Vehicle Profiles

Convertible Coupe

In 1957 it would have been hard to imagine that within four years DeSoto would be history, but for the moment times were good. There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the all-new 1957 Forward Look DeSoto and big-car buyers loved the looks, ....[continue reading]

Convertible Coupe

Chassis Num: 55354910

The DeSoto Adventurer was a high-style, high-content American muscle car powered by the division's top 'Hemi' V-8 engine. The powerplant delivered one horsepower per cubic-inch, similar to its Chrysler 300 stable-mates. ....[continue reading]

Convertible Coupe
 
Convertible Coupe
Chassis #: 55354910 

History

The DeSoto was introduced in 1956 and produced through 1960. The two-door hardtop Adventurer had received its name from a DeSoto concept car. During its production life span, the car would endure both good times and bad times. There were many reasons for the final demise of the vehicle. At the close of the 1950's the country was experiencing economic turmoil which was causing the sales of most automobiles to decline. DeSoto was unable to advertise its vehicles to the same degree that other manufacturers could due to a limited budget. In 1958 quality control and recall problems plagued the company. By 1960 the DeSoto Company, owned by the Chrysler Corporation, ceased production.

Gold plating adorned the Adventurers mesh grille and its wheels were turbine-style. When introduced it did not have elaborate styling or flashy components, it was simply a clean and powerful automobile. Under the hood lurked a Hemi 5.6-liter V8 that produced between 230 and 320 horsepower. Power brakes were offered as standard equipment and the suspension was modified to help control the horsepower produced by the engine. A push-button PowerFlite automatic, electric clock, dual rear view mirrors, padded dash, power windows, power steering, and power seats added to the amenities provided by the Adventurer. A record player was offered as optional equipment but it was never very popular and was quickly discontinued.

The base price for a 1956 Adventurer was around $3680. This was less than most of its competition.

At Daytona Beach a golden Adventurer was able to achieve 137 miles per hour. At the Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds oval it topped 144 miles-per-hour. There were no other vehicles offered that could out pace the Adventurer.

During the Adventurers introductory year nearly 1000 examples were produced. For 1957 the styling was enhanced and fins were placed on the rear of the vehicle, a style that was growing in popularity at the time. A convertible option became available. The engine was enlarged from 341 to 345 cubic-inch increasing horsepower output to 345, one horsepower per cubic inch. The suspension was modified to keep up with the engine enhancements. These improvements helped the sale of 1950 Adventurers for 1957, an increase of almost half from the prior year.

For 1958 only 423 examples were produced. This was due to several factors including an economic recession and changing trends in the market place that had other manufacturers producing more vehicles. A big reason however was quality. The Hemi engine was replaced with a cheaper-to-build engine that produced equivalent horsepower. Fuel injection was standard but often failed, causing the company to issue recalls. The Bendix EFI system was later replaced with carburetors. Many of the DeSotos leaked, had faulty transmissions, or a slew of other problems. This kept people from visiting the DeSoto show rooms.

For 1959 the exterior of the car received aesthetic modifications. Swivel bucket seats were part of the interior modifications. This helped entry and exit from the low-sitting car. Sales climbed to a respectable 687 units.

For 1960 the Adventurer name was available on nearly all DeSoto automobiles. Sales for the entire vehicle line-up continued to decline causing the Chrysler Corporation to discontinue the DeSoto marque in mid-November of 1960.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2007
 
Recent Vehicle Additions

RARE REUNION: CHRYSLER CONCEPT CARS GATHER AT AMELIA, 2014

Nine rare and important Chrysler Concept Cars from the forties, fifties and sixties will be presented together for the first time at the 19th annual Amelia Island Concours dElegance on March 9, 2014. ...

RARE CHRYSLER LA COMTESSE CONCEPT APPEARS AT AMELIA 2014

After decades in obscurity Chryslers La Comtesse Concept Car will re-debut at the 19th annual Amelia Island Concours dElegance on March 9, 2014. The Fifties introduced new automotive chemical...

Raw Power Has a Stamp of Its Own Muscle Cars Roar at Spring Classic Auction

What do you get when you bring the U.S. Postal Service and Dana Mecums Original Spring Classic Auction together at the State Fairgrounds — a Muscle Car Extravaganza! Since it began 26 years ago,...

RICHARD PETTY DEDICATES MUSCLE CARS FOREVER STAMPS

Raw power gets a stamp of its own today as seven-time NASCAR National Champion Richard Petty helps dedicate the America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever stamps. Petty, his son Kyle and Postmaster General...

Unique Mystery Mustang Headlines Amelia's Unique WWTT* Class

The Amelias *WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Class is much more than a place for what some might label weird, odd or strange. The class, with a philosophy unique to The Amelia, is a place for significant...

Adventurer
Airflow
Airstream
Firedome
Fireflite
Firesweep
Model CF
S-11 Series

Image Left 1956 Adventurer1958 Adventurer Image Right
© 1998-2017. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Vehicle information, history, and
specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook  Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

Conceptcarz.com
© 1998-2017 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.