CHASSIS NO: H009024
• Larger six-cylinder engine; improved handling and brakes
• Updated styling and mechanics; comfortable seating for five
• Youthful appeal when new; attractive restoration
• Finest Six of the day; well-appointed example
190 cid L-head inline six-cylinder engine, 60 HP, single-barrel Carter carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, drop forged solid front axle with shock absorbers, semi-floating rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf spring, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 109”
In 1926, Walter P. Chrysler saw how General Motors was expanding and covering the entire spectrum of new car buyers starting with entry-level Chevrolet and working up to luxurious Cadillac. This is the business model he felt would lead to success. At the time, the only brand under Chrysler’s control was the Chrysler which offered a wide range of cars but with just marque name. GM was fielding five brands, each a step up and there were rumors of even more names in the planning stages. Even Ford offered the lowly Model T and the luxurious Lincoln. Plans were underway to replace the entry level Chryslers with a new brand name, Plymouth which would debut in 1928 up against Ford’s new Model A. This still left a gap between his two makes, so development of a third brand came into play. This new line would be named the DeSoto, named after the Spanish explorer and the official logo carried a stylized bust of the famed voyager. At about the same time as DeSoto was entering into final development, Chrysler added a fourth line that was in the lower medium-priced segment of the market when he acquired the Dodge organization. Undaunted, DeSoto was released on August 4, 1928 with the six-cylinder Series K and as a 1929 model. On January 1, 1930, an eight-cylinder Series CF was placed on sale and on April 29, 1930, the Series CK “Finer Six” was released. This new model featured a larger displacement engine, higher horsepower partially because of the Delco-Remy ignition system and switching to the use of Carter carburetors. Add to this a redesigned radiator and shell, plus improved handling, and it truly was a “Finer Six”. For 1931, the CK was continued into the first part of the year virtually unchanged from the previous season. Six different body styles were marketed by DeSoto in the CK series with the five-passenger, four-door sedan being the most popular selection among buyers.
The consignor located this car in the Pacific Northwest and fell in love with it immediately. He was able to negotiate a purchase price of this car in 2003 and has taken outstanding care in the use and storage of this sharp sedan. The restoration had started with a rock-solid car and it has been finished in an interesting blending of three colors: teal upper body, blue body side panels and gloss black for the body accents and fenders, which are also trimmed with red pinstriping. The interior features wide stitched dark blue mohair that has been properly padded and sprung for a comfortable ride. It is well-appointed with dual side-mount spare tires, bud vases for the rear compartments, and working gauges mounted in the original wood dashboard. It is also equipped with six wire wheels, all painted red, which our consignor says is quite rare with the DeSoto Finer Six. This attractive car is also equipped with a folding trunk rack at the rear, onto which a period-correct “DeSoto” branded truck emblem is properly mounted. A set of seat belts were added to the rear seats by the previous owner to secure his young children. Also installed during the restoration was an electric fuel pump mounted to the frame under the car. The engine has been reconditioned and we have been told it delivers spirited performance for a 90+ year old car and can keep up with modern day highway traffic. Mounted atop the engine is an early 1930’s era Klaxon horn that will catch the attention of an inattentive driver or errant pedestrian. The DeSoto brand would remain a part of the Chrysler Corporations lineup for another 30 years, building its reputation of great automobiles like the Finer Six, and this is a fine example of those legendary cars.