The 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501's Journey from Barn Find to Drag Racing Icon

Feb 8, 2024 3 min read
The 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501's Journey from Barn Find to Drag Racing Icon

In the distinguished realm of classic American muscle, the 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501 stands out as a paragon of sheer power and engineering excellence. This muscle car, limited to a mere 56 units, epitomizes Dodge's ambition to dominate the drag racing circuits of its time. More than just a vehicle, the D-501 was conceived as a race homologation model, with every aspect designed to deliver peak performance. One such vehicle has recently been brought back to its former splendor through a meticulous restoration, adhering strictly to its original factory specifications.

At the heart of the D-501 beats a robust 354ci Hemi V-8 engine, boasting an 11.0:1 compression ratio and dual 500cfm Carter carburetors. This powerhouse was engineered to unleash formidable power, making the D-501 a legend on the drag strip. Its 3-speed manual transmission plays a crucial role in harnessing this power, ensuring it's effectively put to the pavement.

The restoration journey of this iconic 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501 was undertaken with an unwavering commitment to authenticity. Leveraging original Chrysler build documents, the restoration team painstakingly ensured that every nuance of the vehicle was returned to its factory-intended glory. This dedication extended to every component, verified against the Mopar parts manual, to maintain period-correct authenticity from the full-size Dodge outside frame rails to the distinctive Coronet two-door body.

Purpose-built for drag racing, the D-501's design features are a testament to Dodge's singular focus on performance. Its heavy-duty drum brakes, equipped with 12-inch truck units upfront and Chrysler Imperial units at the rear, were specifically designed to manage the car's extraordinary power and speed. The vehicle's rear axle setup, complete with 3.90:1 gears, torsion bars, and anti-roll bars, underscored Dodge's intention to not just participate in drag racing, but to dominate the sport.

The storied history of this particular D-501 is well-documented and celebrated, underlined by its inclusion in the top 5 Muscle Car of the Year. Its journey from discovery to restoration has been meticulously recorded, including in a magazine article board, and is accompanied by a Mopar parts manual that adds depth to its storied provenance.

Today, the 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501 is a living testament to a bygone era of American automotive dominance, where raw power and performance were king. Its faithful restoration ensures that this legendary racer will continue to capture the imagination of car enthusiasts for generations to come. As a rare and hallowed icon in the annals of classic muscle cars, the D-501 stands as a proud symbol of Dodge's racing heritage and a significant chapter in the history of American automotive excellence.

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