1956 Desoto Coupe: Hemi FireDome

1956 DeSoto Coupe

Here’s your chance for a hemi from the ’50s for a reasonable price. In a world full on ’50s Chevys and Fords, this would stand out! And, unlike many Desotos, it’s actually a nice color, red and black instead of flesh tones and turquoise. This 1956 Desoto Firedome two door hardtop is for sale in Norman, North Carolina and is listed here on craigslist for $5500. It looks pretty complete except for the passenger outside door handle, the backup light lenses and the original wheels. It’s been parked since ’56. We have one of these at the museum and it keeps growing on me every time I walk by it. The interior looks in pretty good shape. Hagerty gives these an average value of $14,000 with a number four priced around $8,000. What do you think, wouldn’t this be a class act to show in your local car show?


  1. packradt

    Parked in ’96, not ’56.

    • Mark E

      Those are definitely NOT the original wheels either! >_<

  2. DENIS

    WAYKOOL….I owned a couple old Desotos…this would be cool to sanitize, get shaped-up to driving condition and drive non-restored…LUVET

  3. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Poor time for me to be stuck in a different part of the country. I don’t see this sale lasting long.

  4. jim s

    where is the motor photo? looks like it could make a great driver. what museum? great find

  5. PaulG

    Wow, really decent looking and the interior (which would be the hardest pieces to obtain) seems to be in good condition. Like McGee, I’m too far away for this one. If closer, I’d have some explaining to do!

  6. Todd Zuercher

    Who is David? And what museum is he referring to?

  7. Gary

    I really do like this, and it would stand out at a local car show. I think of these as oddballs but what a nice old classic this is. I would clean it up, find correct wheels and caps, just drive and enjoy it. Very nice find!

  8. Ed P

    Scrub, wax, and enjoy. ’56 is my favorite year for Desoto’s and this one needs very little work.

  9. Dolphin Member

    The older I get the more I like these. Pure ’50s style in a restrained way, especially the colors as David said, and the Hemi engine.

    The first US car I owned was from the year after this, a ’57 Desoto convertible in baby blue. Cost $750 with a crumpled LF fender. My father and I replaced it and it was great for a while, but those gigantic fins somehow got harder to like as I matured from 17 all the way to 18, so it was gone.

    This stylish ’56 would be just right.

  10. geomechs geomechs Member

    It’s interesting that with all those pictures, there aren’t any of the engine bay. I would hope to see something substantial (and complete) but without actually seeing it, hell, someone could have dropped in an SBC… Other than that I like the car.

  11. John H

    A word to the wise. If this is a 331 cu hemi check cylinders 7, 8 ( closest to firewall) very carefully for compression and plug color. These tended to Ron leaner resulting in burning a hole through the piston over time.

    • Dolphin Member

      John, IIRC the hemis in these were smaller displacement than the Chrysler 331 C.I. Maybe 270 C.I. I seem to recall, so as not to compete with the big Chryslers.

      But maybe there would still be the lean burning problem in # 7 & 8.

      • Ed P

        The Desoto, Chrysler, and Dodge hemi engines were all different blocks using different cylinder bore center spacing. It would be hard to say if there were common problems to them all.

  12. Charles

    This could be a fun car!

  13. Dave Wright

    I had a 56 Desoto convertible Indy pace car. It was incredible. I bought it from a junkyard in Willard Ut, it needed a rear quarter panel and the interior redone. Never completely finished it but did get it clean and running. Have been looking for another one ever since. The 57’s drove and rode better because of the torsion bar suspension. But I loved the 56. I had a very nice 57 Chrysler imperial convert at the same time. All great stuff.


    In the 1980,s at the Hershey international antique auto show, There was a gold and white 1956 Desoto Indianappolis 500 pace car on display. In the early 1960,s, My mother bought a 1957 gold and white Desoto Adventurer Hardtop with the 2- four barrel hemi engine. For her style of driving, Mostly 5 miles in/ out of town, the engine really used to load up the carburetors to the point of almost chokeing the engine off. I did, at 15 years old, Encourage her to take it out on an open highway straight stretch and floor it for a mile or two, But she would just floor it for about 10 seconds only. LOL

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