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DeSoto Cars

Remarkable cars picture encyclopedia - DeSoto Cars


1936 DeSoto Airstream Convertible Sedan
1936 DeSoto Airstream Convertible Sedan


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DeSoto Cars

1941 Desoto Deluxe Sedan 1941 Desoto Deluxe Sedan
Worldwide Group Auctions
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Auction Results June, 2009 $9,020
1941 Desoto S8 Deluxe Businessman's Coupe 1941 Desoto S8 Deluxe Businessman's Coupe
Worldwide Group Auctions
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Auction Results June, 2009 $5,775
1947 DeSoto Custom Convertible 1947 DeSoto Custom Convertible
RM Auctions
Location: Amelia Island, Florida
Auction Results March, 2009 $60,000
1950 Desoto Custom Convertible 1950 Desoto Custom Convertible
Worldwide Group Auctions
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Auction Results June, 2009 $12,375
1956 Desoto Fireflite Convertible 1956 Desoto Fireflite Convertible
Worldwide Group Auctions
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Auction Results June, 2009 $60,500
1960 Desoto Adventurer Sedan 1960 Desoto Adventurer Sedan
Worldwide Group Auctions
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Auction Results June, 2009 $7,700

DeSoto Cars

Some said Chrysler planned to introduce the DeSoto to force bankers Dillon and Reed to sell him Dodge, but the car was already in production when Chrysler finalized the purchase of Dodge. The DeSoto was launched in 1928 as a 6-cylinder car to compete with Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Nash. The new line sold well with over 90,000 DeSotos produced in the first twelve months.

In May, 1930, DeSoto starts the model year with its K-Series cars but switch to the CK Finer Six.

Carl Breer, executive engineer for Chrysler Corporation, was fascinated with aerodynamics. The Chrysler and DeSoto Airflow automobiles, the results of Breer's experiments with streamlined shapes, took six years to develop defore they were introduced in 1934, the tenth anniversary of Chrysler. Although the Airflow never really succeeded with the buying public, it was an important engineering and styling achievement that influenced automotive designs for years.

Downdraft carburetion, floating power, a vacuum-operated clutch and free-wheeling were introduced within the next few years but the big news for 1935 was the introduction of the Airstream series. Proving to be a successful sell, the DeSoto Airstream was continued for 1936, available with DeLuxe or Custom features. The 6-cylinder L-head engine produced 93 hp and an optional overdrive transmission gave greater fuel economy and less engine wear.

The Airstream series was replaced by the Model S-3 in 1937 when Desoto began building its new Detroit factory; the first exclusively DeSoto manufacturing facility. Production remained there until 1958 when DeSoto properties became the home of Chrysler Imperials.

DeSoto played a valiant part during WWII with the responsibility for fuselage section assembly for the Martin B-26 Marauder; the manufacture of parts for Bofors anti-aircraft cannon; building of wing sections for the Hell-Diver aircraft; and construction of B-29 nose sections with parts supplied by the Chrysler and Plymouth factory assemble lines.

Following the War, material shortages, labor difficulties, and the huge task of converting plants back to civilian production delayed the introduction of the 1946 models until March of the year.

While these new models were almost identical to those of 1942, they did offer some design changes including new front fenders with conventional exposed headlights, redesigned grille and doors, new bumpers and updated ornamentation. These models carried on during 1947 and 1948.

In 1949, the DeSoto's lady hood ornament was replaced by a bust of Hernando DeSoto which glowed in the dark with the headlights on. Total production for DeSoto in 1949 was 95,051 vehicles, which placed the company 14th in the US.

When Desoto was first marketed, it was to fill the gap between Dodge and Chrysler, giving the company the full spectrum of the automotive sales market, putting the company on a fairly even model-to-model competition with GM. Right from the start, Desoto was a leader in style with unique grilles through the 1930s and 1940s, and distinctive trim and interior appointments into the 1950s; however, by 1960, this marque's role was starting to shrink as the top-line Dodge almost overlapped the bottom-line Chrysler, filling in the gap that had been occupied by Desoto for almost 30 years.

Chrysler discontinued DeSoto production in 1960.

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