Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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This or That – Season 2: 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501 or 1957 Ford Custom E-Code?

Posted January 16, 2017 10:00 AM by dstrohl

That or That is not a comparison report between two vehicles, but rather a feature that enables us, in an idyllic world, to add a collectible vehicle into our dream garage on a regular basis, but with a catch: We can only pick one vehicle from this pairing and it has to be for enjoyment purposes rather than as an investment.

Featured in this edition of This or That is a choice of two cars from the first serious salvo of the postwar performance era: a 1957 Dodge Coronet D-501 or a 1957 Ford Custom E-Code? The significance here is not so much in the primary model name, but rather in the nomenclature that follows. Both the D-501 and the E-Code engines were short-lived variants developed by their respective corporate engineers and employed by race teams well-versed in various on-track disciplines. In short, they were homologation specials; a term more closely associated with the aero wars that were unleashed a decade in the future. Let’s take a closer, albeit brief, look at each (if you’d like to read more than we provide here, both were featured in our Hemmings Muscle Machines magazine; just click on the provided links above).

To set the stage for these two early supercar warriors, recall that the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” catch phrase was resonating throughout Detroit. Whether factory-backed teams were racing in a straight line, or turning left on the nations bullrings, their prowess–and wins–on any given weekend generated showroom sales; and in a greater sense, very nearly a “win at any cost” attitude. This, of course, meant a horsepower war unlike any previous, so intense that by the time the 1957 NASCAR season began to unfolded, the sanctioning body was in a short-lived, pre-AMA-ban window of legality for superchargers, fuel injection, and multiple carburetion. It was into this window of opportunity in which the D-501 came into being.

So, you only get to pick one. Which is it?

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