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Homepage. This page: Examples of 1948 and 1949 DeSoto saloon and convertible.
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1. 1949 DeSoto sedan.

A photo from my own collection firstly, showing a marque little represented on this site until now, namely DeSoto. The car shown I think dates to 1949.
A 1949 De Soto car

DeSoto, a Chrysler company.

The DeSoto marque was launched in 1928, designed to be a mid-price brand in the Chrysler line-up. The first cars arrived in the dealerships in 1929, designed to enable Chrysler to compete with similar cars being produced by rival manufacturers, such as GM and Studebaker.

Shortly after the birth of DeSoto, Chrysler completed their purchase of Dodge Brothers, another company whose products were positioned in the mid-range. Throughout the 20s and early 30s, DeSoto cars were positioned one or two rungs down the ladder from Dodge, so as to avoid too much in-house competition. This arrangement was reversed in 1933, the idea being to attract new buyers to Dodge automobiles, a brand that had been in existence and was more familiar to American car buyers since 1914, when the first complete Dodges were sold.

Following WW2, DeSoto fired up their civilian car production lines once again, selling re-worked versions of their '42 models to the post-war motor buying public. The car shown above I think is a 1949 model, built at a time when DeSotos were available either as a DeLuxe or Custom, depending on specification. The DeSoto name finally disappeared from the new-car lists in 1961, its demise being announced late in 1960 following several years of declining sales in the segment of the market that DeSoto had been positioned in.
Perhaps the best remembered De Soto model was the Airflow from the 1930s, a wind-cheating and very eye-catching piece of design work. Despite a very advanced design, both aerodynamically and beneath the skin, the home market didn't take to the rakish new DeSoto, and it was soon replaced by a more conventional looking model range.
DeSoto Airflow

2. Three views of a 1948 DeSoto.

Included in a batch of images from the USA were the following three late-1940's photos, all of a 1948 DeSoto. The first must have been taken just after the new owner had acquired his car, a note on the rear reads: "Well how do you like my new "De Soto" plenty of room in this".
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A 1948 DeSoto in New York
Photo #2 is a front three-quarter view of the late-40s DeSoto classic, in the background is a sign for the "Countryside" DIY outlet.
Front view of the car
A similarly-angled but sharper photograph of the car, revealing its 1948 New York (NY) license plate (or "tag"). A handwritten note reveals that this final shot was taken by the side of Lake Cayuga, on Sunday May 8th 1949. The aerial suggests that the car's owners enjoyed a spot of in-car music while driving around New York State, a year that would see a number of albums released by the likes of Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Frankie Laine and Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Mr Frank Sinatra.
Front view

3. A 1949 DeSoto Custom Convertible.

Thanks to Leo - and his trusty camera - for this next photo. During 1958 he undertook a cycling holiday, and spent time in the city of Utrecht in The Netherlands. Having an interest in cars, he took a large number of photographs featuring vehicles that were parked up in the city's streets. Amongst them is this photo, of a very smart 1949 DeSoto Custom Convertible, one of several American-built cars he spotted.
Contemporary advertising made much of the ease with which the '49 DeSoto could be driven, thanks in part to its automatic gearbox - or "Tip-Toe Hydraulic Shift with gyrol Fluid Drive" which, apparently, had "... a record of billions of miles of effortless driving". Print ads also refer to promotions running across CBS radio stations on Tuesday nights, across the USA. While this example is fitted with a radio - if the wing-mounted aerial is anything to go by - I'm not sure it'd have picked up CBS.
1949 Custom Convertible
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