1955 Dodge C Series Review Jul 11, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
Today, Dodge is known for its Ram pickup trucks, but in 1955, everyone was talking about the Dodge C Series. The C Series was introduced in 1954 and revealed the first major overhaul of the truck since before the Second World War. The new trucks offered a new style that was an alternative to the aging B Series, which it finally replaced. The new series would last until 1960 and are known today as the first Dodge truck with a powerful V8 engine. You will not find as many of these trucks today as their competition, making a C Series an excellent find for any enthusiast.
The C Series was completely new from the wheels up. Compared to the older B Series, the new vehicles had higher wheel clearance, a lower cab, and more glass for increased visibility and control. The windshield was made of a single curved piece with a modern feel. The pedals inside the cabin were mounted directly to the frame as a way to minimize vibration, an important consideration in an older vehicle. If you get your hands on a 1955 model, you will notice that the control buttons are on your right-hand side, and the glove compartment is in the center. The nameplates for this model are found on the fender so you can identify the particular model. In the middle of the 1955 year, Dodge added new trims and upholstery and modified the cab slightly. After that, the cab included a wraparound windshield known as a “Full-Circle” or “Pilot-House” and a rear window that was as wide as the cab to enhance visibility. While the C Series had a familial resemblance to the pre-war trucks, it was a vast improvement in capability and design.
Starting in 1955, Dodge used a new alphabetic designation for the different weight capacities of their trucks. The half-ton pickups were designated as “B” while the three-quarter tons were “C” and the one-ton trucks were “D.” Thus, you’d find options such as the C-1B and C-1C at your local dealer, and, today, up for auction or private sale.This lets you know the weight class, size, and body of the vehicle.
Engines and Transmissions
In 1955 Dodge debuted the PowerFlite automatic transmission with two gears, but the half-ton versions could also get an overdrive unit for their manual three-speed. Either way, the C Series had a range of new engines. Those who still wanted a flathead six from the previous model could now receive increased power up to 100 or 110 horsepower. The Dodge 218-cubic inch L-head was standard on half-ton and three-quarter-ton models, while the 230-cubic-inch version came standard with one-ton trucks.
Dodge had pioneered the Hemi V8 for the new truck in 1954. As with the previous year, the Hemi was expensive to engineer and produce but more than worth the cost to beat the competition in raw power and performance. For the right price, the optional 241-cubic inch Power-Dome Hemi V8 in the light-duty trucks generated 133 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque at 2,400 rpm. The larger trucks had even larger engines, including the 331-cubic-inch engine had 172 horsepower and 294 pound-feet with a double barrel carburetor. Drivers enjoyed these new engines for their ability to get better highway speeds and perform better in hilly areas than competitors. Best of all, the C Series delivered this enhanced performance for less than most of the competition. Vintage style, big engines, and new features make the 1955 Dodge C Series a classic truck perfect for an experienced collector or enthusiast.