1953 DeSoto Firedome

In 1953 DeSoto dropped the Deluxe and Custom model names and designated its six-cylinder cars the Powermaster and its V8 cars the Firedome. In the immediate post-war era, DeSoto offered both the Deluxe and Custom models with a 236.7 CID six-cylinder engine through 1950. The 236.7 CID six was dropped for 1951 and replaced by a 250.6 CID six with 116 horsepower. A V8 engine joined the list in 1952. It was an overhead valve unit with Hemispherical combustion chambers, a 276.1 cubic-inch displacement, five main bearings, hydraulic valve lifters, and a Carter two-barrel carburetor.

1952 DeSoto models included the entry-level Deluxe Series with six-cylinder power, the Custom Series also with a six-cylinder engine, and the Firedome with the new V8. For 1953, the Powermaster was the entry-level model and came with a six-cylinder engine and was available as a club coupe, 6- and 8-passenger sedan, a two-door sportsman hardtop, and a station wagon. Prices ranged from $2,430 to $3,100.

The Firedome Series was the top-of-the-line DeSoto model for 1953 and had similar styling and the same list of body styles (plus a convertible coupe) as the 6-cylinder Powermaster. The body style list was the same as the 1952 Firedome but added an 8-passenger sedan.

Although the 1953 DeSotos received a major sheet metal restyling, its appearance was similar to the previous year's design. The rear fenders were now integral to the body structure, and the front fender line extended front to rear. A new one-piece curved windshield was used for the eight-passenger sedan and the new Sportsman had a three-piece rear window treatment. Two additional teeth were added to the new 'grinning' grille, and additional chrome was applied to the side.

Mechanical features of the Firedome included Oriflow shock absorbers, coil springs in the front, waterproof ignition, full-length water jackets, 12-inch drum brakes, Cyclobond brake linings, and full-pressure lubrication. Design features included integrated backup and stop lights, repositioning the gas cap below the deck lid on the left side, and air vent hoods. The words 'Firedome V-8' were placed on the front fenders and the word 'Eight' was added on the right side, below the deck lid.

All 1953 DeSoto models rested on a standard 125.5-inch wheelbase, while the longer wheelbase models had a 139.5-inch wheelbase.

The six-passenger, four-door sedan was the most popular in the Firedome lineup with 64,211 examples built. 14,591 were club coupes, and 4,700 were the two-door Sportsman hardtop. The eight-passenger sedan, priced at $3,540, was the most expensive in the lineup and approximately 200 examples were built.

Optional equipment included Tip-Toe Shift with Fluid Torque Drive, Tip-Toe Shift with Fluid Drive, Overdrive, Solex safety glass, full wheel covers, a heater, radio, air conditioning, and continental tire kit. Wire spoke wheel covers were also optional, along with power brakes and power steering.

At its height, DeSoto's more popular models included the Firedome, Firesweep, and Fireflite. The DeSoto was a brand of the Chrysler Corporation from 1928-1961. 1953 sales of the DeSoto's was nearly 130,000 cars.

Related Reading : DeSoto Firedome History

In 1952, the FireDome became DeSotos answer to the demise of the large family cars powered by inline six-cylinder engines. Under the hood of the six-passenger, four-door sedan was a powerful Hemi-Head V-eight engine producing 160 horsepower capable of propelling the FireDome to a top speed of around 100 mph. The 3700-pound vehicle could race from zero-to-sixty mph in 15.5 seconds, about five seconds....
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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1953 Firedome
1953 DeSoto Firedome Price Range: $2,715 - $3,542

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Specification Comparison by Year

139.50 in.
8 cyl., 276.07 CID., 170.00hp
$2,715 - $3,542
125.50 in., 139.50 in.
8 cyl., 276.07 CID., 170.00hp
$2,650 - $3,557
125.50 in.
8 cyl., 291.00 CID., 200.00hp
$2,500 - $3,130
126.00 in.
8 cyl., 330.40 CID., 230.00hp
$2,680 - $3,320
126.00 in.
8 cyl., 361.00 CID., 295.00hp
$3,085 - $3,490
126.00 in.
8 cyl., 361.00 CID., 295.00hp
$3,230 - $3,650

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