View topic - The 1959 DeSoto station wagon was built to haul in style!

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 2:43 am 

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OLD CAR COLUMN: The 1959 DeSoto station wagon was built to haul in style!

By Bruce Kunz Contributing Writer May 2, 2016

By 1959, the handwriting, so to speak, was on the wall. The end was near for DeSoto, a brand that, for some time, garnered significant sales for parent Chrysler Corporation in the upper-middle class segment of the automotive market.

As famed automotive historian and author John A. Gunnell stated in the Standard Catalog of American Cars, "If any car seemed destined to be a winner, it was DeSoto."

In its first year of production (1929), DeSoto deliveries of 81,065 beat out previous first-year sales records set by Chrysler (1924), Pontiac (1926) and Graham-Paige (1928). And DeSoto would hold that record for nearly three decades!

The folks depicted in this magazine ad from 1959 were no doubt oblivious to the coming demise of the DeSoto. The foremost thing on their mind was transporting their pack of five Dalmations to who knows where ... perhaps the Westminster Kennel Club show? Mopar’s ‘madmen’ picked up on the canine tie-in when they headlined the ad "Best of Show ... and Go!" Taking the theme a step farther, they went on to say the lines were "purebred," the performance "spirited" and its rating was "best of show."

The canine members of the family no doubt enjoyed the roll down back window, which allowed for plenty of fresh air circulation. This roomy wagon is decked out in Pearl White and Sunshine Yellow (the barn was painted in Sherwin-Williams "barn red"). The decorative trim along the side of the car, also trimmed in Pearl White, is known as a "Sweepspear," a commonly used styling cue of the '50s. Powering the 3,980 pound, nine-passenger wagon was a 361 cubic inch (that’s 5.9 liters for the Gen-Xers and above) V-8 producing 295 horsepower. The dog fanciers in this picture would have spent $3,500 for the privilege of ownership, plus options, taxes, delivery, etc. Figure roughly five grand to be on the safe side.

Production totaled 45,724 units for the 30th anniversary DeSoto. Of these, 2,937 were station wagons. DeSotos were built in Detroit and Los Angeles.

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