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Thread: Desoto

  1. #1
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    Default Desoto

    I've always thought the 1955 and 1956 DeSoto was a better looking car than the comparable model Chevy.



    I also like the other Chyrsler products from that year:

    1955 Imperial



    1955 Dodge



    But the DeSoto is my favorite...one of those cars I would like to own before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

    1955 was a stellar year styling wise for all of the American manufacturers. Is anyone else in my corner on this one--or are you all Chevy lovers...? If so, you have a lot of company.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto

    DeSoto was distant SECOND, Jeff ... but I like them, too. My grandparents lived in DeSoto, MO ... and drove them ... just because, I believe.

    Cool cars, me thinks. But you will NOT get a lot of takers ...
    Nothing else matters but how I raise my children ... and their opinion of me, as a father.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    I like them as liveried here in the same way I like most of the mid century cars, and I have to say they are sleeker than I remembered. Looked at in the light of your photos, they somewhat resemble the Studebakers of the same era (but a bit chunkier). I like the Lowey look, so that's a compliment. The driving experience might put me off of them though.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Everyone's taste is different. The DeSotos don't do a thing for me, but I like some of the '55 Studebakers --







    David G
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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Z View Post
    As for DeSotos, I always preferred the 1957 hardtop. Great fins!


    I loved the 1955 models BECAUSE they didn't have any fins

    Even the mini-fin on the 1956 DeSoto drives me nutty...

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by brad9798 View Post
    DeSoto was distant SECOND, Jeff ... but I like them, too. My grandparents lived in DeSoto, MO ... and drove them ... just because, I believe.

    Cool cars, me thinks. But you will NOT get a lot of takers ...

    No doubt the 1955 Chevy was the more popular car--it's possible to buy a brand new repo body for the 1955-1957 Chevy right now, if you have the bucks.

    But I like the Chrysler products much better...they have a style that is softer than the Chevy, and they seem much more balanced than the Studebaker Starliner styling.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Everyone's taste is different. The DeSotos don't do a thing for me, but I like some of the '55 Studebakers --







    I do love that Studebaker pickup!

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto

    I like Desotos

    We have a lot of old Studebakers up here.

    This one is a Salesman's car, I don't know the the year though. It has a bed and cooking facilities built in to it.

    Greg H. - from before the great crash, 20th century member 108

    "The various would-be Minutemen, like those rallying to Bunkerville today, are nothing more than hot-eyed dupes in thrall to an artificial reality that they themselves helped to create though a lack of critical thinking and a willingness to believe any lunacy no matter how ridiculous so long as it plays to their small fears."



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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Z View Post
    I'm just a fin kind of guy.




    It's okay...but resist the urge to put a whale-tail on the Miata

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto



    My uncle had one of those , a horrible wallowing aircraft carrier of a car . erk !!
    Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may exist, but you have ceased to live.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    '55 was a good year for Ford:


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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Donn View Post
    '55 was a good year for Ford:

    I'd take one of course, but of the 2 seat Birds, a 57 F model would be my choice!

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    Default Re: Desoto

    We had a '56 Plymouth. It was a nice car with one feature I really liked. It had a floor button for the left foot to hit and the wipers would make one sweep.

    If all goes well this August I'll be going to the car museum in Hershey. I'll post some photos. I'm guessing for this crowd cars of the 50's and 60's would be the most popular.
    Social programs help those people whom Capitalism has failed.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    1930s and '40s British and European for me !
    Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may exist, but you have ceased to live.

    Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post


    My uncle had one of those , a horrible wallowing aircraft carrier of a car . erk !!
    My sis-in-law owned one that exact shade of pukey green. Her brother had souped up the engine, and I remember riding with her for miles with the speedo pegged out near the Great Salt Lake. She drove like a saint in town, but hit the highway and she thought she was Chuck Yeager. Even with the suspension tweaked... it still wallowed and rolled.
    David G
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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    My sis-in-law owned one that exact shade of pukey green. Her brother had souped up the engine, and I remember riding with her for miles with the speedo pegged out near the Great Salt Lake. She drove like a saint in town, but hit the highway and she thought she was Chuck Yeager. Even with the suspension tweaked... it still wallowed and rolled.
    Didn't call em boats for nothing.
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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by leikec View Post
    I do love that Studebaker pickup!

    Jeff C
    Me too. My brother had one he'd picked up cheap - just sitting out back of the barn being over-run by blackberries. He said he was gonna restore it. I thought I about had him convinced that he'd never get to it, and he should let me have it to fix up for one of the kids. Then some collector came along and offered him big bucks for it. [sigh]
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Desoto

    When I was 16 I had one of these, a 56 Studebaker Hawk. It never ran, but it was mine.


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    Default Re: Desoto

    Yep, Ford had some decent vehicles in 1955:





    I like the pickup a lot.

    But back to DeSoto...the 1955 models were even more special when you look at what had come before:

    1954 DeSoto



    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto

    We had a '53 DeSoto when we moved to Savannah in '54. It looked like the '54 above but with four doors. Weird semi-automatic transmission: put it in drive, start off, when you needed the next gear you eased off the throttle, pumped the clutch pedal once (IIRC) and it would shift up. Do it once more and you were in top gear. I can't recall if the clutch needed to be depressed when stopping or not but I don't believe it did.
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    Default Re: Desoto

    What could have been. . .

    Ghia's styling study for a Desoto Adventurer with Chrysler V8 circa 1954.

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    What could have been. . .

    Ghia's styling study for a Desoto Adventurer with Chrysler V8 circa 1954.
    Kind of reminds me of one of my favorite Alfas.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by leikec View Post
    I've always thought the 1955 and 1956 DeSoto was a better looking car than the comparable model Chevy.



    I also like the other Chyrsler products from that year:

    1955 Imperial



    1955 Dodge



    But the DeSoto is my favorite...one of those cars I would like to own before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

    1955 was a stellar year styling wise for all of the American manufacturers. Is anyone else in my corner on this one--or are you all Chevy lovers...? If so, you have a lot of company.

    Jeff C
    .

    For years the only way we got cars was when our Aunts gave us their old ones.

    My Aunt gave my Dad her 56 Desoto, , It must have been a lemon as it was the biggest pile of crap ever.

    My other Aunt gave my older brother her 55 Ford with 10.000 miles on it.

    Me and my Dad waxed it and My brother went from Jersey to College in Maine at 90 miles a hour and the engine blew .

    I dont think the car had ever gone over 25 miles a hour and it went into shock.

    Dang i wanted that car.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    I miss the old two and three tone paint jobs. And thick creamy colors instead of thin metallic.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    What could have been. . .

    Ghia's styling study for a Desoto Adventurer with Chrysler V8 circa 1954.

    You can almost see the designer sketching that out with long flowing strokes !
    Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may exist, but you have ceased to live.

    Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbys View Post
    .

    For years the only way we got cars was when our Aunts gave us their old ones.

    My Aunt gave my Dad her 56 Desoto, , It must have been a lemon as it was the biggest pile of crap ever.

    My other Aunt gave my older brother her 55 Ford with 10.000 miles on it.

    Me and my Dad waxed it and My brother went from Jersey to College in Maine at 90 miles a hour and the engine blew .

    I dont think the car had ever gone over 25 miles a hour and it went into shock.

    Dang i wanted that car.
    Chrysler build quality in the 1950's was abysmal compared to the other manufacturers...which was saying something because it's generally accepted that the overall build quality of Detroit automobiles was pretty bad in that decade.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbys View Post
    .

    For years the only way we got cars was when our Aunts gave us their old ones.

    My Aunt gave my Dad her 56 Desoto, , It must have been a lemon as it was the biggest pile of crap ever.

    My other Aunt gave my older brother her 55 Ford with 10.000 miles on it.

    Me and my Dad waxed it and My brother went from Jersey to College in Maine at 90 miles a hour and the engine blew .

    I dont think the car had ever gone over 25 miles a hour and it went into shock.

    Dang i wanted that car.
    the typical hypothesis for this scenario is 'connecting rod stretch' followed by piston ring failure. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Desoto




    Found this on youtube.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto

    See? Two tone thick creamy paint. I'm tired of metallic silver cars now.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    I don't think we got em here, so I'll just have to stick to my favourite, the 55 Chev. It might be the ugly duckling of the mid 50's Chevys but I'd do it again.
    The 59 Pontiac I had at 20 or so had mushy suspension ,in fact it was the same shell as that 59 Chev. I always thought it was only tyre technology that kept it on the road.... Well, most of the time anyway. They pegged the speedo at about 130.
    Its probably the most intimidating car I've ever driven. You could cruise up behind people and they'd pull over a lane every time.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    I'm tired of metallic silver cars now.
    Me too dammit!!!

    Last edited by Paul Pless; 05-09-2012 at 04:45 AM.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Desoto

    Was that the original color?

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Well the original W194 race cars wore satin finished hand formed aluminum bodies. The racing version used an aluminum body because the Mercedes inline six was actually pretty anemic, something like 210 HP. . .



    Among production 300 SL's, which were steel, I've seen silver, cream, white, black, blue and red colors.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Nothing new, but it just seems like it would be fun to have a non-political thread on top for a few minutes...

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Well the original W194 race cars wore satin finished hand formed aluminum bodies. The racing version used an aluminum body because the Mercedes inline six was actually pretty anemic, something like 210 HP. . .



    Among production 300 SL's, which were steel, I've seen silver, cream, white, black, blue and red colors.
    I read somewhere years ago that the original race model was just a bit too heavy to qualify and on the spot they sanded all the paint off leaving the bright aluminum finish.
    That might be a fable...

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Desoto

    Desoto...
    (Back in the days of "free love" I had a 1954 Desoto wagon, and traveled up and down the coast of California, camping on the beaches in it. It had a medium sized hemi and an "automatic" stick shift with a torque converter and a foot clutch. A pretty deluxe car, in excellent condition with a wood and chrome interior it was pretty cozy to "sleep" in. When I bought it, it had a rod knock, and I reground the crank, but couldn't find a replacement connecting rod, So I just repaired that one. It ended up about a 1/16" shorter than the rest of them, with no discernable difference).


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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I read somewhere years ago that the original race model was just a bit too heavy to qualify and on the spot they sanded all the paint off leaving the bright aluminum finish.
    That might be a fable...
    I didn't actually realize how different the W194 race cars were from the production SL's until reading about them yesterday. The race cars were full tube frame cars while the SL body sat atop a conventional frame. The Mercedes six was giving up 50 to 100 HP in race trim to its competitors so they really struggled to make the car as light as possible. SL customers could order an aluminum body for their street car, which doubled the price and saved 76 pounds. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by leikec View Post
    Nothing new, but it just seems like it would be fun to have a non-political thread on top for a few minutes...

    Jeff C
    How right you are. Let's bump it back up shall we?

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    Default Re: Desoto



    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Desoto

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Desoto

    I always thought the illuminated face of Hernando de Soto was cool



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    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Desoto...
    (Back in the days of "free love" I had a 1954 Desoto wagon, and traveled up and down the coast of California, camping on the beaches in it. It had a medium sized hemi and an "automatic" stick shift with a torque converter and a foot clutch. A pretty deluxe car, in excellent condition with a wood and chrome interior it was pretty cozy to "sleep" in. When I bought it, it had a rod knock, and I reground the crank, but couldn't find a replacement connecting rod, So I just repaired that one. It ended up about a 1/16" shorter than the rest of them, with no discernable difference).

    Amazing! Our 53 sedan was the same two-tone green!
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

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    and here:

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    "All kings are not the same."

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by MiddleAgesMan View Post
    Amazing! Our 53 sedan was the same two-tone green!
    That pic is just an internet image. When the Desoto thread showed up my memory sort of went bonkers. All the lovely girls...
    After writing the text in that post, on a whim I googled > 54 Desoto wagon>wood and Whoa! That is the exact same car that I had, same green two-tone color, same interior. I bought it in a junkyard in Hayward Ca., remarkably preserved way in the back of the lot, with the rod knock, circa 1969/70 for $50. Paid it off in installments, $10 a week. Fixed it and drove it for a few years - It was cool, and rode like a limo. Those hemis are sweet little engines, the transmision, not so much. It never failed though. I bought a '36 ford truck from the same yard, a spring tide would come in and out around the wheels - I still have that truck.

    I will swear that pic is the same car.

    Now that I have the Desotos fresh in my mind, I had a Divco before that... And that, was a beach cruiser. From Point Reyes to Big-Sur stopping over in Golden gate Park and Palo Alto pretty regularly. A little Tiny stove in there, a bunk in the back, swing back bi-folding doors, you could stand up and drive it with the doors open. Those days were different.

    I made an axle for a 1929 Desoto once. Had to shorten a later model axle and recut the splines for it.


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    Default Re: Desoto

    1948 Chevy FleetMaster



    Tom
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    Default Re: Desoto

    1949-ish Divco


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    Default Re: Desoto

    What I like about all these cars you are showing is "they have style and character"
    Not like all the same old/same old identical looking cars that seem to be produced these days.
    Why can't modern cars incorporate the new modern safety features etc in a car that has some style built in a s well.

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Desoto

    I've often wondered the same thing. Imagine getting a brand new '57 chevy or '65 mustang with ABS etc.
    18' Friendship Sloop
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    Default Re: Desoto

    Kinda like this. . .





    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Desoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Kinda like this. . .








    I like all of these cars--a welcome change from the same-same styling that seemed to take over the industry the last dozen years....


    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Desoto

    No. Not contemporary styling reminiscent of a bygone era—rather the actual old car body with updated technology. Like this:


    with 40 mpg and airbags.
    18' Friendship Sloop
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