Restovivor 4-Door: 1957 DeSoto Firesweep Hardtop

A while back, we coined the term “restovivor” for a car that had a lot of original components, but wasn’t a “survivor”. Usually that means a car’s been painted, like this one, and sometimes it can be interior work as well. This Firesweep is a perfect example–and it is a car I’d be happy to drive! The car is for sale here on eBay, with bidding reflecting the nice condition of the car at $6,900–but there’s no reserve, so the car will sell. It’s waiting for you in Sarasota, Florida, a city I’ve spent a lot of time in and I know there are some beautiful cars there to enjoy!

Now this would be a stylish way to ring in the new year. Just think, your resolution could be to spend more time going places with your family, and this four door (yes, it’s a four door hardtop!) could be just the ticket! While not perfect, it would be perfectly suited to be a weekend driver!

Dramatic enough for you? I think the “Firesweep” logo on the rear flanks may be my favorite car logo font ever. Now, I will tell you I’m not counting on the 34,616 claimed miles. If it is, terrific. If it’s 134,616 I’m fine with that, too, considering how nice the car looks and is said to run! The seller states it came from “the dry deserts of Utah” and says it’s completely solid, although they stay clear of stating it has no rust at all.

Wow, just look at that interior! Again, the seller says it’s original. That’s terrific! If it really is the original upholstery and looks as nice up close as it does in the pictures, I might put some old-fashioned clear covers over the seats to try to keep them that way. Family for me might include a dog or two, so I’d do everything I could to keep things nice in there.

The engine compartment looks superb and has obviously been the beneficiary of some nice paintwork. We’re told the 325 polyhead V8 runs well and the three speed automatic transmission shifts well; even the shift indicator lights work! So what do you think; could you work this into your New Year’s resolutions for 2017?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Nice car! But if you’ll excuse me, Jamie, one very mild rant that I’ve been saving up for quite a while: This whole “not original paint? Oh, no!” thing strikes me as kind of silly. A lot of people who bought cars like this DeSoto wanted to keep them looking nice, and one way of doing that was to get a good repaint when the old finish began to deteriorate. They weren’t worried about originality, any more than someone who swaps out a defective or cheap OEM audio system for a new one. They just took pride in their ride!

    My late father’s Austin-Healey got three repaints (and a new interior) in the 30 years (and, at least 300K miles) he owned it. He wasn’t worried about preserving originality for some future collector. He was proud of the car, and loved to drive it and keep it in good shape.

    And of tirade! And I STILL think this is one sweet DeSoto!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Ray, agreed 100% from my point of view, with the one caveat that it be quality repaints :-)

      • RayT Member

        Dad never went to Earl Scheib, Jamie! HIS father did, which is how I wound up driving a pea-soup-green ’50 Chevrolet when I was in high school. I was sure the paint was thick enough that I could have peeled it off and built another Chevy….

    • grant

      I’ll take some heat for this one, but I’ve actually had ok luck with budget paint jobs from Maaco. Never tried Earl Schieb. Obviously they were driver quality cars, but the trick is to prep the body yourself, pull all the trim and block sand before you take the car in. Stick to light colors and be prepared to wet sand it and do some buffing before you put the trim back on. Again not something you’d do to a show car, but to make your driver decent looking it can work if you’re willing to put in some sweat equity.

      • Ed P

        No heat here. Why pay a fortune for a paint job that will have stone chips and scratches far to soon in daily use.

    • Woodie Man

      While I wouldn’t mind a car being repainted, in fact I have bought cars with color changes! because all things being equal the rest of it was a nice survivor original…but of course if I had my druthers I’d like a totally original car if it was driveable and presentable. At that point I’m more than likely to leave it alone…..outside of maintenance and upkeep.

  2. Howard A Member

    I’d have to think this is original, maybe a repaint, but way too nice to be 134K. My old man had a ’59 DeSoto very similar to this. It was the 1st car I remember riding in, The speedo changed colors, green up to 30, yellow to 50,( I think) and red after that.( purple after 100?) His business partner had a fancier one, with the swivel out seats. This is quite the road car, and priced right. Somebody’s gonna flip it, you’ll see.

  3. d.andrej

    I like it ……. perfect for a summer date and drive to nowhere

  4. Dolphin Member

    This could be a cheap entry into a ’50s car with great style, and an orphan make to boot.

    My first car was a ’57 Desoto convertible, bought for $750 with a crunched LF fender that my father replaced. That car would easily exceed ‘the century’, but the way it floated at that speed was real scary, so ever since then any car that I have owned that wasn’t the family car had to both handle well and get better mileage than the Desoto.

    But for style in good condition at a bargain price this Desoto would be hard to beat.

  5. Brad C

    The fins on this era Desoto are SO ridiculously big and featureless that I think this is one of the few cars where, in profile, 4 doors look proportionately better than 2.

  6. Flmikey

    …not fond of 4 doors, but this car is beautiful…once again, I’ll mention I live in Sarasota, so I will lay my eyes on this classic for anyone interested….

    • Joe Malaney

      I live in Sarasota and belong to the Sunshine Region of the AACA. I don’t have a collector car right now but am looking for one. I would very much like to see your car before I bid on it.

  7. Ed P

    I don’t care if the paint is original or not. I love the colors. The 57 cars from Chrysler had horrible rust problems. How nice to see this example.

  8. Rustytech Member

    I love the forward look Chrysler products, all of them, this is a nice car . You can bet it I got my hands on it you wouldn’t see it resisted anytime soon. The very first car I had was a 1959 Dodge Dart convertible. I was 14 years old and a neighbor gave it to me to drive on the farm trails. Wish I’d known then what they’d be worth today, things may have turned out very differently for it!

  9. Racingpro56

    What a beauty. Something about a pillarless 4 door seems so elegant. And those fins! A nice price for an entry level collector’s car.

  10. DRV

    A no post four door is a good 4 door!
    It’s $8.1k with 5 days to go.
    This would be so cool as a driver.
    The condition is perfect for regular use from what I see.

  11. Coventrycat

    Nice, nice, nice. I can see how quad headlights made a car look more expensive at the time, the singles on this one give the front an empty look, even with all that chrome trim. I’d still have it.

  12. ELMER TURNER

    My mother had the top of the line 1957 DESOTO ADVENTURER around 1964, They were classy looking autos with the gold and white paint, Gold finned hubcaps. Dual bumper exhaust, Radio with station autofinder, And of course the HEMI ENGINE WITH 2 FOUR BARREL CARBS. The speedometer, If I remember correctly, Showed160 m p h. They were the Indy 500 pace cars in 1956 as I seen one at the Hershey auto show. There was a beautiful Desoto Adventurer Convertable in a top auto auction , ( Barret / Jackson ? ) Several years ago that listed at $300.00.00 in pristine condition.

  13. Joe

    Old school old timer’s philosophy. We don’t care—
    Whether the paint is original or not. We don’t care—
    If interior panels were fixed or not. Please drop the coined “restovivor”–not useful in pegging the value or appeal of driver cars. One guy’s sh*tbox is another guy’s custom. It’s all about visual presence. Thrills/speed. Fun. Pride of ownership. Sit on a milk crate when your seat is shot, mash that pedal to the floor. Forget about the “paint”. Maybe you should be Survivor if not the car.

  14. Adam T45 Staff

    When I was about 7 years old my father had lined up one of these to buy as the family car. They were unbelievably rare here in Australia, and this one had been customised with a bigger engine (can’t remember the size), dark blue metal-flake paint and big chrome after-market wheels. The day before delivery the owner (who owned a wrecking yard) accidentally backed into it with a crane! This destroyed all of the panels on the left-hand side and broke some of the windows. He decided that it was too hard to fix, refunded the deposit to my father, removed the engine and wheels….and then put the rest through the crusher! It’s enough to make you cry.

  15. DRV

    I think whatever term you can give a car to describe it more accurately is a good thing , especially when searching or not seeing it in person.
    If I am looking for an all original car, a restoviver would tell me it is except for cosmetics.

  16. ags290

    It’s at $11,600 with 5 days left to go, it will be fun to watch this one and see where it ends. From the pictures it looks like someone will end up with a gorgeous car, I just wish it was me.

  17. Richard Prokopchuk

    It looks like it should be standing on its tail, waiting to take off. Fins…do you think they will ever make a comeback?

  18. johnj

    If you live in the rust belt than the good thing about original paint is that you know nothing is hidden under paint and bodywork. Here in PA just about every classic has some amount of rust. And most have plenty of body filler under that new paint job. Especially the older resto jobs where the replacement panels were not as available, and most cars were not worth enough to sink big money into.

  19. Chuck Foster 55chevy Chuck F Chas Foster

    That is one cool looking car, and you probably won’t see another one at your local cruise in. I wonder if they’d trade a 1998 MB SL500 with Diablo doors custom? I remember wanting one of these on Jacksonville CList, but a 2dr ht, for $3,000 back around 2008.

  20. chad

    is that a Holley? Rochester? under the hood? Hope it’s a 2 – 4v.
    and so much chrome it’s got breasts (look up frnt, where else?).
    8^0

    • Mr. TKD

      Dagmars!

    • Jim

      I think it’s a WCFB with unique Chrysler top for the fuel inlet, GM WCFB’S had the inlet on the side I believe. Good carb if you understood how to work it.

  21. Jim

    Clear plastic seat covers??? Really? I’d rather be water-boarded than sit on them in the summer, skin sticks to that plastic like Crazy Glue. A classic car rarely gets used enough for the seats to get worn out and who are you saving them for? Just a conversation I’ve had a few times with friends who believe all cars should be preserved as if they were destined for museum use. They usually cringe when I pulled in with one of my “personalized” old cars, but I never buy any truly unique cars.

  22. Ed P

    Put a blanket over the seat when not in use. Just pull it off and go for a ride.

  23. Bob C.

    These, along with their similar chrysler cousins were the early family man’s hotrod.

  24. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Sold! Made it up to $23,055.00. 72 bids.

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