april 2010 des imgp8006

april 2010 des imgp8006


Craig Maize was not a typical owner for a 1953 DeSoto four-door sedan when we met him at a car night.


He is a twenty-something guy who would look right at home behind the wheel of a modern tuner car.


‘The reality is that Craig really wasn’t looking for a car from several decades before he was born, but that is how it turned out for a young owner and his old car.’


Craig knows his way around anything with an engine, so the simple flathead inline 6 was a minor challenge to his talents.


The car had not been running for a very long time, but careful preparation brought the old-timer back to life quite quickly under Craig’s approach.


He got it fired up and new points, plugs and wires made it run like a top for Craig. The long time-out for the DeSoto meant that a brake job was in order, as well as rims and tires.


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Craig got lucky in another way that is not typical of true barn finds: Mice had not turned the DeSoto into a condo for wayward rodents. Most car guys will agree that a mouse-free car is like a lotto win for its rarity. The cats on the DeSoto’s farm were clearly more ambitious than most barn cats.


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The car is a true survivor from an era of change in design from Detroit. It probably served a noble purpose as a kid-hauler from the Ike years.


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But now it is the property of a young owner with no current plans to alter the Desoto into something a little more radical. For now, Craig can appreciate a comfortable 60 mph ride down the highway in his unusual blast from the past.


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‘He knows that he will arrive in style, if not fast, and that is what really matters to Craig.’


Jim Sutherland