1956 Desoto Fireflite

This is my father standing next to his nearly new 1956 DeSoto Fireflite. He bought the car in 1958 (when this photo was taken) as a young man of 30 in Toronto, Canada. He’s now 80, still going strong, with hardly any rust–I wonder if as much can be said of the DeSoto?

Charmingly, the back of the image includes information about the car in my father’s handwriting:

1956 Desoto Fireflite Description

Written in Dutch (my father’s native language), he’s noting some of the special features of the model, such as the taillight configuration and the workings of the Powerflite automatic transmission, controlled via a “Flite-Control” lever on the dashboard.

The Fireflite was still DeSoto’s top-of-the-line model in 1956. In 1957 it was restyled a bit to include bigger fins and the Adventurer appeared to take the “premium model” honors. Alas, these machinations were to no avail: DeSoto was out of business by 1960. Judging by the jotted specification, my father’s car was fully optioned, including the more powerful V8. It’s easy to see why he’d be proud of it, and it was just that little bit off the beaten track, even back then.