While I was out yesterday, I spied an older DeSoto sedan on the side of the road that I’ve been meaning to shoot for months now. Pulling a highly illegal U-turn, I stopped in and took pictures until the battery on my Canon died.
This particular model is a Fireflite, first released in 1955 as the flagship model, and cost $3,544 new. It’s a huge four-door sedan featuring a V-8 engine with a lever-controlled automatic transmission. With styling featuring a grille full of chrome and a beautiful hood ornament suggesting a pair of wings bent back in flight, DeSoto sold 114,765 of the model in 1955.
Unfortunately, the DeSoto name did not last beyond the 1960 model year, a victim of Chrysler’s machinations (it competed directly with the Dodge and Plymouth brands as a mid-priced offering) and the recession of 1958.