Monday, April 27, 2009

1950 DeSoto Custom 4-door Sedan

"When you see the distinctive new DeSoto - on highway or at your dealer's - you'll agree with the thousands who say it's the best-looking car of all . . . going or coming. More than that . . . the new 1950 DeSoto is designed to give you more room, more comfort, more visibility, more safety and more lasting satisfaction than any car you ever owned - and it 'lets you drive without shifting'."

We can't tell if DeSoto's fortune in Cuba came from it's spanish name, or because flashier brightwork than on the siblings from Dodge or Plymouth fitted better to the latin taste, but the island has a pretty large population of DeSotos.

Introduced for 1949, the new DeSoto was one of the "Keller boxes", roomy inside but with rather dull proportions outside. These cars were bought for practical reasons first: solid construction and a smooth ride still played a bigger role than styling.

Although the first all-new construction after the war, DeSoto's lineup didn't sell better than in the year before. 1950 then, after a minor facelift, sales soared for no obvious reason, and the brand could sell 45% more cars which was good for a 12th place in the annual production statistics.

The growing influence of Virgil Exner on Chrysler's styling eventually changed the appearance of DeSoto, and near the end of the decade, DeSotos turned into fashionable, elegant cars that could match, if not outstrip GM's styling.

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