Name Game: 1959 Desoto + Parts Car

You’ll put an eye out with those fins! Virgil Exner, like all designers, had his hits and misses. Misses would definitely be his plucked chickens of the early ’60s and the downsized ’62s. Hits would be pretty much anything ’50s, like this 1959 DeSoto Firedome two-door hardtop. Find it here on craigslist in Ore City, Texas.

Tough call as to who wore the Seville name best, Cadillac or DeSoto. This example has definitely seen better days. It is my understanding a Seville was a trim level on the Firedome series, not the Firesweep as stated in the ad. Unique paint schemes and interior trims were the DeSoto norm, whipped up to lure customers into dealerships. This teal on white scheme would also look great reversed.

The seller talks about it having the rare Caribbean Sun interior option, but decided to leave what that is a mystery. I picture palm trees, ocean waves, and the Forward Look emblem stitched all over in teal, gold, and pink. In reality, it’s colors and patterns that more resemble casino carpet. This DeSoto has definitely been given a rough re-spray long on ago and there is quite a bit of missing trim. The sale does include a black Fireflite parts car, but not all trim translates from four to two doors. Both are rusty with plenty of dents, so becoming good friends with a body worker isn’t a bad idea

Some pictures show the side mirror and hubcaps still attached, while other pictures show the car somewhat cleaned up and missing these items. Looks like a disc brake wheel conversion has been started on the crusty front end. DeSotos came with a 361 or 383 V8, depending on the series, and a push button Torqueflight. Either probably isn’t functioning today. DeSotos will get you into any orphan car show and prices have been rising for finned Mopars. Is this worth saving to try to win a diamond in the rough award?


WANTED 1966 Ford Fairlane GT $ Speed 390 s code, must have good body, can work on Engine if needed, probably going to put a litte Contact

WANTED 1970 Dodge Super Bee 4 speed, coupe preferred but nego., 383 or 440. Willing to pick up in lower 48. Contact

WANTED 1966 Pontiac GTO Must be Maroon, BLK seats, 4 sp, exl con. every thing else is a plus, Money in hand. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. lawyer George

    Maybe worth $2500.

  2. Rustytech Member

    Mopar had it going on during these years. I think the originals ( 1957s ) were the best. It was no wonder GM trashed there 3 year cycles and came out with all new designs for 59. These really turn heads today when they are restored properly. I’m not crazy about the white on this, but that’s easily changed. If it not completely rotten underneath, this would make a great project.


    The Desoto of ’59 hits my hot button. Very similar to the Chrysler the Desoto has a very sinister look as does the Dodge. The Forward look cars of this era are one of the best and many have been recognized and saved because of the 1958 Plymouth Christine.

    Very few survive now for several obvious reasons as poor quality, rust and most bought new after a few years. Leaving many stranded in the back of the budget used car lot. Those that made it past the junkyard were driven into the ground and parked out to pasture. Very few were loved and appreciated. My guess is the late 1960’s and 70’s were not too kind for these cars. This has somehow survived and is worth the effort to put back together. I really don’t think the four door would be much help and would double your transport cost back to the East. Hopefully you could have the owner pull the front end trim and opt out of the rest.

  4. Rex Kahrs Member

    Another 50s car with the “checkmark” trim. Who started this? I know the Crown Vics had the checkmark, but weren’t there some other cars of that ’54-’59 era that used it too? Great car.

  5. Matthew

    Quick search on Google came up with this regarding the Carribean sun interior×513.jpg

    “It’s a happy combination of sparkling colours and care free fabric”

  6. Nova Scotian

    Cars under tarps out in the elements…never a wise long term storage option. Maybe the owner was looking for an eventual payday with them, that never materialized? Everyone ( including me), has their vice.

  7. Dickie F

    Even thou we grew up in the south of Africa, our family car was a 1959 Desoto.
    Dad traded a 1955 Chev in for it in 1960.
    It was a beauty but had different ends to the fins and tail lights, than shown here.

    That car was called on to tow some of our 7 ton trucks on occasion.

    Brother smashed it twice before it was sold off in 1968.

    A similar one appeared on the local race tracks many years later as a Petty replica.

    • Solosolo Ken Tilly Member

      As far as I am aware, this car, or one like it is still racing in South Africa.

    • scottymac

      With a Bob Olthoff Galaxie replica about to run him down?

  8. CCFisher

    Caribbean Sun interior….

  9. dr fine

    The 1959 DeSoto Diplomat had a Plymouth body and DeSoto front end.

    • Dickie F

      Thanks doc.
      The red car in the photograph has the rear lighting that our road car had.
      So does the racing Petty replica, which was rescued as a Desoto from a residential yard in Zimbabwe, Africa, I believe and rebuilt into a
      Petty Plymouth – ?

  10. BiggYinn

    The pic of the red car above… is that a rust bubble at lower rear arch?

  11. LRF

    The Nassau Plaid interior was the Seville interior in all series, I had a ’59 Firesweep Seville 4 door hdtp with this interior, plus all the optional exterior trim, and swivel seats. A 59 Firedome Seville often came to shows and displayed next to mine. In a nearby wrecking yard, is a 59 Fireflite with all the Seville trim and colors, but has Sportsman emblems.

  12. LRF

    Forgot to mention, the 2 door Seville at the head of this is a Firesweep, it has the short front end and no model emblems on front fenders

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