1948 Dodge Custom Derham Coupe

1948 Dodge Custom Derham Coupe

1948 Dodge Custom Derham Coupe

Chrysler commissioned this one-of coupe from Derham to promote the entire D24 platform. At the time the D24 was either a 4-door Business Sedan or 5-window Club Coupe, so the Derham Coupe was a viable alternative.

At the time, Derham was known for altering high-end cars for customer’s specific needs. Working directly for the Chrysler Corporation, Derham outfitted the D24 with intricate details and redesigned the entire interior.

To being the process, Derham removed the roof off a Club Coupe and moved the rear seat four inches rearward. A new roof incorporated a wrap-around rear windshield which eliminated two side windows.

Inside new amenities included dual interior lamps, a passenger-side tissue holder, an electric clock, a heater unit with defroster, a seven-button Mopar radio, a custom rearview mirror and an upholstered trunk that with a Derham-badged tool kit case.

Along with the new 3-window body, Derham fitted new hubcaps and chrome scripts. Two tone paint and a padded roof were used to emphasize the new lines of the car.

After one year of promotional duties, the car was sold privately to Gertrude V. Fisher and no further copies were made. In 1985 the derelict coupe was discovered in Vermont but it was not restored until 24 years later.

During the restoration, samples of the original colors were sourced under the padded roof. The car had sat outside for considerable time, but enough of the original interior remained to faithfully recreate the car’s unique features.

In 2009 the Dodge debuted at the 2009 Western Region AACA and later appeared at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The only Derham Coupe was offered for sale at the the 2012 Scottsdale Auction by Gooding & Co. They achieved a sale price of $60,500 USD.

In Detail

typeSeries Production Car
positionFront, Longitudinal
block materialCast Iron
fuel feedStromberg BXV-3 Carburetor
displacement3769 cc / 230 in³
power76.1 kw / 102 bhp @ 3600 rpm
specific output27.06 bhp per litre
body / frameSteel Body Over Steel Frame
driven wheelsRWD
front brakesDrums
rear brakesDrums
f suspensionIndependent w/Coil Springs
r suspensionLive Rear Axle w/Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
transmissionFluid Drive 3-Speed Automatic