1953 Dodge Coronet
2dr Club Coupe
8-cyl. 241cid/140hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
In 1953, the Coronet was Dodge’s top-of-the-line car, with plenty of chrome trim and exquisite interiors. Still, many basics were available only as options: turn signals, heater, radio, windshield washers, backup lights and a clock. In reality, the Coronet was really an upgraded trim level of the basic Meadowbrook line. It was a handsome car, with an air scoop on the nose under the hood ornament. The chrome belt-line sweeping across the lower door panels and over the rear fenders made the 1953 Dodge lineup look quite distinctive.
Buyers in 1953 could get their Coronet as a two-door or four-door sedan, a two-door “Diplomat” hardtop, a two-door convertible, or as a two-door “Sierra” station wagon. Coronets were offered with two engine choices: a basic 230 cubic inch inline-six flathead that made 103 hp, or a 241-cid “Red Ram” Hemi V-8 with 140 hp — the first of Dodge’s Hemi engines. Transmission options were greater, with a standard three-speed manual with overdrive, Gyromatic Fluid Drive, or Gyro-Torque automatic. Cars built after April 6, 1953 could be ordered with air conditioning.
For 1954, the new Dodge Royal series replaced the Coronet as top-of-the-line, leaving the Coronet as the intermediate trim level just above the base Meadowbrook line. The primary difference between the two was in the chrome trim. Coronet body styles expanded to include a four-door sedan, two-door club coupe, hardtop or convertible, the four-door Sierra station wagon, or a new two-door Suburban station wagon.
Engine options remained unchanged for 1954, but transmission options expanded to include the base three-speed manual with optional overdrive, Fluid-Drive, Gyromatic, or the new PowerFlite automatic. In this year, Dodge won a competition for fuel economy by registering over 25 mpg through a 1,300-mile test. The winning car was a six-cylinder model with the standard three-speed transmission plus the overdrive option.
Collectors should seek out the very rare convertibles or hardtop coupes from this era. Among wagons, the Suburbans were most numerous, but may have better collector appeal today than the two-door models. As there are no great differences in engine power, a good set of options and best overall condition should be the primary decision factors.