Many vehicles have some crazy over the top trim packages .
But in the history of automotive trim packages , this 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Lame trim has to be near the top of the list in terms of most outrageous and interesting trim options .
This la was offered in 1955 and 1956 and you can see here the interior , it was a unique interior trim combination that came with a number of accessories beyond the pink tapestry like cloth that has rose buds in it and the color which on this car , the exterior sapphire white and Heather rose and the was based on two Chrysler concept cars that preceded it .
The and LA Contes and those concept vehicles were studies that Chrysler put together because its marketing department thought there were opportunities to better capitalize on the rise of the influence of female purchasers in the household .
And Leontes was the more feminine of the two concept vehicles painted in dusty rows and heather gray was built off of a Chrysler Newport .
This is obviously a Dodge and handsome one at that especially these wheel covers .
I mean these are beautiful pieces of art , you know , themselves .
But the was this trim that was offered on the custom Royal Lancers only for 1955 and 56 .
And in addition to the color combination , really handsome steering wheel there too with it says full time power steering , you got a lot of different accessories that came with the interior .
So you can see there the badge , the the interior had tapestry material with pink rose buds , but you also got a calf skin purse that had a face powder compact , a lipstick case , a cigarette case and a change purse that were kind of out of this faux tortoise shell uh made by Evans of Chicago and they were made to fit , that whole purse was made to fit behind the front passenger seat and in a little pocket that you'll see here and in the driver's seat , the back of the driver's seat was an area for raincoats and umbrellas and this was all matching accessories that went along with the car interior .
And here's a picture of the person , some of the accessories , it's kind of like a keystone shape really interesting so that it can fit in that pocket behind the passenger seat .
And as I mentioned in 1955 this la was an option on the custom Royal Lancers which were the top of the line dodges for the year .
Really nice .
Cars came atop a 100 and 20 inch wheel base about 212 13 inches long or so so compact by 1970 standards , but really beautiful design on these dodges .
I especially like that fender flare if you will , that extends back to the bumper on the rear of the vehicle .
These did come equipped especially the custom moral answers with the red Ram V eight engine , which was the early Hemi head Chrysler V eight engine .
Often you can see the little V eight badge there and the Sweep spear which is a Buick queue or at least later became a Buick Q pattered off of some European cars like Dela Hayes .
But in the event , the uh red Ram V eight was an early Chrysler Hemi and in these vehicles , it was 270 cubic inches .
And in the custom Royals , it made 100 and 83 horsepower in the Royals made 100 and 75 horsepower .
And in the lesser cars you could get the six cylinder engine as well , which was called the Getaway six .
Although I don't know with at that point , only 100 and 23 horsepower in those six cylinders , how quickly you were going to get away .
These were also the pre torsion air Chryslers .
They did have coil springs up front and as Dodge advertised it or a flow ride control and shock absorbers .
And I think they actually ride quite nicely , especially compared to the torsion bar , rear leaf spring set up of the later Chryslers which I suppose some people prefer .
But I like the ride of these and these actually are higher quality , I would say as well .
Versus the cars that came out in 1957 those 57 vehicles were rushed a bit to production and didn't have the quality that , uh , I think the earlier Chryslers did .
And these were the vehicles that gave Chrysler the reputation for its engineering know how and prowess , especially with the Red Ram V eight winning a number of competitions for both power and fuel economy .
Now , back to the trim while Dodge called this trim a stunning success for the 1955 model year .
It would only last one more model year into 1956 and Chrysler changed it a little bit at that point , changed the color scheme to Misty Orchid and Regal orchid and the interior was different .
It featured LA M only seat patterns in that year as well as headliner paint and carpet and check out the backs of the seats here .
Quickly they have those two pockets , but there's nothing in them .
The purse isn't in there unfortunately , in this car , nor are the umbrella and raincoat et cetera , but that's where they sat in those pockets in any case .
It's not quite clear how many were produced .
It was just an option package at around 100 and $50 on top of the customer royal answer and its production was not ever broken out from the total dodge sales numbers .
But it's estimated that about 2500 were produced .
And there's about 40 or so of these 1955 versions and 20 or so of the 1956 versions left .
So despite the Chrysler marketing that it touted to dealers in 1956 trying to drum up more sales of this car .
It really wasn't an overwhelming sales success and there's probably a number of reasons for that .
Some speculate that few dealers really had demo models on the lots for customers to look at .
And you can imagine that dealer orders were being written by , obviously , men and dealers obviously want to sell through vehicles quickly .
So they probably didn't fully understand the allure of this type of a trim line .
You don't want to have a car just sitting idle on your lot .
That's pretty much sales proof .
And in any case , not many were produced even fewer survive , but I hope you enjoyed this .
Look at the 1955 Dodge LA .
I put some pictures of the 1956 LA here and as you can see , they changed , as I mentioned , the color scheme and then here is a picture of the interior which has a difficult to reproduce apparently seat pattern but was changed for the 1956 model year versus the 1955 that you just saw .
Certainly a trim package that you could not introduce today without considerable .
Shall we say press coverage .
Um But at the time was something that was interesting , arguably daring and accepted .
It just was not a sales success .
Hope you enjoyed this review of this 1955 .
Thanks again for watching .
Let's close out with this really interesting and humorous ad from 1955 for the Dodge lineup .
Go Dodge need you to do .
It's all about Power Fight .
Go Die , take command , get the thrill .
First hand 55 S the year to drive to drive a dodge a dodge with full time power steering of a thing that takes you all the way .
Take command .
Get the thrill firsthand .
Now's the time to buy and drive a dodge a do that sweat back when you take your eye full .
Nothing ever since no .
Take command to cut the drill first hand 55 S per year .
Too dry , too dry .
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