View topic - What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?
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Author:  MarkWaite [ Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

Remember 2 years ago in St. Paul Minnesota, at the National meet, and it was warm?
It was that way again last week.................not any more.

I am glad I do not live in New England. I feel their pain.


Author:  FredRoman [ Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

I put my wire wheels on today. Looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

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Author:  MarkKubancik [ Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?


Looks very good! Sharp car!!


Author:  LynnPalmer [ Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

Well, Beautiful spring day in East TN, so I took my 32 SC Sedan for a 25 mile jaunt, had a refreshing beverage, then headed home. Got stuck in a little traffic on a warm day, and she died… Coil got hot and no spark….
Let it cool down and started right up. Too nervous to drive home, so had it towed. Looking for new coil now. Wondering if anyone has any other advice as to whether another problem may be lurking that exhibited in this way, or advice on any suppliers other than Bernbaum.
I hate being towed home.

Author:  lesfairbanks [ Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

I tried to start the '52 today. I don't know what gets into it but if I start it often during the winter it will fire up as soon as the fuel pump pushes enough fuel into the carb. If I don't start it for a couple of months it will try to start a few times and if it doesn't start then it just won't fire after that. I can tow it and as soon as it shifts into high gear so the engine turns it will fire right up. Usually does that within a hundred feet or so. Then it will the start the rest of the summer without a problem other than sometimes cranking quite a bit when it is warm. Quirky, but not a big problem.

Author:  FredRoman [ Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

I took my DeSoto to my first competitive show with it and tied for first place. Sounds good doesn't it - until I found out that the other two cars I tied with were a '55 Chevy street rod and a 2012 Corvette. Yuk! Oh well, it is what it is and just goes to show that the "judges" don't know class (DeSoto) from crap (shove-or-leave 'er-lays).

Author:  FredRoman [ Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

Good evening DeSoto lovers,

I found that there were a bunch of DeSoto lovers at the Longbranch Cruise in Lenexa, KS this afternoon/evening. My '59 Firesweep was awarded the Show Car of the Week award! This was a total surprise to me as there were about 150 cars there. It sure made my week and I'll savor this for a long time.

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File comment: Longbranch Friday Nite Cruise
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Author:  TimBowers [ Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

That is very cool, Fred! Congratulation!

Author:  FredRoman [ Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

Maybe I have too much time on my hands but I never get tired of tinkering with my DeSoto. Today I noticed I had one headlight out which definitely was not an original so I replaced them all with halogens and now they brand match. To my surprise, these halogens (Sylvania) are "thinner" in design than the standard ones I replaced. I always thought these quad round sealbeams were all the same size regardless. They must've found a cheaper way to make 'em with less material but they sure seem to work great. I never argue with success.

Author:  FredRoman [ Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

A few weeks ago Tim Bowers posted an invitation to the McPherson College Car Show being held next Saturday on May 2nd in McPherson, KS. As much as I would like to attend, I will not be able to this year - the timing is just not right with our preparation of our move to Branson.

I opened the link that Tim included in his post and it looks like it would be an excellent event for everyone whether they had a car entered or not. I sure hope there are some nearby DeSoto owners that can make it and I will make an effort to view the results when they are available after the show.

For those of you that are not familiar with McPherson College, it is basically an automobile restoration school that is very well known. I believe Jay Leno has referenced this college and was very complimentary.

Author:  JohnBoyd [ Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

The Northern California chapter of the National Desoto Club recently voted to change their name to the National Desoto Club, California Chapter, and to invite NDC members in southern California and some nearby western states to join. The reorganized Desoto club chapter was invited to participate in a joint meet with the Imperial Owners Club, combined northern and southern California chapters, April 15 to 18th in Cambria. Sea-side Cambria is on the central coast, a few miles north of Morro Bay and Cayucos, just below the Hearst Castle at San Simeon, and near the Paso Robles wine growing region. I’ve been closing in on a few final restoration errands on our 53 Firedome wagon, and my wife agreed to accompany me on a moderate-risk road trip to the meet. We started up I-5 and took the 73 bypass toll road to the 405 (Southern Californians put a “the” in front of some, but not all, highway designators. I believe this is a scheme to detect visitors and newcomers who don’t get it quite right.) Stopped for lunch at Bristol Farms off the Rosecrans exit, then continued past LAX over the Sepulveda pass to 101. We stopped at El Capitan state beach west of Santa Barbara, and then called on a cousin in Avila Beach, now late in the afternoon. We arrived at the Cambria Pines Lodge in early evening.

Distance was about 300 miles, much further than any of my previous trips with this car. The Desoto ran well, even cruising in the car pool lanes through LA at 65 to 75 mph. Averaged 13 mpg, and used about a quart and a half of oil during the 800 mile trip. I was pleased with the mileage, which was 30% better than I expected.

NDC members Steve Jensen and Jim Gorden brought their ‘55s to the meet. Jim is chairman of the reorganized California NDC chapter; Steve is cochairman. NDC member John Tennyson, who is also president of the northern California Imperial Owners Association, brought his Imperial. John organized a fine meet, which included visits to the Castle and the Paso Robles Warbirds museum, as well as time for beaches, sightseeing, and wine tasting. Barbara and I were pleased to take custody of the Imperial Owners Association of Northern California President’s Cup for the next two years!

We are hoping to see many of you readers at the Kalamazoo meet in July. Not planning to drive the Firedome to that one though. Here are a few photos from the trip.

File comment: The Rincon, between Santa Barbara and Ventura off 101
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File comment: Elephant seal rookery near San Simeon
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File comment: DC-3 at the Estrella Warbirds Museum
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Author:  FredRoman [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

Good afternoon from Lee's Summit,MO.

This coming Saturday (June 6th) is the big AACA (Antique Auto Club of America) Regional here in Kansas City (Independence Event Center) and I have been working dilligently preparing my '59 Firesweep that is entered in the 27C class of 1958 and 1959 production automobiles except for the 1958 Chevrolet that must be in a class by itself.

From what I can tell, the judging is "out of this world" as there are 128 pages (I think) of judging rules which also indicate several "layers" of judges involved. I've never competed in one of these AACA shows and from the sound of things, I'm probably way out-classed but I'll find out Saturday. Should be interesting though.

All the clean-up won't be in vain as the HPAC MoPar Family Reunion car show is being held the following weekend in Olathe, KS and then the weekend after that (Father's Day), the Show-Me MoPars car show is being held in Columbia, MO which is about half way between St. Louis and Kansas City. Hopefully it won't rain. We've been "blessed" with enough rain in May and so far in June that should last through July!

Anyway, if there are other DeSoto members within reach of the above mentioned events, please consider attending and participating. The MoPar shows have been going on annually for 25 to 30 years now with close to 100 cars at each show and the AACA show will have several hundred cars as well (400 is the limit).

Best DeSoto regards,


Author:  TimBowers [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

I think you'll be pleased with how your car presents itself to the AACA.

If the judges have any questions, they will communicate them to the team captain who will speak to you.

You're not competing against other cars, you're being judged against a perception of authenticity, and there are multiple 1st 2nd3rd place awards given.

If some high quality show car comes in, and receives
High score for the class, every body within 10 points of his score also receives a 1st place. The next highest score below that 10 point threshold is the high point 2nd place, and everybody within 10 points of that gets 2nd place.....

Radial tires will cost you serious points with the AACA. 2.5 or 3 points per tire, I can't remember....that could knock a car down from 1st to 2nd....

Author:  MarkKubancik [ Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?


Glad to see you showing your car at the AACA meet. I've been judging at the AACA meets that I attend for several years. Much will depend on the team judging your class, how many cars they have to judge, the weather and as Tim indicated the other cars in your class. Judges that really know fifties MoPars are rare so you are usually judged on cleanliness, workmanship and condition. If it is pouring down rain or rain is threatening, judging will be done quickly and your car will likely score higher as credit to you for bringing out your car in inclement weather.

In general, the attitude appears to me to have shifted from "let's make it really tough to win an award" to "let's not nitpick". As the number of cars that attend AACA shows seems to shrink as the years pass, they are becoming more aware that someone's first impression at an AACA show lasts a long time so they want you to take home some hardware if your car is at all deserving.

Tim makes a good point about radial tires. Each tire is worth five points so with the spare - if it is also a radial - will immediately deduct 25 points. Someday AACA will allow the new radials that resemble original profile tires, hopefully soon. Another easy way to gain or lose points is headlights. Your headlights do not have to all match on a four headlight car but they must be period correct, i.e., no halogen bulbs. Brand is not important but the low beams must match and the high beams must match. An easy deduction for the chassis judge are brightly colored aftermarket shock absorbers. Original shocks were most likely painted black, so take a couple minutes and spray any aftermarket shocks in black paint. Also, on your car, the judges may ask for manufacturer documentation that you could have the wire wheels installed at the factory or dealer. If you have such documentation, take it with you to the meet.

Let us know how it goes. You'll meet some great folks and if you meet any of my Region members from the KYANA Region in Louisville tell them I said "hey".


Author:  FredRoman [ Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

Hey Tim and Mark,

Thanks for your input as it is sincerely appreciated. I'm looking forward to the AACA experience since it will be my first.

As for my car, it does not have radials but does have halogen headlights. The tires are all factory replicated Goodyear Super Cushions including the spare which are 800X14. The headlights that were on the car when I bought it were a mixed bag with only two being the same and one was the high beam and the other the low/high combo. The rest of the car is all factory original except for maintenance items and paint which are the factory colors of Glacier blue and Pearl white.

I wish I could find some kind of documentation showing Kelsey-Hayes made wire wheels specifically for Chrysler of which mine are replicas. I have the repair manuals and the full line sales brochure for the '59 DeSoto but none show or mention wire wheels. I believe these became available as options from Chrysler in 1953 or 1954 either factory or dealer installed.

It is a great looking car and is in immaculate condition but not original in what I consider items of importance like the headlights, wheels, and paint. It is what it is and all I can do is hope for the best. Maybe being in a class and not the HPOA? will help. I will report the outcome on the forum and probably comment on some things/observations.

Best regards,


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