Daily Features

FINS UP: THE DAWN OF THE SEXY ERA FOR DESOTO

By on March 30, 2017
des-001

des-001

DeSoto is a familiar name to car historians and Mopar fans, even though the last one rolled off the assembly line in 1961.

 

The first DeSoto left the factory in 1929 when Walter P Chrysler decided to expand the Mopar family in 1928.

 

The DeSoto brand was a tribute to Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his efforts to find gold and a passage to China via the southern United States in the 1500s. He was largely unsuccessful in both endeavors and died on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1542.

 

IMGP4021

 

However, de Soto did become a part of early American history during a time when it was a disputed territory between Spain, France and England. Eventually the United States made its own choice to become none of the above and gained its independence the hard way.

 

AD-contactIMGP8080

 

American history was clearly not lost on Walter Chrysler and he used the DeSoto name for 32 years on his cars. The De Soto was an upscale member in the Chrysler family-not quite Chrysler or Imperial-but a notch above the Dodge and Plymouth in terms of luxury.

 

DES

 

DeSoto was a mainstay in the Chrysler lineup for many decades, but it was not considered to be a sexy car. In fact, a 1948 DeSoto was the butt of many jokes for the Cunningham family in the ‘Happy Days’ TV show because it was an unglamorous car that embarrassed Richie Cunningham every time he drove it.

 

DES2

 

‘Happy Days’ was set in the mid-50s and that was right around the time when the DeSoto got even cool enough for Fonzie. The cool factor went off the charts when DeSoto got fins and became one of the most strikingly good-looking cars of the latter half of the Fifties.

 

IMGP2681

 

Elvis loved the big Caddies but he would have been even cooler behind the wheel of a DeSoto when he became one of the most famous practitioners of a new music style known as rock and roll.

 

bIMGP5946

 

The shift for DeSoto began in 1955 when Detroit turned a page in style and built lower, wider and sleeker style into their cars. DeSotos had baby fins in 1955 and upped the ante on tail fins in 1956 when they became more prominent on the back of these stylish Mopars.

 

IMGP2231

 

The 1956 DeSotos had a triple set of round taillights on the back end that housed brake, signal and back up lights for the cars. The intention was pretty simple for DeSoto: build a sleek car that appeared to have rocket boosters on its fins to celebrate the dawn of the Space Race in the late 50s.

 

IMGP7765

 

Push button automatic transmissions in DeSotos helped convey that rocket age vibe and a wild variety of high compression V-8s gave the DeSotos plenty of firepower.

 

IMGP4026

 

The 1957 and ‘58 DeSotos run neck and neck for the title of coolest DeSoto ever built and a convincing case could be made for either year. The fins were large-and-in-charge on both the ’57 and ’58 DeSoto models so the issue may be settled on the front end where the distinction between the two is the number of headlights (2 until mid-’57 and 4 in ’58).

 

IMGP2260

 

The rake of the two cars adds to the cool factor because the big rear fins give the car a slight downward tilt from the rear to the front and made the cars look fast even while they were parked.

 

IMGP2265

 

The DeSoto brand is long gone from parent company Chrysler but its legacy will always be a car that eventually became one of the coolest cars ever built because of its finned wonders from the late 50s.          

Jim Sutherland

 

CLICK HERE to Like us on Facebook

 

CLICK HERE to Follow us on Twitter

 

CLICK HERE to Follow us on Pinterest

 

FACE

print

47846 Total Views 7 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

bl-imgp4854

DECEMBER 16, 2014: DOES WHAT IS UNDER THE HOOD REALLY MATTER? …YOU BET IT DOES

  We at MSCC are not really judgmental when it comes to old rides.   After all, it boils down to personal choice and different budget levels when it...

December 16, 2014 View more...
ch-14122014 35425 pm

DECEMBER 2014: IS THERE A LESSON FOR CAR GUYS IN ‘A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS’?

  ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ has been a holiday favorite since 1965.   A few of us have watched it every year since we were kids roughly the same...

December 14, 2014 View more...
tv- 12122014 12215 pm

DECEMBER 14, 2014: SIX OBSCURE RIDES YOU MAY NOT REMEMBER FROM OLD TV COP SHOWS

  TV and law enforcement dramas have gone together since the first day a producer realized people love cop shows.   Ratings were important from the beginning and TV...

December 14, 2014 View more...
1947 matching fridge 12-002

DECEMBER 8, 2014: RED DEER CAR GUYS GET BEHIND THEIR ANNUAL FUNDRAISER

  Christmas is referred to as a time of giving and that is a concept Red Deer, AB car guys embrace in a big way every year.   They...

December 8, 2014 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

My Star logo1-001

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2017

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2017   Welcome to the newest feature at MyStarCollectorCar.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales...

August 3, 2017 View more...
products-IMGP5647

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollector Car through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days...

July 13, 2016 View more...
IGP2993-NOVA SC

CONTACT MSCC ABOUT YOUR 2017 CAR SHOWS, CLUB MEETINGS AND CLUB RELATED EVENTS

  CONTACT MSCC ABOUT YOUR 2017 CAR SHOWS, CLUB MEETINGS AND CLUB RELATED EVENTS   Have you already scheduled your car show for 2017?   “Send MSCC the information...

October 26, 2015 View more...
IMGP0377-001

AUGUST 2017 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS: MyStarCollectorCar

  It’s never too early to contact us about your club or community car show for 2017. Get your listing to us and take advantage of the exposure you’ll...

October 9, 2015 View more...

More At My Star

AUGUST 18 FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE REASONS MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR LOVES ITS NEW FORMAT

  MSCC fired up our new format in August, 2015 are now celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the best format decision ever made here at MyStarCollectorCar.com.   The new format took plenty of trial and a lot of error before we found our mojo with the revamped website.   The new format is based upon See More

MSCC FIVE FOR FRIDAY: JIM PICKS HIS FAVORITE RIDES FROM SUMMER 2017

  This article may be the toughest assignment I have ever given myself here at MyStarCollectorCar because I loved every vintage car and truck this past summer.   There is still some summer left for us at MyStar so we will revisit this topic again at the end of the car show year, but right See More

MSCC AUGUST 16 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY—AN EASY ONE?

2017 MSCC “WHAT’S IT?”   WEDNESDAY MSCC What’s It? Wednesday is back for 2017.   This is a weekly guessing game for car guys and it was one of the most popular new MSCC features in 2016.       MSCC AUGUST 16 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY—AN EASY ONE?   This one should be a puffball for See More

MSCC WANTS YOUR CAR SHOW INFO- UH NOPE-WRONG-WE’RE BEGGING FOR IT

  The secret to a great car show is massive exposure.   MSCC can give your event massive exposure-but we need your help to make your show a home run with car guys.   There are good reasons why MyStarCollectorCar is number one in a Google Canada search for monthly car shows and events.   See More

Editor’s Picks

IMGP7176-001

THE GUILD GARAGE: WHEN A HALF HOUR CAR SHOW JUST SEEMS LIKE AN HOUR

  Restoration Garage always lived up to its non-car guy producers’ goal to produce a docu-drama.   The producers appeared to believe in the standard TV playbook wherein a...

August 3, 2017 View more...
IMG_1451

MSCC AUGUST 2017 ROAD WARRIORS—ON THE ROAD WITH A BOATLOAD OF COOL

  Road warriors are the truest celebration of the car hobby.   There’s a fair amount of risk because an old C-body Chrysler doesn’t stop, handle or change lanes...

July 31, 2017 View more...
IMGP8955-001

CHEERS TO YOU–IT AIN’T EASY BEING A VOLUNTEER AT A CAR SHOW

  Volunteers are a special group of people because they are willing to tackle a thankless job and donate their time to a particular cause.   They are the...

July 24, 2017 View more...
5

WELCOME TO MSCC FIVE FOR FRIDAY—FIVE GREAT SONGS WITH SUMMER IN THE TITLE

WELCOME TO MSCC FIVE FOR FRIDAY—FIVE GREAT SONGS WITH SUMMER IN THE TITLE   MyStarCollectorCar never stands still—that’s the nature of the hobby because old iron that stands still...

July 20, 2017 View more...

Car Shows and Events

IGP2993-NOVA SC
CONTACT US TO LIST YOUR 2017 CAR SHOWS

CONTACT US TO LIST YOUR 2017 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS info@mystarcollectorcar.com 727233 Total Views 2521 Views Today

June 23, 2017
165ce9588de34a61a8112aaf9a57c456_1-001
MICHENER ALLEN AUCTION AUGUST 19, 2017: ’73 CHALLENGER

MICHENER ALLEN COLLECTOR AUCTION AUGUST 19, 2017   1973 Dodge Challenger 2 Dr       Make:   Dodge   Model: Challenger Drivetrain:          RWD     Ext Color:            Blue Engine:...

June 19, 2017
phpThumb_generated_thumbnailpng red deer
10TH ANNUAL RED DEER FALL FINALE & SPEED SHOW

 10TH ANNUAL RED DEER FALL FINALE & SPEED SHOW     COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION – CLASSIC CAR AUCTION The 10th Annual Fall Finale Classic Car Auction September 8th-10th, 2016 –...

April 21, 2017
IMGP0377-001
AUGUST 2017 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS: MyStarCollectorCar

  It’s never too early to contact us about your club or community car show for 2017. Get your listing to us and take advantage of the exposure you’ll...

October 9, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive