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57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up
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ToMopar
Posted 2013-02-24 1:42 PM (#361617)
Subject: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Elite Veteran

Posts: 757
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Location: D-70199 Heslach
I've seen the car at http://www.stellarrestorations.com/1957desotofireflite/index.php while ago
The Owner try'd to sell http://www.desoto.org/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4054&p=21350

and now on ebay, without reserve

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/DeSoto-Fireflite-Explorer-1957-DeSot...

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After several years of bad financial luck, I have decided to sell my '57 DeSoto Wagon. I have had this car for about 10 years now. I hate to sell it because I know I can't replace it once its gone, but its time for me to take my losses and get back out of it what I can to help my family financially. Financial issues have plagued us for several years and then I lost my job and I have been without work for the last year or so and selling the car has become one of those "must do" things that I have tried my best to NOT do! The car is currently located in McPherson, KS at Stellar Restorations, owned by Tim Bowers. For the last few years the car has just sat there while I was trying to figure out if it was something I could hold on to.

This car is an early production model and has the single headlights. I would venture to say the car is about half way completed towards my end goal. I was restoring towards a nice #2 car with a frame on restoration. Keep in mind that the buyer may choose to do things differently, thus changing the end goal. The expensive, time consuming part of taking apart, cleaning, photographing and cataloging of parts, etc is done. Now the best part can start! The body work is approximately 99% done and the car is in primer and almost ready to paint, just needs final prep work (block sanding, primer again, sanding again then applications of paint). Engine compartment is detailed and ready to go back together (I was waiting to do a front end rebuild and steering box rebuild first.) NEW NOS front yoke radiator support and new NOS harmonic balancer pulley (special for AC cars with the extra fan belt grooves). Engine rebuilt, and charging, cooling, brake and fuel system, including carb, all rebuilt. Brand new four core radiator (special radiator for AC cars). All components for front end rebuild are included with the car but this has not been done yet. Four brand new shocks included as well. All stainless has been removed, fixed and polished. New dual exhaust was installed following the factory placement. Rear tailgate glass will need to be replaced, but all other glass is there. The windshield does have some bubbling at the bottom. Side glass was good if I remember correctly. Original interior is still there and fair for age but needs to be redone. All material was available from SMS auto fabrics. NOS gold anodized letters "DESOTO" for hood and tailgate included. NOS tailgate chrome bumper surrounds included. Some additional parts (like an extra set of tail light tower bezels, specific to the wagons, and "Explorer" script) are included as well. New reproduction windshield washer bag included. Engine was rebuilt locally by a friend that has been rebuilding MOPAR engines for decades. It was a complete rebuild, from the oil pump to the carb. It runs good but I have never truly broken it in. It has several hours of run time from just sitting in the garage running or even taking me around the block in my neighborhood. Transmission was NOT rebuilt, but I felt it shift through all three gears. We cleaned it up and resealed it and the shop painted it. You may want to rebuild it but I was going to see how it did before spending the extra money to do that. Those old Torqueflite transmissions were pretty much bullet proof.

I think the car was really pretty solid when we started. Very little rust overall. Floors and third passenger area were like new. Car had factory undercoating and I think this protected it all these years. Pictures I have posted show the car after going to the blaster and again after body work is done and in primer, along with some other misc. pics.

Much,much more.. too much to tell here. He has done much more work than listed here. I currently have about $23,000 dollars tied up in this car, but am willing to take a huge loss to sell it. Reserve is low. I have receipts for most of the work. For some reason Stellar Restorations website won't post here as "click-able" so you'll have to Google Stellar Antique Auto Restoration. Tim's facility has produced several Best of Show award winning cars and does excellent work. Phone: 620-489-6495 and info@stellarrestorations.com is his email address. You will have decide if you want his shop to finish the car or if you would prefer to pick it up and take it to your own restorer... maybe that's you!

This car is extremely rare. If you are familiar with DeSotos at all, then you know why this car is so rare and unique. It may be the only one left in existence, especially with factory A/C. You will never see another and I have never seen one at a club meet with the exception of one that was converted as new to a fire chief/ambulance car. Wagons have seen a surge in value over the last few years due to rarity. Many were used for parts or demolition derby cars over the years reducing their numbers drastically. And just think, this one has a factory Hemi in it!

About the car:

1957 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon (9 passenger with rear facing third seat)
-Only one registered in the National DeSoto Club's roster and may be the only one left in the world as I have never seen another other than one that was converted into an ambulance when new.
-This is the third seat car (Explorer) and is the top of the line for that year. Only around 940 made in total.
-This car comes with FACTORY A/C and a Hi-way Hi-Fi Record player installed (These two options might be the only thing more rare than the car!)
-Factory dual exhaust - rare for wagons.
-Solex glass, 341 Hemi engine w/4bbl carb (last year for DeSoto hemis), AT (3spd Torqueflite), PS, PB, Electric Tailgate window, search signal radio, dual side view mirrors.
-Factory colors: Sahara Tan body with white roof and sweep... I was changing this to a blue (factory color) with white roof and sweep. All wagons had a tan interior.
-Car was sold new here in SC and has been in SC all its life until I took it out to Stellar Restorations. I believe I am the second registered owner. I have a clear SC title for the car.

WHO EVER BUYS THIS CAR WILL HAVE TO FINISH THE RESTORATION OR HIRE SOME TO FINISH IT FOR THEM. It still has a long ways to go but like I said, the hard part is now done and you are about to see the results happen before your eyes! What's left? Paint, complete interior, chrome work (stainless done) and some mechanical.

Transportation of the car will be the responsibility of the buyer. Any prep work to make the car transportable to your shop or home is also the responsibility of the buyer. $1000.00 deposit due within 24 hours of end of auction. Balance due within 5 days. Clear title will be provided upon payment in full. Car is currently in storage. I will pay for the month of March if needed to allow time for pick up.

If you have questions about the car, please contact me on my cell phone at 843-224-3165 or Tim Bowers at 620-489-6495. Serious inquiries only please. I hope the car finds a good home as it deserves to be restored properly.

Thanks in advance!

Dean

-----

I case somebody of http://www.forwardlook.net buy the Wagon, please contact me.






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firedome
Posted 2013-02-24 2:50 PM (#361633 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Expert

Posts: 2980
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Location: NY & VT
Jeez this poor guy is going to take a huge bath on this one at 23k invested already... it could take that much again to finish it. He took it to the right guy though, Tim Bowers is one of the best, so what's done won't need to be re-done.

Edited by firedome 2013-02-24 2:52 PM
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55 Savoy
Posted 2013-02-24 3:50 PM (#361647 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: RE: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Veteran

Posts: 279
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Location: Norway
At the right price this could be one hell of a deal for the person wanting a '57 Desoto wagon.
There's still a lot of work/cost involved but it must be nice to take over when the dirty job is done and done well. I would have a hard time deciding on colors though..
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2013-02-25 2:47 AM (#361732 - in reply to #361647)
Subject: RE: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



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Location: Parts Unknown
I would convert it to a 2 door body and hang passenger car fins on it. I still refuse to
send Exner a Christmas card over what he did to the fins on the wagons.
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ToMopar
Posted 2013-03-04 2:13 AM (#362927 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Elite Veteran

Posts: 757
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Location: D-70199 Heslach
Very bad for Dean, nobody bid on his Wagon



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ttotired
Posted 2013-03-04 3:49 AM (#362932 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Expert 5K+

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Location: Perth Australia
Takeing over someone elses project can be a daunting exercise (My 60 plymouth) and you have to worry about missing stuff (My 60 plymouth).

I dont think the price is that bad really concidering there is a rebuilt hemi in it, but there really is still a lot to do and being a wagon, theres a lot of bits that are wagon specific and most likely un obtainable.

I do wish him the best of luck, but I think he might have to take more of a hit than he was planning or at least just assemble the car as it is and then sell it.

To much money invested with not a lot to inspire someone that it would be a bargain.

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Jessica
Posted 2013-03-04 12:29 PM (#362980 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



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Location: Ny
Wow, what a great wagon! I wish I had money in the budget for another car. This one is fabulous! I hope he finds a good buyer for it. Tim Bowers is a master when it comes to restoration, so it's definitely at the right place.
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ToMopar
Posted 2013-09-15 12:15 PM (#397745 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Elite Veteran

Posts: 757
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Location: D-70199 Heslach
Does anyone know what happened to the car?
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60crossram
Posted 2013-09-16 12:40 AM (#397912 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: RE: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Elite Veteran

Posts: 833
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Location: Layton, Utah
:-) I parted a 57 Fireflite wagon a few years ago. I have a lot of chrome, door shells. Call me if you need anything. Cory 801-671-1536.
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FIN ME
Posted 2013-09-19 10:28 AM (#398538 - in reply to #397912)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Expert

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Not sure what happened to this car. I'll see if I can find out.

Yep, Tim Bowers, the gentleman who started the restoration of this car, is one of the resto industry's best. A really good egg, and as honest and helpful as the day is long. Some one would be lucky to obtain this car, which resto has had such a good beginning IMHO.

I did inquire on this car when it was first up for sale, but with my current resto in the works, taking on this car was just way too much of an investment for me. Hopefully someone with deeper pockets will adopt this grand car!


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FIN ME
Posted 2013-09-19 11:48 AM (#398554 - in reply to #398538)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Expert

Posts: 2791
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Location: USA - KY

Turns out that the car was sold - most likely to (eventually) someone overseas...maybe....

Hope Dean got a fair shake - he's a nice feller.



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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2013-09-19 12:21 PM (#398565 - in reply to #397912)
Subject: RE: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



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Location: Parts Unknown
60crossram - 2013-09-16 9:40 PM

:-) I parted a 57 Fireflite wagon a few years ago. I have a lot of chrome, door shells. Call me if you need anything. Cory 801-671-1536.


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Do you still have the frame ?
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ToMopar
Posted 2019-01-13 6:28 AM (#576688 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Elite Veteran

Posts: 757
5001001002525
Location: D-70199 Heslach
This car is for sale again.
The prize rise a bit, now $29000 at Copperstate Classic Cars / Phoenix AZ

https://arizona-classic.com/1957_desoto_fireflite_9_passenge.htm






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ronbo97
Posted 2019-01-13 11:12 AM (#576703 - in reply to #576688)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up


Expert

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Price is kinda high, considering that a 59 Dodge Custom Sierra wagon at Mecum just sold for 25K + 2500 buyer's fee. That car was well optioned with the D500 engine.

Ron

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ronbo97
Posted 2019-01-13 11:16 AM (#576704 - in reply to #576703)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up


Expert

Posts: 3251
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Location: Connecticut

IMHO, the owner got in way over his head on this one. Still needs about 30K minimum to finish. As is, this is worth about 10K on a good day.

Ron

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drosera88
Posted 2019-01-13 1:45 PM (#576713 - in reply to #361732)
Subject: RE: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



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Posts: 1154
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Location: San Antonio TX

Doctor DeSoto - 2013-02-25 1:47 AM I would convert it to a 2 door body and hang passenger car fins on it. I still refuse to send Exner a Christmas card over what he did to the fins on the wagons.

A hardtop too. Can't believe they never made hard top wagons for 57-58/ 

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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2019-01-13 9:02 PM (#576746 - in reply to #576713)
Subject: RE: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



5000500050005000200010010010025
Location: Parts Unknown
The two door wagon roof has those thin leaning pillars. Makes the roof
look as if it is floating.
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FINS!
Posted 2019-01-22 1:40 AM (#577201 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: RE: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up


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Price is way to high for a half finished disassembled car. I have tried to sell such cars in the past, they are a tough sale.
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firedome
Posted 2019-01-23 4:21 PM (#577284 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up



Expert

Posts: 2980
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Location: NY & VT
With the insane cost of restoration these days, and as solid as it appears to have been before the resto started, I'd have left it as-is, gotten the mechanicals sorted, and driven it with the "patina" intact. More than one resto has come apart when costs escalated way out of control, guess that's what happened here.
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Paul Hettick
Posted 2019-01-23 4:55 PM (#577287 - in reply to #361617)
Subject: Re: 57 DeSoto Fireflite Explorer Wagon / he give up


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The hard part is done lol.
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