The McCandless Collection

1957 Dodge Coronet D-501


Not Just A Museum

The McCandless Collection will take you back to the days of "The Forward Look Era" automotive design, racing, and drivers themselves. We guarantee an unforgettable experience. With so many classic vehicles under one roof, we have something everyone will get excited about.

Fifth car built of a special production project of approximately one hundred cars intended for NASCAR or drag racing use. Less than 10 are known to exist and this car remains in mostly original condition. Built in late November 1956, it was purchased new and drag raced during the 1957 season by Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick. Lee Smith purchased the car in late 1959, briefly sold it between mid-1962 and early 1964, then re-acquired it in 1964. This car was acquired from Lee in 2018.

The factory race package included the following parts and specs:

  • 1956 Chrysler 300B – 354 CU IN Hemi with special chrome crankshaft, solid lifter camshaft and special valves designed for the 1958 fuel injected 300D Hemi
  • 1957 Chrysler 300C – Dual quad carbs, close ratio manual 3 speed transmission, 4.89:1 sure grip differential (available ratios were 2.93:1 thru 6.17:1)
  • 1957 Imperial – Complete suspension, 12” x 2.5” brakes, 15” x 6.5” wheels with 9/16” wheel bolts
  • Additional specs included: 7.60-15 heavy duty tires, 26-gallon fuel tank, factory deleted heater and radio
  • Weight: 4,050 lbs.
  • Cost: $3,314

1957 Dodge Coronet D-501: A Rare Jewel in the Mopar Crown

Ah, the 1950s – a decade that has become synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll, drive-in theaters, and an automotive renaissance that saw American car makers push boundaries like never before. In the midst of this explosion of innovation, the 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501 emerged, not just as another car, but as a scintillating star in the vast galaxy of American automobiles. Buckle up, fellow enthusiasts, as we journey back to an era of chrome, fins, and pure, unbridled horsepower.

A Vision of Forward Design

Dodge, already recognized for its trendsetting designs, truly outdid itself with the ’57 Coronet. Its sleek, low-slung profile, adorned with soaring tail fins and chrome aplenty, was the epitome of the Forward Look – Chrysler’s design philosophy that emphasized sweeping lines and futuristic aesthetics.

However, what truly set the D-501 variant apart wasn’t just its looks, but what lay beneath that gleaming exterior.

Heart of a Beast

At its core, the D-501 was a muscle car avant la lettre. Its heart, a monstrous 354 cubic-inch Hemi V8, originally crafted for the Chrysler 300B, was transplanted into the Coronet, making the D-501 the most powerful car in the Dodge lineup. With its dual four-barrel carburetors and solid lifters, this engine churned out a staggering 340 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque.

This wasn’t just a car; it was a rocket on wheels, ready to show any challenger its taillights.

Racing in its DNA

Dodge didn’t merely intend the D-501 to be a showpiece; it was built for performance. Beyond the mighty Hemi, the car was equipped with a heavy-duty suspension, larger brakes taken from the police package, and a beefed-up TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission. On the drag strip, the D-501 was an absolute force to be reckoned with, laying down rubber and capturing the hearts of speed aficionados.

An Exclusive Club

Adding to its allure, the D-501 is a rare breed. With only 101 units ever produced, owning one is akin to possessing a piece of automotive royalty. Each vehicle stands as a testament to an era when limits were meant to be pushed, and boundaries forever expanded.

A Legacy Unforgotten

Over six decades have passed since the 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501 graced our streets, yet its legend remains undiminished. In the annals of automotive history, certain cars stand out not just for their specs, but for the stories they tell and the dreams they inspire.

For the classic car enthusiast, the D-501 isn’t just an automobile; it’s a symbol of a time when innovation, design, and power converged to create something truly magical. Today, as we look back with admiration, the 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501 stands tall, a gleaming beacon of Mopar excellence that will forever rev in our collective hearts.

Preserving the history of Cars and many other vintage automotive memorabilia from "The Forward Look Era" (1955-1961)

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