This 1955 DeSoto FireFlite Sportsman might not be for everyone, but if you've been looking for an affordable Hemi powered classic, this could be the car for you. While the FireFlite was DeSoto's flagship model, they aren't extremely valuable today. This one has been in barn storage for a while and can now be found here on eBay.
DeSoto was created in 1928 by Chrysler as a mid-priced brand to compete with GM and Studebaker. The FireFlite was so successful that '55 was the best year the company had seen since 1946. Sadly the success was short lived and Chrysler killed off the marque five years later.
The FireFlite is powered by a 291 cui Hemi V8, which is rated at 200 hp. The seller claims they have gotten the engine running, but not whether the car is drivable. We would guess it will need some work before it will be safe to drive. There were around 10,000 of these 2-door FireFlites built in '55, but we haven't seen many still floating around. We aren't sure about the availability of parts for it, but given that it is a Chrysler product, we would assume most things can be found.
The interior looks complete, but needs work. This wasn't the most luxurious car one could get in '55, but it was well appointed for its price range and was known to be very comfortable to travel in. There weren't many options offered for the FireFlite, but one could order a two tone paint scheme. Looking at the door jambs and engine bay, we are going to guess that someone resprayed it at some point in time
It hopefully won't take a ton of work to get this thing back on the road. As long as there aren’t any serious structural rust issues, it shouldn't be. Given the current market, we would fix what needs to be to drive it and just enjoy it. What would you do with this Hemi powered classic? Would you leave it as is, rod it, or do a rolling restoration? Not that we think this has any impact on the value of the car, but it would seem this car is being sold by the guys from Gas Monkey Garage and the show Fast and Loud.