What An Ad! 30k Mile Survivor DeSoto Firedome


It’s got four doors. Get over it already! This beautiful 1955 sedan is being sold by only its second family owner, has recently returned from a 16 hour round trip and still sports its original paint! This 1955 DeSoto Firedome is located in West Salem, Wisconsin and is listed for sale here on eBay, where not surprisingly bidding hasn’t yet met the reserve at just under $2,200.


What a beautiful car! Again, four door haters just move on to the next post. The seller’s listing is a perfect example of how to sell a car. There’s an almost eight minute video here of him driving the car at highway speeds and talking about it. There are over 150 high resolution photos, including many under car pictures here. By the time you’re done looking this over, the only questions I have left are “how much?” and “why are you selling it?”


The seller details how a window in the storage garage led to some fading of the original paint in places. I’ve included this picture so that you can see what I think they are talking about. I certainly wouldn’t lose the originality of the paint, and that chrome looks gorgeous. At first I thought the fading was along panel lines, but a closer look shows exactly what the seller was talking about. I’m sure they have tried compounding it out, but I’d have to give it one more shot if I were the lucky buyer of this one.


There is one spot of rust, and the seller details its size by taping a dime next to it. Considering the location and the fact I wouldn’t want it to spread further, I would try to sympathetically repair this small location. But that’s me; maybe you’d want the car to wear all it’s blemishes proudly? Regardless, considering it looks like the fender will unbolt, you could do this job very easily and hopefully blend the paint around it well.


I’m guessing you can tell I really like this car, and you’d be correct. The interior doesn’t change my mind either–what an interesting view the driver has of the gauges! This is what I’d like to be driving this weekend afternoon!


With a 291 cubic inch original Hemi under the hood, this DeSoto is one classic car where you don’t have to worry about merging with traffic on the interstate when you are driving. And I’d have as much confidence as I could have purchasing long-distance considering the seller’s great job of presenting the good and bad points of the car. While I wish it were me completing this transaction, it won’t be, but hopefully it will be one of you readers! Be sure to let us know if you do!


  1. Fred W.

    I doubt he was actually going 85 in the video, notice other cars pass and he passes no one which means average speed of traffic would have to be 90 or so. Speedos in 50’s cars were often inaccurate, this one is probably 10% fast. All that aside, a very nice car and a bargain even at the current $5100.

    • Andy

      He is me and I was going 85 mph. The De Soto speedo matches my GPS speedo almost exactly, even at 85 mph.

      Like 1
      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Andy, thanks for chiming in! I love your car! It’s (note correct usage) really cool!!

      • Andy

        One more bid and the reserve price will be met. The De Soto will sell !! She is a one in a million.


    • rockribbedrushy

      Goin’ Up! It’s now at 7200 with almost 9 days to go.
      Reserve must be 10000 or so.

      9 bidders with 30 bids right now.

      Even so it will be a good buy for someone.

      • rockribbedrushy

        I stand corrected, the last guy must have upped his bid several times.

        Someone either really wants it or someone is just looking to get higher bids to beat the reserve.

      • rockribbedrushy

        I stand corrected once more. It is up to 11,000 after a few hours.

        Still 9 bidders, but 34 bids now.

  2. Woodie Man

    As usually 4 door “hater” with the exception of any car like this or the ’55 Bel Air or any E46 BMW wagon :), and having almost bought a ’56 in similar condition, these cars that are mostly original are a welcome relief to the tarted up shop whores that run across BJ or any of the “my wallet is bigger and I’m dumber than you” auctions. Long may they ride.

  3. OhU8one2

    My great Grandmother had a 54 DeSoto Firedome sitting in her garage,with 24,000 miles on it. My brother and I used to sit in the backseat and stretch our legs out and see if our feet could touch the front seat. Never once in all our trips to visit Great Grandma. I found out the car was used on one road trip in 1962 to Arizona. They came to see my sister,who was just born.The car was put up on cinder blocks in 1974 and sat until she passed away. I wanted the car worse than anyone could imagine. Unfortunately the car was in Indiana,and I lived in Arizona. At this time I was about 22 and financial restraints kept me from my idea to somehow keep the car. My father convinced me that the best thing was to sell it at the estate auction. It was sold to a local buyer. So somewhere there is a DeSoto with a V-8 hemi,tu-tone green,4 door,with original paint,zero rust,chrome was iffy. The owner ought to be proud driving it around. If so,I’m very happy for you. One last note about the car. They day they bought the car,they got home and realized it wouldn’t fit in there garage, so a new one had to be built. Now that is a big car. Ha Ha Ha

  4. Dolphin Member

    Great line, Woodie.

    Another very appealing ’50s beauty that I’d like to own, 4 doors or not. LOTS of chrome work on the front—-a big part of what appeals to me about these. That and the Hemi under the hood. My first car was a ’57 Desoto convertible with the Hemi, and that engine would haul all day long.

    This is a car you could probably buy for the price of a used econobox and drive anywhere in comfort and style. The rusty area could be ignored for now, especially if you didn’t run it in the rain much and store it right.

    The seller is right that “You can look for 20 years before you find one this rare.” It looks like a lot of bidders agree since there are 24 bids after about 1 day. You don’t know how many different bidders there are since the bidders are private, but if the reserve is reasonable it looks like it will sell.

    • Andy

      There Are 9 bidders. 150 watchers.


  5. MBNut

    I apologize in advance for this comment, but this is a pet peeve of mine. I love reading your posts. I am a car nut almost all my life, and I’ve come across many cars you have posted that I never heard of. I really appreciate your dedication and hard work and the car education you constantly provide with the unusual cars you show.

    Since you are in the writing business, you need to know this: “it’s” spelled this way with an apostrophe has only one meaning, and that meaning is “it is”. It is just like “he’s” means “he is” and “she’s” means “she is”. The possessives his, hers, ours, theirs, are all spelled with an “s” at the end, but no apostrophe, so is “its.” Its is a possessive.

    its = of it, belonging to it
    it’s = it is

    It’s 5 p.m. now.
    It’s a beautiful day.

    This old car has never had any body work in its long life.
    The problem is with its engine.
    The mechanic says it’s a problem with its battery.

    Notice that in every instance of “it’s”, you could have written “it is”.

    Easy rule to remember: if you can replace “it’s” with “it is”, then spell it “it’s”. Otherwise, spell it “its”.

    Keep up the good work. It’s well worth it.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      MBNut, I know the rule well, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make a mistake or two. Thanks for catching it :-) Fixed now!

    • DrinkinGasoline

      The preceding grammar announcement was brought to you by: MBNut and….Chock full o’Nuts Coffee, both proud sponsors of
      Barn Finds !
      And now… back to Barn Finds with Jamie and the Barn Finds Dancers !

    • Chuck

      Did not knoe we were in grammer,punuation,or speling class–just car peple who sometimes mike mestakes. Just saying–don’t know what the hell that means either.

    • greg tritt

      Thank you !

  6. DrinkinGasoline

    Some very careful rust repair and a set of Lucas Flamethrower headlamps and I would be cruisin’ !

  7. Ralph Terhune

    Now, if we could ‘learn’ people the difference between ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’, we’d be doing great!

    • rockribbedrushy

      If they’re not grammar and spelling in school these days, just what are they teaching the kids, eh?

      You’re and your, he and I and me and him are two more examples.

    • Woodie Man

      While a bit of a grammar nazi myself, I resist the impulse to step in to the grammatical morass unless it’s a ‘their’ for a ‘there’. That said I’m here for the cars and I think the Barn Find fellows do a fine job!

  8. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Guys, seriously, I’m okay with being corrected! Sad part is, i’ve been accused of being a grammar fanatic before, and I do know the rule, just messed up typing early in the morning!

    • rockribbedrushy

      You weren’t doing this on your phone, were you?

      Or while you were driving?

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        No, at the kitchen table :-)

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Sheesh, give Jamie a break! We all make mistakes and I highly doubt any one of you could do a better job than Jamie does day in and day out.

      Like 1
  9. Dolphin Member

    You know guys, I worked for many decades at a job that required perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and so on, or I would be laughed off the ‘stage’. So I learned it.

    I prefer good writing, but I can understand that some people like to communicate their way. And that’s OK, because people differ in their concerns and preferences and I find that it’s best to just let people approach things their way, as long as it’s legal. It’s not illegal to write with spelling and grammar errors, although communication does work better with fewer rather than more errors.

    Having done some writing for Barn Finds I can say that I respect the work they put in to create this sure and keep it going, and I admire every staff writer on Barn Finds because I know how much work they are putting in. Let’s give them a hand instead of raspberries.

    They deserve our thanks for making Barn Finds the best true car guy’s site on the internet.

    • rockribbedrushy

      I, not only can understand, but can attest to your dedication. I, too, was in mfg’ing for many years and saw many people, high and low, dumb und schmart, not be able to put three words together with a typo. Sadly, I had to do a lot of fixing of many documents and drawings, not to mention proofreading my own work.

      No raspberries from me, but many roses, perhaps four, would suffice.

      Personally, I just think that we move too fast, you know, got to make the Barn Finds last. You know?


    It is all about enjoying cars and having some fun. It is not a college entrance exam or applying for a corporate position . Read,enjoy or just shut up!

    Like 1
  11. Jon

    Mercy sakes guys… Man up…LOL… All MBNut was doing I’m sure, was just a little constructive criticism… Enough is enough… Now, can we just go back and have fun with cars……

    • rockribbedrushy

      Sure we can Jon.

      By the way, does this here car come with a stick or an Otto-Matic?

  12. Willy

    Now back to the car. Please.

  13. Jon

    That would be slush box. … :)

  14. Loco Mikado

    It has the dash mounted lever for the 2 speed PowerFlite automatic. You can see it to the left of the ignition switch in the video. The car is just beautiful and a good example of Virgil Exner’s 1955 restyling of the older body style before the complete revamp which was the “Suddenly It’s 1960” 1957 cars.

  15. Roger Meisenbach

    For any potential bidders on this ’55 Desoto preservation, I have a complete factory AC system to offer that would really make this car “super special”. Of course, all parts of the unit need refurbishment (as expected), but they ARE authentic. These items are not found in boxes on parts shelves any more. You could settle for modern aftermarket AC, which can be very efficient. But there is something quite distinctive about the exterior air intake pods of ’55/”56 Mopars.

  16. Roger Meisenbach

    Also have a Power Brake Booster Repair Kit to offer which includes a new rubber bellows (no longer available from Moparts). I’d be really surprised if this car did not need such a replacement by now.

  17. Chebby

    I love four-doors and this one is gorgeous.

  18. Ken Nelson Member

    Loco Mikado, that vertical shifter lever for the 2 speed box was almost my undoing when at 16 I was driving my Dad’s first new car, a ’55 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe with the same transmission. Was heading home from somewhere one day & saw a buddy walking along the side of the road. I had my hand resting on the shifter, and when I saw him I spontaneously braked, my body shifted forward and the car into reverse! With a horrible screech I slid by my friend, wheels locked, and realized my mistake! I was horrified, and quickly went to neutral then fwd to see if the trans still worked. Whew! It appeared to be ok, and when the buddy reached me to ask for a ride I tried to appear nonchalant but was still petrified that I’d ruined Dad’s new car.

    Can’t remember when it happened, but some time after that I found out Dad had taken the car to the dealer to replace the rear clutch band or something. I had never told him about the incident as the car did work well for some time. I must’ve been off at school or somewhere when the repair was done but I sure felt guilty about it. Wish I’d owned up to it before he passed away – think he would’ve had a good laugh. We ran that car 10 yrs and 110K miles, then he sold it for $125.

    • andy

      Sold her to a gentleman in Phoenix for a little over $10k.

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