At $25,000, is this 1957 Dodge Sierra a classic contender?
today Nice price or no dice The Dodge Sierra comes from an era when Chrysler was in bad shape financially. The car’s sleek style and heavy V8 engine make it a good thing the company has survived. Let’s see if the price of this camper makes it a financially sound investment.
When General Motors introduced its new Saturn division in 1985, it debuted innovations in both the company and its cars. It is worth noting that the cars had plastic bodies, which are immune to scratches from parking doors and body rust. The company’s most important contribution was no price haggling, a first for any GM division, a practice that made the purchasing process less difficult for inexperienced car buyers. But unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and General Motors killed Saturn in 2010 after deeming its 25-year experiment a failure. This has left us with some wonderful orphans like the orphans of yesterday Neat and clean 2002 Saturn SC2 With its unconventional third door and frugal fuel efficiency. It was everything anyone could want in a cheap and cheerful ride, and the $3,950 asking price didn’t spark much haggling in the comments and led to Nice Price winning 90 percent of the vote.
What do you think is the best name the engine manufacturer has given? I’ve always been partial to the four “Hurricane” Willys myself. Today’s 1957 Dodge Sierra is powered by one of Mopar’s innovative and extremely powerful “Hemi” V8 engines, and has been given the premium “Red Ram” designation. This was only the fourth year a V8 engine of any kind had been offered in Dodge’s model line after a 20-year hiatus, and the company wasn’t shy about making a statement.
With a single four-barrel carb, the 325-cubic-inch V8 managed a healthy 285 horsepower in the top-of-the-line D500 performance model. The dealer-installed dual-quad setup bumped it up to 310 horsepower.
This Sierra’s engine breathes through an aftermarket Edelbrock four-cylinder engine and will likely get a more consistent spark because it has an alternator to make the electricity instead of the original dynamo. A more modern aftermarket A/C compressor was also installed and likely reduces the load on the engine.
Another update to note in the stylish engine bay is the change to a dual-channel main brake system. This feeds a disc/drum setup that brings braking performance up to snuff. There are still plenty of old-school elements to enjoy here, including the three-wheel manual transmission. The seller says the car can be converted into an SUV “if that’s your thing.” The C-frame trailing rear axle helps keep everything in place.
Also old school is the great “forward look” body design. In the 1950s, Chrysler was so strapped for cash that it required a huge line of credit to launch new models. This still means a lot of sharing across car lines, and there are a lot of similarities between the Dodge and De Soto models of this era. However, they are both beautiful and well-balanced designs. A notable feature of this model is the nose of the four headlights. Chrysler was concerned that smaller beam lights would not be approved for use in the United States by the time the Dodge design was approved, so they gave the cars a single light design with an interior running light in partnership. In 1958, the nose was redesigned to have four lights.
This Sierra appears to be in pretty solid condition behind those lights, with the seller claiming no rust or appreciable damage anywhere. The black paint is an old paint but looks decent in pictures. American Racing Mag wheels wear fat and modern meat wears them down even more.
There’s more to like about the cabin. The vinyl and gold cloth upholstery are intact front and back, as are the carpeting and all door cards. This car has the optional dashboard and seat belts, so it’s… safe? The air conditioning unit under the dash looks very true to the era, and there’s something to the right of it that might be a tissue dispenser, but I’m not sure. This age is not suitable for the volt meter located on the left side of the dashboard. On cars equipped with an automatic, this space is used to control the transmission by pushing a button. Since this is a shaft offset guide, this space was available and used for the digital scale.
The seller notes that this is not a show car, and in the photos, we can see that the dash-mounted rearview mirror is missing and the floor in the cargo area (sadly, there’s no third row) is somewhat rough.
On the plus side, the underside shows a muscular appearance and what appears to be a new exhaust and rebuilt driveshaft. The leaf spring front/rear suspension also appears to have new shocks and is dry as a bone. Overall, this appears to be a solid cruiser with well-thought-out updates. The clean title and 66k mileage make it even more attractive.
What would a cool old Dodge like this be worth? The seller seems to think $25,000 is a fair ask, and you now have to say whether or not you agree. what do you think? Is this Dodge Hemi worth its $25,000 asking price? Or is this green too much for this red rum?
It’s your decision!
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H/T to Dave Kyle for delivery!
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(Tags for translation) Dodge