1957 Desoto Fireflite Sportsman 2dr Hardtop Coupe

1957 DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman

Condition: Used
Make: DeSoto
Model: Fireflite
Trim: Sportsman
Year: 1957
Mileage: 27725
VIN: 50411105
Engine: Original
Cylinders: 8
Drive type: RWD
Vehicle Title: Clean
Item location: Saint Johns, Florida, United States
Cruise Control, Power Windows, Power Seats, Air Conditioning

Description for DeSoto Fireflite 1957

Up for auction is a car you don't see come up for sale often, a well optioned and VERY SOLID Desoto Fireflite Sportsman 2 door.

According to the FCA / Chrysler Historical Services reply I received, the car was originally sold by Studio Motors in North Hollywood, CA. It appears to have been a California car its entire life, until just prior to my purchase. The daughter of the previous owner had brought it from California to her home in Pahrump, NV. I ran across the car for sale while in Nevada with my wife in 2016. The car had not run in some time, possibly a decade, but the fluids looked good and we decided that based on the overall condition, we would buy it without it even being able to turn over. We purchased the car and placed it in storage until I could retrieve it a year later.

Originally Sunlit Yellow with Charcoal Gray Metallic roof and sweep, the sweep and roof have been painted an off white at some point in the past with the original gray visible in some places. The car is optioned with Air Conditioning, Power Windows, Power Seat, Power Brakes, and Power Steering.

When I got the car home, I washed it, checked the trim items in the trunk, cleaned the engine compartment and removed the spark plugs so I could squirt some Marvel Mystery Oil in the cylinders. When I removed the spark plug tubes, I was pleasantly surprised to find the cylinder heads were incredibly clean inside, no sludge or buildup whatsoever (carbon was on the pistons though). I put a socket on the crank and found it moved freely. I checked the engine serial number and it appears to be original to the car.

To get the engine started, I removed the carburetor first. It was in need of a complete overhaul. During the process I found that the linkage wasn't assembled correctly (the butterflies wouldn't close) and the accelerator pump was missing a spring. This is likely why the car was parked in the past. I replaced the vacuum secondary diaphragm during the rebuild.

With the carburetor rebuilt, I changed the engine oil and filter, bought a cheap set of plug wires, fresh plugs, distributor cap, coil (original was partially crushed in the bracket), and ballast resistor. As the ignition switch is either loose or bad (spins) I temporarily setup a positive lead from the battery to the coil and used a starter switch. After bumping the distributor advanced (the vacuum advance isn't working, likely a bad diaphragm), the engine started right up. I started it 3 times that day, bumping the distributor and adjusting the idle speed, with the third video linked below. The engine ran well, no smoke, no noise. I did a compression test after and everything seems to be in spec between the cylinders. I did find that the water pump was leaking and the fuel pump is weeping. Though I had syphoned the gas tank and used an electric fuel pump to fill the carburetor bowls, I reconnected the fuel line from pump to carb when doing the start test. I found that the fuel pump was refilling the filter bowl on the carb.

After the start test, I purchased a new water pump, thermostat, thermostat housing, hoses, belts, removed the radiator / had it rodded and tested, drained the fuel tank (new seal), drained and refilled the diff (gears look great!), drained and removed the transmission pan (pics attached, it was clean as can be!), and got new rubber brake lines.

That's where we are now. The car is ready for the installation of the next items, coolant, a check and repair of the ignition switch, and the start of checking out the brakes. It's not drivable until those items are handled. Also, I found the sway bar is out of its bushing on one side, like someone damaged the hanger when loading in the past, you may see it in a picture.

I'm not keen on selling the car. Based on my description, you can probably tell how much I like it and look forward to seeing it back on the road. However, I recently had to have back surgery due to a pinched nerve before the problems became permanent. The surgery included spinal fusion, which will take at least 6+ months to heal and I just don't want to let this car sit for a year or longer. If you have any questions about the car after the pictures and videos, please ask.

Walk around video https://youtu.be/DU0XcjjAGPU

Engine running video https://youtu.be/gj5W1afhqMI

On Oct-14-19 at 11:31:38 PDT, seller added the following information:

I've made an additional video with more detail. I wanted to show the items in the trunk as well as validate the engine is original to the car, matching the data sheet.


If storage is needed until the car can be picked up, I don't mind holding the car for a bit since nothing is going on in my garage. Though I can't help loading, I may be able to get some friend(s) to come over and give the buyer a hand. I do believe the car will fit on a Uhaul trailer depending on the situation the buyer is in.

On Oct-16-19 at 05:35:52 PDT, seller added the following information:

I was asked about which engine is in the Fireflite . Thiscar features its original 341 c.i. Hemi with four barrel carburetor rated at295 HP. The transmission is a push button operated 3 speed Torqueflite automatic.I have not checked the differentialratio or checked to see if it's a limited slip. I have the build data card copyfrom Chrysler, but can't quite read it well enough to see where the diffinformation is.

Here are some additional resources you may like to checkout on these cars:

Ed Petrus's website. He's the 1957 specialist for DesotoClub and was a big help with correct pictures of the carburetor linkage as well as decoding the body ID tag when I first found the car : http://www.angelfire.com/de/petrus/

The Forward Look Forum. A great resource for information and parts.Very helpful fellow Forward Look enthusiasts:http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/category-view.asp

Automotive History Preservation Society 1957 Desoto CarsPDF download with great information on the Fireflite and other models thisyear: http://wildaboutcarsonline.com/members/AardvarkPublisherAttachments/9990489346330/1957_DeSoto_Info_1B.pdf