Bagged Beauty: 1955 DeSoto Fireflite Sedan – SOLD!
November 4, 2021 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Let’s face it. Some classic cars will never be worth much money. While car enthusiasts might write off entire brands in favor of something more popular, even desirable two-convertible models rolled down the assembly line with their undesirable four-door sedan counterparts. Consequently, for many years the latter were often chopped up to supply body parts for the former. Thankfully, the Rat Rod movement has very inventive enthusiasts giving a new lease on life for what was once an otherwise staid automobile. One such example is this 1955 DeSoto Fireflite four-door sedan originally listed on Craigslist in October 20210 in Syracuse, Indiana (Fort Wayne) featuring a custom four bucket seat interior and a “Bagged” (air ride) suspension. With its patina’d paint left in place, we love this car looks slammed to the ground when parked.
Currently offered for $15,000, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Fireflite priced between this guide’s #2 “Excellent” estimate of $12,100 and its #1 “Concours” appraisal of $16,800. Similarly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $14,300 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $23,000. Keep in mind these values are based upon sales of bone stock examples. Think about that for a moment. If the #1 condition value for a ’55 DeSoto Fireflite sedan barely breaks the twenty large price point, then we have no problem modifying one such as the seller completed here.
If you’re not familiar with the brand, DeSoto was a division of Chrysler whose cars were slotted between the entry-level Plymouth and more upscale Dodge brands. For 1955 DeSotos (along with all other Chrysler brands) benefitted from a redesign featuring Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look.” DeSoto introduced Fireflite as the top trim package of the brand’s Firedome line. It had a longer wheelbase than the Firedome and came equipped with a V8 engine producing 200 horsepower when equipped with a four-barrel carburetor and PowerFlite automatic transmission. The transmission was operated by a Flite-Control lever located on the dashboard.
The U.S. Auto Industry YouTube Channel features this 1955 TV Ad provides an interesting perspective into DeSoto’s marketing efforts in the mid-fifties:
Between a rewired 12 volts electrical system, a TurboHydramatic 350-backed 291 Hemi, and Mustang rear end, there’s a lot to enjoy here in addition to the aforementioned air ride suspension and custom interior for fifteen large. After resolving the hot weather vapor lock issue the seller calls out, about the only thing we would change is the bicycle-chain-wrapped steering wheel. While it looks the part, that must be painful to use in practice.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Kansas car, garage kept. 3H3P air management, 2 viair 444 compressors, ss8 slam specialties air bags, custom 4 link rear suspension. Factory 291 Hemi, 350 turbo trans, 1996 mustang rear-end, 4 wheel disc brakes. Car has been rewired and converted to 12 volt. Edelbrock carb. Silvertown Whitehall tires. Seats and door cards have been reupholstered. Custom front to rear steel center console with flush mount air management controller. Car vapor locks in hot weather needs an electric fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator. Other than that you can jump in her and drive her anywhere. 15,000 obo.”
Show or go: what would you do with this customized 1955 DeSoto Firedome four-door sedan? Comment below and let us know!
It was a Harley chain wrapped around the steering wheel and it wasn’t painful at all.