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1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500
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Sportsman
Posted 2010-03-15 11:29 PM (#214068)
Subject: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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I've visited here often as I've been a "closet" F_L fan for a long time, but have played with other makes. Here is my humble contribution to the board.

This followed me home today. I bought it about 2 months ago, but today was the first chance I've had to retrieve it. I found this car when going to look at a '56 Desoto Fireflite. How could I resist ? This car is basically complete, minus carb and air cleaner, radio, and some minor trim pieces. Still has the original 315 hemi, complete with adjustable valvetrain. Power windows, power seat, power steering and power brakes. 2-speed auto, which I'm not wild about. As far as it looks, the car was all white, with a blue/white interior.

It's obviously not going to win Pebble Beach and has some rust issues in the floors and trunk, and the interior has turned to dust, but overall a good restoration candidate. Sheetmetal repair doesn't really bother me and while it's not exactly fun, it's fairly easy and cheap to do, relative to other repairs. The pix don't really do justice to the condition the car is in. This car had been sitting for over 40 years. If you're wondering, the DeSoto came home with me too; last week. It's rough but the price was right and the 330 was still intact., The Desoto was parked in '62, or just 48 short years ago.

If any body is knowledgeable about the D-500, feel free to PM or e-mail me. I've found very little info about these cars, and would like to know more. I'll get more pix later, if anybody is interested.

Edited by Sportsman 2010-03-15 11:35 PM




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Attachments MVC-003F.JPG (121KB - 51 downloads)
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2010-03-15 11:51 PM (#214075 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



50005000500050002000500
Location: Parts Unknown
I also have a 56 D-500, and while I do not claim to be an "expert" on them, I have learned a lot since having this car.
Drop a line any time, or we can just kick it in the open for all to chime in on.

BTW ~ Nice find ! 56 Dodges are such a cute, "perky" car.
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MOPAR-TO-YA
Posted 2010-03-16 1:21 AM (#214095 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500


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Nice find. that was a jewel in it's day. . I am surprised the antennas have survived all these years. Thanks for putting in your general location. You must not be to far from Branson. There has been some talk of a little Mopar get together down there. Welcome to the FL site ............................MO
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B/G 61
Posted 2010-03-16 5:41 AM (#214113 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Welcome and GREAT FIND !!!
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Fins/413
Posted 2010-03-16 5:45 AM (#214114 - in reply to #214113)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500


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Great find can't wait for more photos.
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JERSEYBOB
Posted 2010-03-16 11:33 AM (#214148 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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It sure seems like the 56 owners are showing up in droves lately ! Great ! Welcome to FL.net If its info you need, this is THE place. Just keep searching the forums for anything about 56 Dodges and you'll learn quite a bit. We just recently had a good long conversation about the 56 Dodge wagons and it included a lot of facts and pictures about the interior also. Although the rear of these cars is obviously different, the front half will pertain to your car. There are a lot of parts available for your car mechanically. Sheet metal is a little different. You'll have to search for that stuff. Rockers are being re-popped, so that should be easy, but patch panels are scarce. They do rarely show up once in a while, but you have to keep your eyes open. Stick around, it's fun.........
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d500neil
Posted 2010-03-16 7:56 PM (#214222 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Marty, welcome aboard!

PM sent; that is a fully loaded car you've got; we'll see how early its production might be.

The PowerFlite transmission is fine, and there are a couple of hop-up tricks for it, too.

You might check out the size of your car's brakes.





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Sportsman
Posted 2010-03-16 10:41 PM (#214272 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Funny you should mention the brakes. The car had actually been set on cement blocks years ago and had no wheels or tires. When I went to recover it I quickly discovered that I needed 15" wheels to clear the drums. I measured the drums at 13" across the face. I had to scrounge through piles and piles to find 4 wheels and tires that fit.

If anybody can assist in the decoding the data plate or VIN, I'd be interested in whatever info anyone can provide. Neither this car or the '56 Fireflite really have much history to them as both were driven 7-8 years and then parked amongst a few hundred others and slowly deteriorated. Not very glamorous at all.

I'll throw out a question as Doc mentioned earlier. It was my understanding that the D-500 cars were built with Imperial frames. My understanding was that the Imperial frames were so tough because they were a perimeter frame with an X-brace. This frame looks exactly like the one under my Sportsman. What's the skinny ?
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2010-03-16 11:34 PM (#214280 - in reply to #214272)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



50005000500050002000500
Location: Parts Unknown
Negative on the Imperial frame. Standard Dodge frame on the D-500's. D-500 differences in 1956 were Chrysler brakes, heavier springs, some extra gnarls in the tranny, and the Hemi 315 with solid lifter valving. And, of course, the crossed flag emblems fore and aft.

I am lusting for those bumper ends !
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MOPAR-TO-YA
Posted 2010-03-17 12:49 AM (#214290 - in reply to #214148)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500


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JERSEYBOB - 2010-03-16 10:33 AM

It sure seems like the 56 owners are showing up in droves lately ! Great ! Welcome to FL.net If its info you need, this is THE place. Just keep searching the forums for anything about 56 Dodges and you'll learn quite a bit. We just recently had a good long conversation about the 56 Dodge wagons and it included a lot of facts and pictures about the interior also. Although the rear of these cars is obviously different, the front half will pertain to your car. There are a lot of parts available for your car mechanically. Sheet metal is a little different. You'll have to search for that stuff. Rockers are being re-popped, so that should be easy, but patch panels are scarce. They do rarely show up once in a while, but you have to keep your eyes open. Stick around, it's fun.........
J-Bob, maybe we should reserect the 55-56 support group. It's really good to have more of them posting.............................MO
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JERSEYBOB
Posted 2010-03-17 8:36 AM (#214314 - in reply to #214290)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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I'm hoping the support group never died ! It seems it wasnt too long ago that I remember the board getting its 1000th member. Today there are almost 3800 members on the forum. Lets see if the early FL's start becoming more poular. We all no the trend here has been the 57-58 years with the 59-61 closing in fast. It's always been my style to lean towards early American iron (love the stuff from the late 20's to mid 30's best) ..so its no wonder I like the more rounded lines of the first FL's.
I think there is enough styling trend and mechanical difference to warrant our own section for discussion, but I really don't want to divide this board any more than it is. There are those amongst us that already do their fair share of division here. I also dont want to hi-jack this thread;.....so.....back to the 56 at hand !
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2010-03-17 10:40 AM (#214325 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Location: Parts Unknown
Is this "support group" a 12 Step program ?
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Sportsman
Posted 2010-03-17 10:55 AM (#214329 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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I'm with J-Bob on the styling of the earlier years. The designs are a little cleaner, a little more traditional, but yet yielded some clues as to what was on the drawing board for the years ahead. I think the best part about these cars is they really showed the mentality of the companies that built them at the time. While the styling element was there, it was the fact there was the blossoming focus on performance, not only in the engine, but with chassis specific hardware as well.

Speaking of the earlier FL years -Somebody may have caught it, but nobody has said anything yet - On the pix I posted in the Cars in the Woods thread, the first car is a '55 LaFemme. While not my cup of tea necessarily, it's still an interesting concept, and certainly an unexpected find in hillbilly territory. Some of the personal accessories are still in the pouches in seatbacks.

In '56, were the D-500s available with a 3-speed manual trans or was it 2-speed auto only ? I have conflicting information that it was, and that only the 2x4 cars had the 3-speed manual available. The internet is a great source for information as long as you don't deduct points for accuracy. I plan on driving this car when it's done, so I would find such a conversion much more appealing from a driving enthusiast perspective.
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2010-03-17 10:59 AM (#214330 - in reply to #214329)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



50005000500050002000500
Location: Parts Unknown
3-onda-tree was the base tranny and available across the board. The guts might have been beefed up a little for a D-500
application, but I have never gone through the parts book to verify this. By 1960, it was true, and I believe I have heard
members here speak of this on earlier years, but can't remember specifics.
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jsrail
Posted 2010-03-17 11:52 AM (#214335 - in reply to #214330)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Wow! Awesome find man!  Dave Homstad here has a '56 D-500 he built and is very knowledgeable on them.  He has a great website (if I could only find it) on his build with a lot of tech data on these.  I've got a '56 CRL w/ the Poly and it's nice to see more and more of the single-headlight cars on board here.  Keep us posted on your project!

Here's Dave's website:   http://webpages.charter.net/dhomstad/1956%20Dodge%20CRLFrame1Source...

Jay

Does it still have the headlight bezels?  I know someone is looking for those around here!  LOL



Edited by jsrail 2010-03-17 11:57 AM
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JERSEYBOB
Posted 2010-03-17 12:01 PM (#214337 - in reply to #214325)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Can't remember. Once we got to step 10 we thought it was a milestone and went and got drunk.
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JERSEYBOB
Posted 2010-03-17 12:12 PM (#214339 - in reply to #214329)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Marty, if you dont have it already, I highly suggest you get this book. They're on Ebay all the time or any source you like.



(service manual cover.jpg)



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Attachments service manual cover.jpg (56KB - 42 downloads)
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Sportsman
Posted 2010-03-17 12:13 PM (#214340 - in reply to #214337)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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No H/L bezels, but there is a '56 4-door I might be able to get them from. If not, I've got a D-500 (or 2) located in a salvage yard. I hate to display my lack of knowledge about these but are the bezels different ? I can't even find a listing in my interchange manual.

I've actually got 6 projects in various stages right now, but I think I may just focus on the D-car once summer gets here. I just think it's totally cool for some reason.
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JERSEYBOB
Posted 2010-03-17 12:18 PM (#214341 - in reply to #214340)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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yeah they're different. Believe it or not the lesser models got chrome bezels, the upper level models got painted ones. The painted ones are a little longer and creat more of a visor over the headlight. look at the difference between these two wagons. You should have the painted ones.



(wagonbrochure2.JPG)



(wagonbrochure4.JPG)



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Attachments wagonbrochure2.JPG (155KB - 39 downloads)
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big m
Posted 2010-03-17 12:48 PM (#214344 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Somebody needs to save that '55 La Femme! I have never run across one in all my years of junkyarding.

---John
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jsrail
Posted 2010-03-17 1:49 PM (#214357 - in reply to #214340)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Sportsman - 2010-03-17 10:13 AM No H/L bezels, but there is a '56 4-door I might be able to get them from. If not, I've got a D-500 (or 2) located in a salvage yard. I hate to display my lack of knowledge about these but are the bezels different ? I can't even find a listing in my interchange manual. I've actually got 6 projects in various stages right now, but I think I may just focus on the D-car once summer gets here. I just think it's totally cool for some reason.

Marty, if you can get the bezels, they are painted on the outside (a smal chrome ring along the front edge), not chrome like the Coronet's.  They are like gold and hard to find if you don't have them already on your car.

Jay

P.S. if you know of a second pair of bezels (they were on the D-500's and Custom Royals), I think Doc Desoto here is looking for them for his D-500 Wagon, isn't that right Brad?



Edited by jsrail 2010-03-17 1:51 PM
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d500neil
Posted 2010-03-17 2:48 PM (#214361 - in reply to #214357)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Somebody apparently really liked those headlight bezels, and, the Crossed-Flags.

Marty, there is a thread around here, on this board, that you should check out, regarding the showing of the various
years' D500 emblems.

There is/are several aftermarket 1956 Crossed-Flags emblems which closely resemble the real 56 emblems, but, if you
do happen to find any of the A-M guys, just be aware that they are not OEM to/for your car.

As far as the suspension of the early-issue 56 D500's are concerned, they did have stiffer coil springs, but also special rear
'flat' springs (which may be shared with the Furys) which greatly stiffened and lowered the rear end.

The proper D500 wheels are 5 1/2" wide .

All the 1956 models came 'on' the 15" wheels, but, in widths of 4 1/2" and 5" , or 5 1/2".

But, the 1956 Dodge D500-1 race cars had 6 1/2" wide wheels, which were shared with the '56 Imperials.

One thing that you will appreciate with your car is its "chair Height" seats; the considerably lowered 1957 models are not
real fun to climb into/outta.

And, while it's way-early to think about painting the car, my suggestion is to retain its OEM color(s) and trim; it will be
more valuable as being correctly restored, rather than become just another renovation.







Edited by d500neil 2010-03-17 3:21 PM
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MOPAR-TO-YA
Posted 2010-03-17 2:55 PM (#214362 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500


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On those headlight bezels, they sure do look like the 56 Chrysler. Chry Windsor look like your all chrome ones, and Chrysler New Yorker look like the painted ones with chrome edge. . I thought the visored New Yorker bezels looked better on my Windsor, so thats what it has
BTW if there is a way to get that La Femme with the accessories, you better snap it up!.............................................MO
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Sportsman
Posted 2010-03-17 3:39 PM (#214375 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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You guys are fantastic ! The wealth of knowledge is incredible. And, thanks for not bagging on a new guy. Hopefully someday I can contribute to the group, not just pull info out of it.

The front crossed flag emblem is still intact. The rear is partially there, but one of the flags broke off. It's been a long time ago, as there is no shadow or witness marks on the underlying paint. Same way on the bezels, they were probably off the car by '65. I think those flags are going to be iffy to re-chrome as the "stick" part of the flags in very thin.

I've got a couple of Service Manuals coming and already have an Interchange Guide and DeS Trim/Molding Catalog. I"m looking for a good source of info that tells me the little nuances of each model. The Interchange is OK but covers mostly the big stuff.

The LaFemme is currently not for sale. I'm going to keep tabs on it, just in case.
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d500neil
Posted 2010-03-17 3:52 PM (#214378 - in reply to #214375)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Marty, as you well know, the most important thing, about any project, is planning and budgeting.

That, and doing the work in a logical sequence, so you do not have to repeat any earlier R & R operations.

My suggestion is to go find all of the car's missing pieces, while you arrange to get its mechanical components
overhauled.

It might not hurt to begin the operation of ordering the car's interior trim materials (from SMS, or Original Auto Interiors)
as getting the material has been reported by others to be sometimes, a prolonged effort.

Once you get the material, you can arrange to have your local hot-rod upholstery shop stitch it all-together, at a (much-) later
date, after/when the car finally gets to be painted.

The 56 Dodge has a unique salt/pepper loop pile carpeting.

Anybody know, offhand, who sells that material? Your local upholstery shop can custom cut/fit that carpeting to your
car, too.







Edited by d500neil 2010-03-17 3:55 PM
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Dash One
Posted 2010-03-18 8:53 AM (#214511 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500


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Hello and Welcome, Nice find! Great to see another D500 getting saved. You should be able to get all the information you need from D500 owners on the list. Tim in Golden 56 D500-1
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2010-03-18 11:20 AM (#214521 - in reply to #214341)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



50005000500050002000500
Location: Parts Unknown
The Dodge painted headlight bezels (Custom series) show a different part number in the book than the similar
looking Chrysler and DeSoto units. Never tried fitting one up against the other to see what the differences are.
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wbower3
Posted 2010-03-18 1:44 PM (#214528 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500


Walter passed away on Jul 29, 2014. We will miss you, Walt!

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Hi Marty and welcome to the F/L net. Congrats on the keeping the one that followed you home. As you now know there are several on board and into the '56 model. I'm a year behind/ahead with a '55. Based on prior Mopar experience growing up and while dating in hischool. That period just sorta grows on you. Do post pictures as you bring it back to life.

Uncle Walt
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Fintail and Son
Posted 2010-03-18 8:33 PM (#214566 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500


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Hi, Marty---

My car is a '56 Dodge convertible D500. I'm knowlegable but not as much as so many others here. You can PM me for all your 'easy' questions. I have much literature on '56 D500's and some on D500-1's. Just for fun why don't you 'You Tube' and 'Google' 1956 Dodge D500---web and images. Lots of information there.
Try this website www.youtube.com/watch?v+HiNIjQ4EGQc Then click on MT American Classics---'56 D500 when it pops up. Enjoy that D500. It is reliable, sounds great, sneaky quick (you should have the 3:73 rear standard), and will leave you satisfied compared to most any other car you own.----Fred
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DeSotohead
Posted 2010-03-18 9:26 PM (#214580 - in reply to #214521)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Doctor DeSoto - 2010-03-18 11:20 AM

The Dodge painted headlight bezels (Custom series) show a different part number in the book than the similar
looking Chrysler and DeSoto units. Never tried fitting one up against the other to see what the differences are.


Doc....

The DeSoto Fireflite ones had a hole in the top for the front mounting stud of the "fender peak" chrome diecast.

Could possibly be one reason for the difference in part numbers......
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d500neil
Posted 2010-03-18 9:33 PM (#214584 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

Posts: 19171
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Location: bishop, ca
Marty, does your car have much in the way of having its OEM carpeting still exist?

If not, I can send you some images of what it looks like.

It's a special 2-tone color.



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Sportsman
Posted 2010-03-18 11:26 PM (#214609 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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Send an image if you'd like. The fabrics in the interior are pretty rough. I don't remember the carpet being two tone. It's more of a dirt/moss color right now. I've got a decent collection of images for the exteriors of various '56 cars, but no good interior shots.

The car is currently in my storage lot and is waiting for another project in front of it to get wrapped up. I haven't had enough time to really start going through the car yet. I'll try to get over there tomorrow and get a shot of the data plate.
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2010-03-18 11:28 PM (#214610 - in reply to #214584)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



50005000500050002000500
Location: Parts Unknown
I meant to pipe in earlier here about that comment regarding the Powerflite (2-speed) auto. Having driven plenty of both,
I have never had anything bad to say about the 2-speed. They move the car along just fine and hold up to hard driving as
well as the Torqueflite 3-speed auto.
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MOPAR-TO-YA
Posted 2010-03-19 1:37 AM (#214631 - in reply to #214580)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500


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DeSotohead - 2010-03-18 8:26 PM

Doctor DeSoto - 2010-03-18 11:20 AM

The Dodge painted headlight bezels (Custom series) show a different part number in the book than the similar
looking Chrysler and DeSoto units. Never tried fitting one up against the other to see what the differences are.


Doc....

The DeSoto Fireflite ones had a hole in the top for the front mounting stud of the "fender peak" chrome diecast.

Could possibly be one reason for the difference in part numbers......
Yes, I had a Desoto headlight ring and filled those holes. fit just fine, so visa versa ought to work.................................MO
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Sportsman
Posted 2010-03-19 9:40 PM (#214782 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



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I checked the carpet today, It looks like it'e P&W vinyl. From what I can tell it's a light blue in color. I much more like the sound of two-tone carpet.

Do the Dodge painted H/L bezels come to a peak on the top center ? There is an ever so slight crease in the very top of the DeS bezels. In the wagon pics above, it looks like they are round on top. The Dodge version also appears to have a thinner chrome reveal on the leading edge. A shot of the painted bezels on my Sportsman is shown below.

The data tag was on the cowl, just inboard from the RH fender mirror. It appears to have been steel since it's virtually rusted away. The only codes I can clearly read are Body 864, Paint 55, Trim 544. If anyone can add any inof about these it would be great. There is also an "X" and "134" china markings on the cowl. I'll soak the tag in molasses for a week and see if there is anymore information on it.

Can annyone comment on the little bracket remnants on the front bumper guards. I thought this was some amateur for light install or something at first, but the holes are round and it looks to well thought out to be a backyard job.

I've included a few more random pix below. Feel free to comment on anything. The the back of the trunk floor and the driver footwell are rust out completly, the more I look over the car the more pleased I am with the condition. Sometimes when opportunity knocks, you have to answer the door, regardless of who's there. That's why I didn't pore over these cars a lot before I bought them. I'm not into them for very much at all and the comfort level was high. I think it's important to at least recover cars like these and save them. There are some other FL cars in this collection that are saveable (and a couple of early DeS and Chryslers, too) but sadly may meet the crusher.

Random Pix:

Edited by Sportsman 2010-03-19 9:49 PM




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Attachments MVC-018F.JPG (48KB - 44 downloads)
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Attachments MVC-027F.JPG (53KB - 44 downloads)
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Attachments MVC-031F.JPG (49KB - 36 downloads)
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2010-03-19 11:34 PM (#214794 - in reply to #214782)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



50005000500050002000500
Location: Parts Unknown
The rusty things on those bumper guards were part of a cross bar between the two. It was part of the bumper accessory package.
Those fender hugging "wings" on the front bumper ends are the rest of the package.
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56royaldodge
Posted 2010-03-20 3:02 AM (#214807 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



Account deactivated by owner's request

1000500100100100100
Location: On this barrel
We all know that the 56 Dodge is the best car ever ....
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jsrail
Posted 2010-03-20 10:42 AM (#214834 - in reply to #214807)
Subject: RE: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



Expert

Posts: 1590
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ

56royaldodge - 2010-03-20 1:02 AM We all know that the 56 Dodge is the best car ever ....

That's For Sure!

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Sportsman
Posted 2010-03-21 9:16 PM (#215121 - in reply to #214068)
Subject: Re: 1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500



Veteran

Posts: 161
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Location: SW MO
Well, I went scavenging for parts today and came up with one headlight bezel. Nothing to it. I should manifest another in a week or two at this rate. It has a little wahoo on the inner opening, but I can fix it, no problem. It would never show, regardless.
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