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Reluctant Sale: 1940 De Soto S-7


Sometimes it’s easy to tell that someone is selling a car they really don’t want to. I’m not talking about the over-hyped “I have to sell this overpriced car and try to gouge someone because I’m a bad flipper” or the “I’m setting an artificially high price because my spouse has told me to sell the car and if I price it high enough it will never sell.” I’m talking about the sad seller, who genuinely would like to keep and finish their project car. After reading the listing for this De Soto, I think this is a sad seller. The S-7 is currently in Berrien Center, Michigan, and is being auctioned here on eBay where the opening bid is just over $1,000 but there is a reserve above that. The car looks remarkably good in the pictures, and benefits from a rebuilt (although suspected non-original) engine. The seller has spent $3,400 re-chroming components and says the body has some filler, but not much. The engine and clutch have 400 miles since the refurbishment, and the ad states it’s been driven to work a few times.

Ad courtesy american-automobiles.com

Based on the ad shown here, the 1940 De Soto was “America’s Family Car.” It’s fascinating how the tag line would be interpreted differently now–I’m thinking this would not play in today’s world! But that family sure looks happy with their new De Soto–would you be happy if you were the new owner of this one?



  1. Ed P

    It looks like the heavy lifting is done on this car. I see a few problems, but nothing big. If the reserve is not to high, this could be a very good buy.

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  2. David Frank david Member

    I love cars that aren’t over restored like this one. There are some areas like the roof that need to repaired to preserve the car, but otherwise it looks like a typical car you might have seen in the 40’s and 50’s. The “book” value might end up being lower than what you pay for the car, but if you intend to keep it for years, what does it matter? For example, I’ve spent a lot more on my old Mercedes than what it’s worth, but it’s given me over 20 years of enjoyment so far, so it’s well worth it. If I sold it for $5000 or even $10,000 less than what I’ve spent on it, if would still be worth it for all those years of marvelous drives!

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  3. jim s

    if the reserve is not to high i see a great driver. make it safe so you can drive it while you work on the body/interior. great fun and find.

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  4. cliffyc

    Beautiful old De Soto,would make your money back a few times over, here in the UK as a wedding car,and it’s already painted white!.

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