Monday, July 16, 2012

1946-1948 DeSoto Custom 4-door Sedan

"A DeSoto owner is in a enviable position. He envies nobody. He drives without shifting. No other car could give him a smoother ride. He is accustomed to DeSoto's extra comfort and extra safety. He knows a good thing when he see's it . . . and he's got it!"

Perhaps, the DeSoto wasn't the most elegant car in Chrysler's postwar portfolio, but its hallmark "waterfall" front grille made it undoubtedly the most ostentatious proposal. The grille design dates back to prewar times, when DeSoto had pioneered with "Airfoil Lights" in 1942. These concealed pop-up headlamps were an unique feature and previously unseen on a mass-produced american car. The swiveling headlights had to go with the overhaul of Chrysler's lineup for 1946, but the wide front grille that had beautifully emphasized them, stayed. However, to make room for the new round headlight bezels, the previously straight top line of this grille now had to dip down quite strangely on both ends, which makes for a quite baroque look of the postwar DeSoto. The rest of the car was essentially carried over from 1942, save for some cosmetic updates on the front fenders which now extended into the doors.

Through early 1949, DeSotos looked virtually the same. There really was no need for a facelift until the arrival of the next generation in 1949, because the drained car market in the U.S. absorbed everything new on wheels, anyway. Thus, the most notable "innovation" on postwar DeSotos was the change to smaller "Super-Cushion" tires in 1947.

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