De-Diamond In The Rough: 1958 De Soto Firesweep

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I’ve been looking at this DeSoto Firesweep all day waiting to have enough time to write it up. I’m not really sure why I like it so much, either–maybe it’s that the seller started on the mechanical components first rather than the cosmetics. Unfortunately it’s a good distance from me in Bristol, Rhode Island. The car is being auctioned here on eBay, where it has 40 bids already but the highest is $1,025 as I write. There is no reserve!

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There’s a lot going on at the rear of this car. These are some of the most unusual looking tail lights I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately some of the lenses are broken. Thankfully, they are being reproduced in Australia–you can get them here.Then we have four “jet exhausts” below the lights. I couldn’t find the chrome serrations right next to the filler door anywhere else, so I’m thinking they are an owner add-on.

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The car is still wearing Texas plates, and by looking at this page we can tell they date from 1999 to 2004. Surprisingly there’s not a tremendous amount of rust-through that I can see, although I’d really like to see some close ups of the rocker panels. Some of the chrome, like the front bumper, looks good enough as-is for a driver quality car.

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There aren’t clear shots of the interior, but both seat covers have been replaced, and don’t look too bad. I wish there some shots of the dash.

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Since there wasn’t a dash picture, I found this one to show you what it looked like when it was new. Isn’t this a great dash!

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The seller doesn’t tell us anything about the engine, but if it’s the stock one it will be a 350 cubic inch V8 (no, not a Chevy). It looks like the original generator is in place, so I’m hoping no one has messed under the hood too much. Someone has already installed four-wheel disc brakes, I’m really not sure why I find this car so intriguing, but I do. It’s telling that I’ve looked the car over four times already today! What do you think of this diamond in the rough?

 

 

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    My old man had a DeSoto, a ’59 I think. It’s the 1st car I remember riding in. ( I used to lay on the rear package tray as a kid. The old man would hit the brakes, and I’d go flying into the front seat) I remember, the speedometer would change colors, the faster you went ( like green up to 30, yellow up to about 50, and red after that. I always wondered, as a kid, what was after red?) That dash always was the coolest, and that rear view mirror on the dash was useless, except for looking up a middle seat passengers dress maybe. ( oh, don’t look so shocked, I’m sure it was done) Seemed all late ’50’s cars sagged in the back. I heard there was a problem with the steel used in leaf springs then. Lot of work here, but DeSotos sold like 1 for every 10 other Chrysler’s, so it’s rare. Thanks for the memories. Cool find.

    • Ed P

      With tailfins, tons of chrome, continental kit, and junk in the trunk, these cars had no choice but to sag in the rear.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Ed, check out that “5 mph” ( or more) front bumper.

      • Ed P

        Howard, be careful not to drop the front bumper on your foot, the rear either!!

  2. grant

    This is just cool. I’ve never seen one but I’m in love.

  3. Mitch

    The ’58 Firesweep was the basic model, & was really a Dodge with a DeSoto grille. The upper level DeSotos that year had different bodies.

  4. Robert White

    This car is in the movie _In the Heat of the Night_ and is driven by the brother of the ‘white girl’ that prances around naked during the night with the window drapes open. The Desoto in the movie is the same colour red as this one on BF.

    Bob

  5. Dolphin Member

    The first car I owned as a teenager was a Desoto, and similar in size to this one, altho I don’t remember mine being quite as long as a city block like the car in the top photo above.

    Mine was a ’57 Desoto convertible, and it was BIG. My father was sympathetic when I said I thought it might be a tad big for my needs, so he helped me get a smaller car….a ’58 Sprite.

    Yes, that definitely was a smaller car. Needed the first/reverse layshaft and a few other transmission components replaced, which we did together. Actually he did it while I watched. I have told that story before, but it all comes flooding back whenever I see a Desoto of a certain age.

  6. Marco

    Reminds me of “Christine”

  7. james burton

    if you like this on you’ll like my buddy’s conver. waiting on him to restore it. bennie loves restoring these odd cars. very little rust in this odd clasic. this one came out of georga

  8. james burton

    pic. of bennie’s des. i ment to post in last coment

  9. puhnto

    Jesse, I know why you like it so much, it’s the same car Cosmo Fishhawk drives in the “Shoe” comic strip! Even the same color! (when the strip is color.)

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Hi, Puhnto! Actually this post was mine, not Jesse’s. I do like “Shoe” but hadn’t made that connection, good to know! I’m still not sure why I like this car so much, but I do…

      • Puhnto

        Apologies for the name error, Jamie.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Not a problem! :-) And I still like this car…

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