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Orphan Survivor

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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1059 Desoto

1959 DesotoOne thing is for sure, Roamin Angel Jim R. likes orphans, those make of cars that are no longer produced. He owns a Studebaker and two Desotos, both of which ceased production in the early Sixties. His ‘59 Desoto Fireflite four-door sedan is also a survivor, a car that has not been restored and still is on the road. He bought it about three years ago from the second owner who bought it back in 1961. The only changes he had made to the car were to add air conditioning and change the air cleaner. Nothing else had been changed. It had the original 383 CID Turboflash engine and Torqueflite transmission with push button selector. Power steering and brakes provided more control for the 3,950 pound heavy-weight, as did the famous Chrysler torsion-bar suspension. A lot of the 161,000 miles the owner had racked up had been going to car shows all over the country. With the original Canyon Beige paint and interior, it was a rare find indeed. It was just the kind of car Jim likes, ones that he considers driveable works of art and this one was the epitome of the big-finned Fifties. He loved the look of them when he saw them back when they were new and is glad to finally have one now. Since buying it, Jim has had to do little work on the car, mainly solving a noisy brake problem that had haunted the car for years. Now he takes it on cruises and to car shows all over NorCal and has never had a problem. Who says America didn’t know how to make great cars? Now Jim would like to work on his ‘36 Desoto, another unique orphan. It’s not a survivor, but a car that represents the age of Art Deco. And saving these classic, collectable and antique motoring masterpieces is what it’s all about.

1959 Desoto

‘59 was a year of color for Desoto, with 26 solid colors or 190 two-tonecombinations available. These cars had a 122 inch wheelbase, giving them

First appearing in the Desoto in 1959, this B block engine put out 325HP and 425 lbs of torque. It is basically the same engine that was usedin the Road Runner when it came out in 1968.

Swivel front seats made getting in and out of this Desoto easier. Thepush-button transmission was kept by Chrysler until 1964 when Federal regulations said shifters would be on the column or the console. However, women with long fingernails hated them.

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