Relatively few were made originally, which makes this 1959 DeSoto Firesweep two-door Sportsman in Persimmon Red over Pearl White quite a rare beast. Full-length spears that dip behind the rear wheel openings and then project upwards towards the tips of tailfins give the car an unmistakable look. If ever a car looked like it was going to take off, then this is it.
Competition at the time came from cars like the Buick LeSabre, Dodge Royal and Oldsmobile Dynamic 88.
1958 was a tough year for many car manufacturers but 1959 was looking on the up. Desoto however was still feeling the pressure. Body panels were shared with Dodge to keep costs down for the struggling DeSoto division.
Power comes from the original 361 cubic inch Turboflash V8 paired with 3-speed, 'push-button' Torque-Flite automatic transmission.
DeSoto wanted you to experience the new, "Fashion Vogue" interior colors and fabrics. The original brochure told us the, "Sculptured nylon gives Firesweep interiors a richness and luxury unmatched by cars costing much more. Every stitch, every bit of fabric is carefully tailored to give you smart new beauty and durability".
The rear seats were certainly enough for 3 adults to sit comfortably.
This was the last year for both the Firesweep and Firedome models as Desoto were consolidating in that last ditch attempt to keep the company alive. J.B Wagstaff the DeSoto General Manager was quoted saying, "DeSoto is looking forward to a rising long-range demand for its cars". Unfortunately the Division barely got into the 1961 model year, departing in November 1960. What they left behind was actually some great cars that looked fantastic and captured the period completely.
Some Available DeSoto options in 1959
Heater and defroster
Four-season air conditioning
Power 6-way front seat
Full wheel covers
Solex tinted glass
The Firesweep was 78.7" wide and 215.5" long with a wheelbase of 122".
DeSoto made 5,481 Firesweep two-door Sportsman cars for the 1959 model year at a base price of $2,967. Optional extras on this car include: TorqueFlite automatic transmission ($227), power steering ($106), AM radio ($94) and a few other extras from the chart above. It was the 541st vehicle made in the Los Angeles, California assembly plant.
This car is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for even more photos)