Hot Rod Potential: 1947 Desoto Deluxe

With awesome styling and a relatively solid body, this Desoto Deluxe would be a fantastic machine to revive. Well weathered and mostly complete, this project could make for a great restomod or a hot rod project. For $2,500 this sweet project could be yours start in the New Year! Check it out here on craigslist out of Clarkston, Washington. Thanks to Ken for submitting this cool find!

Unfortunately the flathead 6 is locked solid, so this motor may very well have seen its last mile. While this engine is toast, there is certainly some room in the bay for other motivation opportunities. A tried and true small block Chevy or Ford would likely fit. But let’s face it, with the cool styling of this Desoto, it needs to move a little faster than what this flathead can offer.

The dash holds up to the car’s “Deluxe” name and it is truly a work of art. The lavish chrome and gold trim with the unique styled steering wheel certainly imply a sense of luxury from the driver’s seat. Although with any machine this age the interior isn’t quite as sweet as anyone could wish for. Upholstery work is needed, but thankfully the interior appears to be complete minus a couple of knobs off of the radio.

Wearing an even layer of surface rust, this Desoto still shows some of its original light green paint. From the provided photos there is no obvious rot on the exterior of this car. Although the floors are a different story. In need of patch work, the front floors apparently are on the rougher side being the impediment of this Desoto. If that is all of the rot in this machine, I would dare to say this Desoto got off easy. Patch up the floors, swap in a new drive-train, and throw in a hot rod harness and you wouldn’t be far off from driving this stylish classic. Would you hot rod this Deluxe?


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  1. Mark

    This was the car suped up on happy days to win a drag race by Richie Cunningham.

    Like 6
    • XMA0891

      Wasn’t this also the same car Marion crashed into Al’s?

      Like 2
  2. Gloin

    Happy Days! First thing that comes to mind every time I see these cars

    Like 6
  3. Mountainwoodie

    I might have told this before……but…..In 1972 I had a ’47 Chrysler, basically the same car, that I drove to work in a little mountain town in Colorado. I lived in a cabin off the main road into town. I had the car parked out front and went out of town for a week. When I came back it was gone. Turns out the town decided it was abandoned as it “straddled ” the road and the dirt lot where the cabin was and crushed it into a box and sent it to Japan or wherever. Amazing the things you put up with when you’re eighteen and have less than no clue how to fight the powers that be. Like the Olds just posted, I have a serious thing for these late forties cars when they’re in this condition. Must remind me of being a kid.

    Like 7
  4. canadainmarkseh Member

    Fantastic grille this engine could likely with some patients be freed up. if it can then i’d revive it, if it can’t then a 318 backup by a tourque flute or even better a modern over drive trans.nice find.

    Like 4
  5. Iron Mistress

    My first car was a 47 DeSoto business coupe. It had a dent in a front fender to pound it out I had to use a 5 lb hammer and both hands. I think it was made out of left over tank steel.

    Like 4
  6. 86 Vette Convertible

    Get rid of the spot light, paint it a dark green and it would look a lot like my Grandparents car. When you’re just a few years old, loved those suicide rear doors on it. I think the tranny was a DynaFlow or something like that. From what I remember it was basically a manual transmission with a torque converter on it instead of a clutch. Can’t swear to it as it’s been over 60 years now.

    • Ken

      It’s Fluid Drive. Says so above the grille and on the jockey box door.

      (Jockey box is common slang for the glove compartment in the PNW.)

      Like 1
  7. Wrong Way

    They don’t make them like they used to that’s for sure! Love all that Chrome just look at that face how could anyone not fall in love with that big chrome grill?

    Like 1
  8. B Bittner

    How this eluded the crusher is beyond me. If I had the money I’d buy and bury it. Sorry.

    • Fred Alexander

      You Bad !

      Like 1
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      B. Bittener 👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎

  9. B Bittner

    It’s ok.

  10. B Bittner

    It’s ok. Needs a visor, that’s all.

  11. tom horito

    anyway to get the seats out of one of the older desoto’s, I have a 48 desoto suburban and the upholstery shop lost the seats…….. thanks, tom

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