It was the second year of Virgil Exner's new 'Forward Look' and some styling changes gave the cars a cleaner, streamlined look. The popular color-sweep two-toning remained as is evident in this 1956 DeSoto Firedome 4-Door Sedan.
Up front there was a new grille and the "teeth" from previous years were now gone. The front bumper was similar to the previous year but the guards now contained parking lamps. The taillight clusters now consisted of a stack of three, turret-shaped lenses and tailfins had now arrived. DeSoto referred to it as "Control Tower" styling. The combination produced a very attractive rear.
DeSoto was selected as the Indianapolis 500 Office Pace Car for 1956 which no doubt helped the company's profile that year.
Due to the greater demands for accessories on cars a necessary change was moving to 12-volt electrics this year.
Power comes from a 330.4 cubic inch Hemi V-8 engine with 2-barrel carburetor producing 230 horsepower. This is paired with a PowerFlite automatic transmission with push-button shifting (seen here on the far left of the dash) that DeSoto billed as the 'Magic Touch'. On the Firedome, Powerflite was a $189 option.
This Sedan has a wheelbase of 126" with an overall length of 217.9" (actually 3 inches shorter than the 2-door models) and is 78.3" wide.
DeSoto built a total of 44,909 Firedome 4-door Sedans for the 1956 model year at a base price of $2,805.
This Firedome enjoys optional extras such as: heater and defroster ($92), AM radio ($110), Desotomatic power steering ($97), power brakes ($40) and an electric clock ($24).
This DeSoto is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for even more photos)