, or a 270 cu in (4.4 L) V8 with dual rocker arms (the "Hemi"). Power windows were new. Wheelbase was 120 inches. They were 212.1 inches long. A number of trim lines were available:
1956 was the last year of this body style before the change in 1957, the only differences offered in 1956 from '55 were trim packages and the new D-500. The D-500 was the first Dodge factory high performance "Super Stock" model with the only external clues being discreet, crossed checkered flags and "500" lettering on its hood and lower rear deck. The D-500 (named for the NASCAR requirement that 500 identical models must be produced in order to be raced) was also available on any Dodge, including station wagons and two-door sedans. The standard D-500 model included a 315 cid V8 with hemispherical heads (unlike other Dodge V8s which used polyspherical heads), a unique camshaft, valve lifters, pushrods, carburetor, ignition, and pistons. With a compression ratio of 9.25:1, four-barrel Carter WCFB carburetor, and dual-point distribution, peak horsepower was 260 bhp (190 kW) while torque was a solid 330 lb·ft (450 N·m). The D-500 also received an upgraded suspension with very stiff front coil springs; heavy duty Oriflow shock absorbers, with the same valving specified for Dodge police cars, were mounted in the springs. Similar units were used in the rear. Overall height of the D-500 was 1.5 inches (38 mm) lower than its standard Dodge counterpart. The D-500 came standard with 15x5.5 inch wheels with 7.60x15 inch tubeless tires. New for safety were safety door locks.
An even hotter version of the D-500, the D-500-1 was intended primarily for NASCAR competition. The D-500-1 had an even stiffer suspension than the D-500. Under the hood, the engine received larger valves (about 18% larger), a full-race camshaft, and a double log intake manifold that used two four-barrel Carter WCFB carburetors. This all added up to 285 bhp (213 kW). It was the fastest car that year from the factory.
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