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Lot 381
1955 DeSoto Firedome Station Wagon


Selling on Friday

From The Rockhound Colllection

CHASSIS NO: 255225143

• 1 of only 1,803 produced and one of only a few known surviving examples
• Thrilling 291-cubic-inch V-8 Hemi engine
• Attractive two-tone color combo of Surf White and Cove Green
• A nicely optioned example

291 cid Hemi V-8 engine, 185 HP, PowerFlite two-speed automatic transmission, coil spring front suspension, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, hydraulic-assisted drum brakes, rear-wheel drive; wheelbase: 126”

DeSoto made its debut in 1928, designed to compete with Buick and Studebaker in the mid-market segment. They were an instant hit, combining good looks and a reliable, affordable six-cylinder drive train. The DeSoto Fireflite model first appeared in 1952, featuring the first installation of a V-8 engine into the DeSoto Custom Series. The engine had been available in Chryslers since 1951, but it was the first DeSoto V-8 since way back in 1931 and was highly anticipated. The 276-cubic-inch engine generated 160 horsepower and 45,830 Fireflites sold in 1952, making it the most popular DeSoto model for the year. DeSoto’s 25th anniversary in 1953 saw Fireflite sales nearly double to 86,502. Styling was slightly changed, and air-conditioning was introduced as an option. Changes for 1954 were limited to the introduction of Chrysler’s PowerFlite automatic transmission and a power boost to 170 horsepower.

By 1955, the Firedome Hemi V-8 engine had grown to 291 cid and 185 HP. The big news for all cars in the Chrysler stable was the complete “Forward Look” redesign, courtesy of Virgil Exner, and with the DeSoto Firedome V-8 right in the name, this very handsome example in bright colors was well-received.

The Firedome Station Wagon model presented here features a deep wraparound windshield that accented the wider stance, and the spacious jet-age cabin, modern paint treatments, and gorgeous chrome appealed to many new American families. The new 1955 DeSoto could do 0 – 60 in under 11 seconds, with a 110-mph top speed, and the public responded with their wallets; soon, DeSoto had climbed to the 11th largest car company in the country. It was one of the last hurrahs for DeSoto, and by 1960, they were gone.

The 1953 and 1954 DeSotos were well-built, reliable cars, but it was the 1955 models, with their Forward Look design that placed DeSoto at the top of many buyers’ lists. A cheerful example, this 1955 Desoto Firedome Station Wagon wears a nice and desirable color combination of Surf White and Cove Green. With ample space for the entire family or as a hauler, as the back seats are designed to fold down, this Station Wagon can be used for a variety of things. As Desoto’s upscale model, it comes optioned with a driver’s side spotlight, fog lights, eye-catching wire wheels, a dash-mounted clock and radio, and a roof rack that can be used to store surfboards or extra luggage for weekend camping trips with the family. Riding in a 1955 DeSoto was regarded as quite an experience in the ‘50s, with a whisper-quiet V-8 and an exceptionally smooth ride, and this couldn’t be truer today. With the 291 Hemi V-8 and smooth automatic transmission, this low-production Station Wagon will take one back in time when they shift into drive.

So, don’t pass up this fun opportunity that represents a significant piece of motoring history as one of the great DeSoto designs of their last decade. This station wagon is mechanically sound, quite rare, and will make for a delightful way for you to stand out at the next drive-in movie premiere.

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