HomePick of the DayThis 1956 Dodge is a tribute to Kiekhaefer team and driver ‘Rebel’...

This 1956 Dodge is a tribute to Kiekhaefer team and driver ‘Rebel’ Mundy


I’ll open this by admitting that I am not a fan of clone or tribute vehicles. Nonetheless, the Pick of the Day is this 1956 Dodge D500 Coronet that apparently was created in tribute to driver Frank “Rebel” Mundy and the acclaimed Kiekhaefer Racing Team.

The car is being advertised for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Clay, New York.

“I was told by the previous owner the engine is original,” the seller says in that advertisement. “It carries the 354 cu. in. engine which is rare in the 1956, originally it was a push button automatic, now a 4-speed manual, 2×4 bbl carb, tachometer, tinted glass, custom wheels, custom air cleaner, chrome valve covers.”

The seller adds that the original orange valve covers remain available for an engine that was an option for Chrysler’s 300B muscle car.

“The car is in fine condition. Turn the key and go. New clutch, tires, brakes and drums. Could use to have the headliner replaced, which I have one, and front sit (seat) could be recovered.”

In 1956, the Coronet was Dodge’s basic vehicle, available in various 2- and 4-door architectures, including station wagons. New for the ’56 model year were the tail fins and a 12- rather than 6-volt electrical system. More than 90 percent of Dodge vehicles were equipped with automatic transmissions in 1956, according to the Standard Catalog of American Cars.

Dodge also won 11 NASCAR races and set a bunch of speed and endurance records on the Bonneville Salt Flats with its 1956 models.

Finishing first, second, third and ninth in the standings were drivers in cars owned by Carl Kiekhaefer. Those cars were Chryslers or Dodges, though the team was called the Kiekhaefer Mercury team because the owner made his money producing Mercury Marine engines.

One of those drivers in a Mercury-sponsored Mopar was Frank “Rebel” Mundy. Others included Buck Baker, Tim and Fronty Flock, Speedy Thompson and Charles Scott. 

Mundy had been Gen. George S. Patton’s personal driver during World War II and primarily raced in AAA-sanctioned stock car races, winning the 1955 championship. He also attempted to qualify (unsuccessfully) for the 1954 Indianapolis 500.

The Kiekhaefer/Mundy tribute car is located in Clay, New York, and is offered for sale for $28,500.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. I had the privilege/pleasure of meeting Frank Rebel Mundy at a press conference at the Indianapolis motor speedway. It was in the middle 60’s. Very nice and interesting fellow. It seems that he mentioned his driving a Lincoln on a couple of Mexican Baja runs back then also.

  2. Carl Kiekhaefer bought a new 1967 Lamborghini 400GT 2+2. About a year later, after Frank Mundy had a really good race season, Kiekhaefer gave Mundy the Lamborghini to show his appreciation. I saw that white/black 400GT 2+2 at Mundy’s home in Atlanta about 1987. He had advertised it for sale in Hemmings with 4,000 miles. Just another interesting Lamborghini fact discovered after I created the Lamborghini Owners Club 30+ years ago.

  3. i know that the 300 B setup (354 ci Hemi with solid lifters and dual quads) was available in the 1957 Dodge as the D 501 option. However, I have never heard of this setup used in any 1956 model from Chrysler except the B. This does not mean it could not happen. However, with the way Chrysler jealously guarded the reputation of the letter series (look into the Bonneville runs by the 56 Fury and Adventurer) it seems odd for them to allow any other division to use this engine setup. Also, why are the air cleaners different from stock in this vehicle? I am not saying anything against this car – just that to many ‘tributes" are running around loose these days. I would like to see documentation that this was actually built by the factory rather than the word of a seller.

    • I always thought a "tribute" car was NOT the real item? I new I was young and dumb but, perhaps I am now old and dumb?

    • Allan, I agree with you 100%. I believe that the 56 D500 came with the biggest Dodge engine available that year which was the 315 Hemi. The air cleaners are cheap chrome aftermarkets. I’d guess the original Red Ram air cleaners are pretty rare and thus very hard to find and very expensive. Probably a nice car but far from being a D500 or a recreation of a D500.


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