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The 1954 Dodge Kingsway is perhaps a unique vehicle as its origins are a little hazy. Before 1946 the Dodge Kingsway didn’t have any unique model names, based on the Plymouth models it was built for export markets.
The origins of the 1954 Dodge Kingsway
They were actually badged as Plymouth vehicles but often appeared with Dodge’s own bumpers and trim. The idea behind this form of manufacturing was to allow overseas Dodge dealers to offer a cheaper vehicle. Going back as far as 1935, these export cars varied in style depending on the market they were intended for.
How did it combat it’s unpopularity?
Although the initial impression is that the Kingsway wasn’t a particularly popular car during its twenty year reign, I can’t help but love the styling, body shape and color of this one. It screams vibrant personality and definitely makes me think of the 50s. Not all the models were soft-tops like this one but I really do think it makes the car. I can already picture myself cruising around town with some loud music blaring from the speakers. Perhaps that’s just me…
Initially designed as the lowest-priced Plymouth car for a number of years (between 1949 to 1952 and between 1954 to 1959) it took its inspiration from a number of models including the Plymouth Deluxe, Cambridge, Savoy and Belvedere between 1946 and 1959. By 1960 when Dodge introduced the Dart, the Kingsway line was dropped.
The Kingsway abroad
The original design, released in 1940, was in Canada and came with one taillight, one sun visor and one windshield wiper – all of which were on the driver’s side, pretty basic really. The engine had 6-cylinders with 2 valves per cylinder which was mounted at the front end and delivered its power to the rear wheels. It produced 97 bhp @ 3600rpm.
By 1954, Chrysler had released a newer version of the Kingsway over in Australia and then gave it an upgrade with a new grille and badge.
Although the origins of the 1954 Dodge Kingsway are a little hazy and somewhat ominous, I think this is perhaps one of my favorite cars. Not only for its outrageous style and paintjob, plus who doesn’t love those chrome accessories? The engine may not have been the biggest or most powerful on the market but I think this would be a showstopper nevertheless.
I’d be interested to know which feature is your favorite. Do you rate the 1954 Dodge Kingsway as much as I do or is it just another car from a bygone era?