Love the ’50s look but are tired of all those same old Bel Airs and Cadillacs you see at your local cruise in? This DeSoto could be just what you’re looking for. It’s straight out of 1956 and claimed to be 98% original, with only 52,745 miles. A 330-ci 230-hp Hemi V8 and optional PowerFlite push button automatic transmission motivate it down the road, and power steering, and power brakes should make cruising easy and comfortable. And while some may call it a grandpa mobile, if you have slicked-back hair, rolled cuffs, and a pin-up girlfriend, it’s the perfect ride.
Virgil Exner’s Forward Look design is prevalent here, with the fins, long hood, and short decklid. The body panels look straight, with good alignment in the pictures. The paint also appears to be in good shape, and it should be, as it’s been stored inside for a number of years. The only work mentioned includes paint touch-ups and an engine detail way back in ’95—and that’s pretty easy to believe, as the whitewalls have turned yellow with age.
The seller warns that even though this car has been run on a monthly schedule, it would be prudent to have proper maintenance done before any highway cruising. That’s great advice, as brake parts are the first thing to go after long storage. And when it comes to brakes, its best to find out there’s a problem before hitting the road. If you’re the winning bidder, it would be smart to rent a trailer to bring the car home.
Even though 44,909 DeSoto Firedome 4-dr sedans were sold in 1956, they were just everyday cars for a long time, so survivors in this shape are relatively rare today. Fair to excellent examples of the DeSoto Firedome have averaged $4.5k to $11k on eBay Motors over the past two years. If you’re in the market for just the right budget-minded finned cruiser for you and four of your friends, check this one out.