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my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 1:39 PM (#534814)
Subject: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
After much anticipation I finally brought home my “new”’ 1957 Fireflite convertible. I bought my first DeSoto on January 12th of this year….a shell pink and white 56 Fireflite. I had intended that to be my sole adventure in to Desotomania. I liked the car so much that I decided to go look at a 57 that a friend had been trying to sell for years. I had seen the car many times before but never really thought about trying to buy it as it was out of my price range.

I looked the car over and took a lot of pictures. I talked to Jim Mikolajczak and Ed Petrus about the car and they both told me I should jump on it. Ed was familiar with the car having talked to the original owner and getting pictures of it. That was neat because I could see what the car looked like 6 or 7 years earlier. Anyway, I decided to pull the trigger and went up with a little cash to put the car on hold. The owner agreed to pull the ad off Craigslist and to not sell it to anyone else.

While I was looking the car over a young girl drove up and told the owner “I found two buyers for your DeSoto.” Turns out she works for a local GMC dealer owner and she scours Craiglist looking for cars to flip. The boss gives her 10% for anything she can get and sell. She dresses up in 50’s attire and takes pictures with the cars for the sale ads. When told the car was already sold she kept saying “well then why is it still here?” She was pretty insistent and really wanted to bring the car home to her boss. After turning her attention to a nearby 36 Ford she took some pictures and finally left. I know how it is when cars are for sale. Money talks. I didn’t want someone to snatch this away from me so I worked to get the car in my possession as quickly as possible as I knew the owner was getting a lot of calls for the car.

This particular Fireflite had a build date of May 9th 1957. It was shipped to Champion Auto Sales Co. in Erie Pennsylvania. From there it was sent to Arndorfer Inc. in Milwaukee Wisconsin where it was sold to Joseph Kramasz Jr. on May 27th 1957. From what I understand Joe went in to the dealer and they wanted to sell him another car on the lot but he wanted this particular car so they had to send it from PA to WI. Joe immediately drove the car to his home in California and it has remained there since. In 2011 the car was sold to Dan Driskell and then to me. Now I just needed to find a way to get it home. It wasn’t a driver as it hadn’t been run in months or possibly years. The last time they tried to start it they were unsuccessful.

Yesterday turned out to be a sunny day so my buddy Dave and I hooked up the trailer and made the 75 mile trip to get the car. We brought a can of gas and the day before I had hooked up a charger to the battery. The plan was to us a come along to get it on the trailer. Just for the fun of it we poured some gas in the carb bowl and turned the key. It fired right up but soon died. The clear fuel filter was empty. Yup it’s out of gas. Poured a gallon or so in the tank and then filled the carb again. It fired again and then the filter filled with fuel. It was alive and sounded great. No ticking no smoke just a smooth idling car. I pushed the D button on the dash and gave it a little gas and it moved. Looks like the come along wouldn’t be needed. The ramps were already in place so up on the trailer it went.
On the drive home we got lots of thumbs up. Pulled in to a gas station to put a few more gallons in it and a guy in a 66 Mustang pulled in and offered to trade his Mustang for it. While I was unloading it a few more cars stopped to ask about the car.

Plans right now are to get it cleaned up and see what it needs. The car sat under a carport for 6 years so it does have a little paint bubbling on the right sweep down low. I’ll get that fixed as soon as possible. The chrome on the back bumper is flaking a little so will redo that too. Will eventually pull the engine and paint it. First need to make sure it runs and drives without any issues. Tires have zero miles but will need to be replaced.

Options on the car include power windows, brakes, steering, seats, top, dual rear antennas, dual headlamps, Solex glass and undercoating. It also had accessory group 1 which consisted of a heater, white sidewall tires, radio (less searchfinder) instrument panel cushion, clock, dual exhaust, windshield washer, rear seat speaker, hand brake signal, outside rear view mirror, prismatic mirror, and vanity mirror. Paint is code LKL and the interior is code 642. This car does have a search tune radio and came with an ARC record player. I’m not sure if the record player was ever mounted but it was sitting in the trunk. The trunk also had two boxes of what appear to be NOS Mopar keys and locks.




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GregCon
Posted 2017-02-27 2:00 PM (#534817 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Dang!
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-02-27 2:53 PM (#534824 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Congrats Doug. Nice snag. Looks fantastic.

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PolaraPaul
Posted 2017-02-27 3:27 PM (#534825 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Location: California/Wisconsin
Glad to see more on this car that has been occasionally on Craigslist! Thanks for sharing, and please some engine, interior, and trunk pictures when you get a chance. Hope you bring it to Spring Fling.
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big m
Posted 2017-02-27 3:30 PM (#534826 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Score!!!!!!!!!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 4:49 PM (#534830 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Veteran

Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Here are a few more shots after an initial bath.



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mrho455
Posted 2017-02-27 5:13 PM (#534832 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Doug, SWEEEEETTT!!

Glad you pulled the trigger


when are you gonna sell me your SEA FURY???
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Chrys 68
Posted 2017-02-27 5:24 PM (#534833 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Rock´n´Roll!
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soiouz
Posted 2017-02-27 5:41 PM (#534835 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Wow, that is one top of the line beauty right there! Congratulations!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 5:58 PM (#534836 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Here is some of the documentation that came with the car including the sales contract, owner certificate, and owner's information guide.



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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 6:04 PM (#534837 - in reply to #534832)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
mrho455 - 2017-02-27 2:13 PM

Doug, SWEEEEETTT!!

Glad you pulled the trigger


when are you gonna sell me your SEA FURY??? :)


Gonna have too much fun with the Sea Fury....cant get rid of it.
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57DODGECONV
Posted 2017-02-27 7:49 PM (#534845 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Very nice looking Desoto ,Glad to see it find a good home have fun with it .
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imopar380
Posted 2017-02-27 8:27 PM (#534849 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Expert 5K+

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Wow, nice. Someone, at some point, somewhere spent some money on that car. Too bad it was neglected for a long time, but it's great that it survived as well as it has.
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GregCon
Posted 2017-02-27 9:40 PM (#534851 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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So is this the car the car we discussed here several times where the owner didn't seem like he really wanted to sell it?
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b5rt
Posted 2017-02-27 10:00 PM (#534854 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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That's the score of a lifetime. Congratulations!
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 11:25 PM (#534857 - in reply to #534851)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
GregCon - 2017-02-27 6:40 PM

So is this the car the car we discussed here several times where the owner didn't seem like he really wanted to sell it?


Yes, this is that car. Guys from Sweden looked at it and several people tried to send cashiers checks to get it without even seeing it in person. As the owner told me "it's not a bad car to be stuck with."
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-27 11:29 PM (#534859 - in reply to #534849)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
imopar380 - 2017-02-27 5:27 PM

Wow, nice. Someone, at some point, somewhere spent some money on that car. Too bad it was neglected for a long time, but it's great that it survived as well as it has.


The original owner did spend quite a bit on it. I've got receipts in the tens of thousands of dollars for the car. I can probably tell you how many batteries it's gone through since 1957! I think I saved it in the nick of time. Interior is still good as is the canvas convertible top. The paint will shine up fine and I'll repaint a few spots to make it nice. the engine will need to be pulled for a good detail. Right now its painted red
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1955Coronado
Posted 2017-02-28 1:04 AM (#534860 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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My God - that's a *find* to behold. Definitely the score of, well, *many* decades. If there's any flaking on the back bumper chrome, judging from the pictures, it'd take a magnifying glass to notice them.

This baby is *definitely* the things that dreams are made of. Many congrats for rescuing this beauty and being Johnny-on-the-spot with the means to do it when that door knock came
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ToMopar
Posted 2017-02-28 3:17 AM (#534861 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Wow, congratulation to this bull's-eye.

It would be nice for me to see more from the green interior
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firedome
Posted 2017-02-28 10:06 AM (#534875 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Ya, this one's been for sale off and on for some time, been several threads on here about it.
Glad it's staying close to home!! Congrats on impeccable taste, cars don't get any better.
We've had both '58 NY and '57 300C converts... I'd take this FF over either of them!
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wizard
Posted 2017-02-28 10:48 AM (#534879 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Awsome - congratulations
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2017-02-28 11:05 AM (#534881 - in reply to #534859)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: The Mile High City
Such a cool car! Congratulations - totally awesome!


So did Joeseph Kramasz live in Wisconsin and move to California? - he probably saved it from a rusty demise by getting it out of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin!
There has to be a story behind all those keys and locks!

So lucky the Bee-Bop Queen didn't get it.


If it were mine, I would not touch a thing except to get it running well and driving safely. Enjoy it now.
See if you can drive it 500+ miles south on the Pacific Coast Highway for the National De Soto Club convention this summer and back!
Who cares if it has a red engine, a couple of paint bubbles, a flaking bumper, or radials for a while?
This car can always be restored when it needs it. Too rare to see one that doesn't just get traded around like a trophy.




Edited by Lancer Mike 2017-02-28 12:25 PM
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moparsteve
Posted 2017-02-28 11:13 AM (#534882 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


Elite Veteran

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Location: somerville mass
looks like a brand new car!! with power windowss and seats! rear bumber taillights and housing look brand new!

from the invoice 700 down and he financed it. 700 cash and close to 4000

for a car a lot of money in 1957!

cant wait to see what doc says about this! he may know of it.. he has a 58.

whatever price you paid wasant cheap ... restored a six figure car. and how many

57 fireflite convs left?
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Hyfire
Posted 2017-02-28 11:24 AM (#534883 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



100252525

Congrats! What a great looking car! Great choice!

Josh
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-28 12:05 PM (#534885 - in reply to #534861)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
ToMopar - 2017-02-28 12:17 AM

Wow, congratulation to this bull's-eye.

It would be nice for me to see more from the green interior


Here are a few shots. I've done no clean up yet so it is really dirty.

I'm missing the chrome piece on the passenger door. The one that the door handle goes through (shown in last picture). Does anyone have a spare one of these?

Also looking for some better rear ash trays if anyone has any spares. Mine are very rusty inside.

Edited by dlyle 2017-02-28 12:14 PM




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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-02-28 12:14 PM (#534886 - in reply to #534883)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



500050005000500020001001001001002525
Location: Parts Unknown
Nothing good can come from this. Trust me.

I had considered trying to buy this car and selling my 58, but have had
too many irons in the fire since coming home from AFG to get all sideways
on my objectives. I like my 58 too much anyway.

This car has the key option that makes or breaks a car for me .... power
windows. I have been endlessly amazed by how many top end Fireflites (and
NY'ers) survive with manual windows. Not sure if that is reflective of original
build ratios, but I would expect more high end cars to come with high end
equipment than what I have seen over the last 40 years. Maybe dying
power options led many of the fancier equipped cars to the junk yard in
the early days ?

The 1960 Buick dealer brochure shows a car in these colors. Back when
I was all about 58-60 Buicks, I loved the colors and hoped to find one like
it. A refreshing break from the monotonous and predictable. This car will
be striking with some proper Goodyear 2.25" wide wides.

I am guessing this car is still in the Bay area ?

Edited by Doctor DeSoto 2017-02-28 12:16 PM
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-28 12:16 PM (#534887 - in reply to #534875)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Veteran

Posts: 236
10010025
Location: Morgan Hill, CA
firedome - 2017-02-28 7:06 AM

Ya, this one's been for sale off and on for some time, been several threads on here about it.
Glad it's staying close to home!! Congrats on impeccable taste, cars don't get any better.
We've had both '58 NY and '57 300C converts... I'd take this FF over either of them!


Yeah, I've seen it in person for four years now. Finally caught my eye the right way and decided it had to come home with me.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-02-28 12:41 PM (#534890 - in reply to #534886)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



Veteran

Posts: 236
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Doctor DeSoto - 2017-02-28 9:14 AM

Nothing good can come from this. Trust me.

I had considered trying to buy this car and selling my 58, but have had
too many irons in the fire since coming home from AFG to get all sideways
on my objectives. I like my 58 too much anyway.

This car has the key option that makes or breaks a car for me .... power
windows. I have been endlessly amazed by how many top end Fireflites (and
NY'ers) survive with manual windows. Not sure if that is reflective of original
build ratios, but I would expect more high end cars to come with high end
equipment than what I have seen over the last 40 years. Maybe dying
power options led many of the fancier equipped cars to the junk yard in
the early days ?

The 1960 Buick dealer brochure shows a car in these colors. Back when
I was all about 58-60 Buicks, I loved the colors and hoped to find one like
it. A refreshing break from the monotonous and predictable. This car will
be striking with some proper Goodyear 2.25" wide wides.

I am guessing this car is still in the Bay area ?


Yes, still in the bay are down in Morgan Hill.

I was thrilled that this one had all the power options. From what I can see the windows work but I don't think the seat does. The four way window switch on the driver door isn't stock. I have the right one but it needs rebuilding. I think the rear ones do too.

Does Goodyear make a 2.25" wide white in a 8.50" x 14"? I was having trouble finding tires. BR Goodrich makes a 8.50 x 14 and a 9.00 x 14 with a 2.25" whitewall. Ideally would like to find a radial with a bias look but I think they are smaller......nothing in a 8.50 x 14 size that I can find. I seem to recall the tire needs to be at least 28" tall so need at least that height.


Edited by dlyle 2017-02-28 12:48 PM




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hemidave
Posted 2017-02-28 6:12 PM (#534906 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Congrats, that is a great purchase. I especially like the '57s because of the Hemi, and I also love power windows. This car has a great color combo besides the 50s pastel colors. You don't see many yellow/green combos. I say enjoy it just as it is, cars in this condition gather a lot of attention everywhere, lately more than restored examples.
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-02-28 8:00 PM (#534913 - in reply to #534906)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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hemidave - 2017-02-28 6:12 PM Congrats, that is a great purchase. I especially like the '57s because of the Hemi, and I also love power windows. This car has a great color combo besides the 50s pastel colors. You don't see many yellow/green combos. I say enjoy it just as it is, cars in this condition gather a lot of attention everywhere, lately more than restored examples.


Here is another 57 (big window hardtop)

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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-03-01 1:21 AM (#534925 - in reply to #534913)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Parts Unknown
Radials look like radials .... wide and squat. I am a stickler about
some things on these cars, and tires/wheels top the list. If they do
not look right, they ruin the car's aesthetic appeal. Bias plys may not
track as well as radials, but they look like sh!t. I like my 1950's driving
experience to be as authentic as possible anyway. I can drive my new
stuff if I want that tighter road feel.
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spinout
Posted 2017-03-01 4:31 AM (#534927 - in reply to #534925)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Location: Bjorneborg, Finland
It's generally known fact, that correct tires do much favor to the overall appearance. Solution for combined balance for tighter road feel and appearance
would be a bias-ply looking www radials.

Btw, here's another yellow '57 Fireflite convertible, but with green sweep and different interior colors. It does have www bias-ply tires, but prefer original
hubcaps than those wire wheels..



(yllwgrncnv1.jpg)



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sidesho_bob1961
Posted 2017-03-01 6:37 AM (#534930 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Great car....hope you were able to get it for a lot less than the seller had it listed for....
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RUSTORICHES
Posted 2017-03-01 10:04 AM (#534941 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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I can't help but comment and compliment you on your convertible I always tell myself no matter what I paid for it "It's Mine". These cars don't come up for sale often and you should be ecstatic that you now have it home which I'm sure you are. The car obviously found the perfect home by looking in the garage. Have fun with it and enjoy the little bit of work on this car to bring back to original will be rewarding.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-01 11:49 AM (#534943 - in reply to #534925)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Doctor DeSoto - 2017-02-28 10:21 PM

Radials look like radials .... wide and squat. I am a stickler about
some things on these cars, and tires/wheels top the list. If they do
not look right, they ruin the car's aesthetic appeal. Bias plys may not
track as well as radials, but they look like sh!t. I like my 1950's driving
experience to be as authentic as possible anyway. I can drive my new
stuff if I want that tighter road feel.


Can you please post a pict of your car so I can see what the tires look like on it? Also what size are they? Would possibly go with the Goodyear Super Cushion but I'm not seeing them in the size I need....8.50" x 14". I think the 8.00" x 14" would look a little too small.

They do make a radial that isn't wide....looks pretty much like a bias ply.



Edited by dlyle 2017-03-01 11:59 AM




(8.00-14 (194x326).jpg)



(acr-bias-look-radial.jpg)



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Attachments 8.00-14 (194x326).jpg (27KB - 137 downloads)
Attachments acr-bias-look-radial.jpg (162KB - 147 downloads)
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-01 12:03 PM (#534944 - in reply to #534927)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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spinout - 2017-03-01 1:31 AM

It's generally known fact, that correct tires do much favor to the overall appearance. Solution for combined balance for tighter road feel and appearance
would be a bias-ply looking www radials.

Btw, here's another yellow '57 Fireflite convertible, but with green sweep and different interior colors. It does have www bias-ply tires, but prefer original
hubcaps than those wire wheels..


I'm with you......not a big fan of the wires.
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-01 12:06 PM (#534945 - in reply to #534941)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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RUSTORICHES - 2017-03-01 7:04 AM

I can't help but comment and compliment you on your convertible I always tell myself no matter what I paid for it "It's Mine". These cars don't come up for sale often and you should be ecstatic that you now have it home which I'm sure you are. The car obviously found the perfect home by looking in the garage. Have fun with it and enjoy the little bit of work on this car to bring back to original will be rewarding.


I appreciate the compliment. Can't wait to start getting it cleaned up and ready for summer. The parts wish list is growing. Anybody have air cleaner brackets available? Mine is just held on with a nut at the carb.
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soiouz
Posted 2017-03-01 12:14 PM (#534948 - in reply to #534943)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM

Doctor DeSoto - 2017-02-28 10:21 PM

Radials look like radials .... wide and squat. I am a stickler about
some things on these cars, and tires/wheels top the list. If they do
not look right, they ruin the car's aesthetic appeal. Bias plys may not
track as well as radials, but they look like sh!t. I like my 1950's driving
experience to be as authentic as possible anyway. I can drive my new
stuff if I want that tighter road feel.


Can you please post a pict of your car so I can see what the tires look like on it? Also what size are they? Would possibly go with the Goodyear Super Cushion but I'm not seeing them in the size I need....8.50" x 14". I think the 8.00" x 14" would look a little too small.

They do make a radial that isn't wide....looks pretty much like a bias ply.



I was considering those "bias-look" radials made by coker before I actually saw them installed on a car that had been driven for a month or so. The white band was cracked all over and they really looked bad. I opted for the super cushions instead and am very satisfied.

These DeSotos came with 8.00 x 14 originally, no?
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57burb
Posted 2017-03-01 1:04 PM (#534956 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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A lot of the repop 8.50s and 9.00s are a little skinny in the tread for my personal taste on these big late '50s cars.

This tire is just a little shorter than them (27.0 instead of 28.0) but has another inch of tread width. They will fit your 14x6.5" (Fireflite/NewYorker/Adventurer/300) wheels great.

Good price and free shipping too. If you go to Summit's online catalog, they show it to have a 2.25" whitewall.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Set-of-4-Coker-Classic-Bias-Ply-Tires-G78-1...
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2017-03-01 9:36 PM (#534984 - in reply to #534956)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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My car has been off the road for years now, so the tires are old. I seem to
recall they are BFG 850x15's ??? My situation is a little different than yours.
In 1957 DeSoto made some pretty good looking wheelcovers. In 1958, they
decided to take a different approach and make some of the ugliest wheelcovers
ever to grace a DeSoto. This is not acceptable to me, and as my DeSoto ownership
goes back FAR beyond the current paradigm, I sought out original wire wheels
when repops were not made, rarely seen, and liked the deep dish, elegant look
they brought to the car.

Since those days, every FL convertible now wears wires and they have become
something of a tired cliché.

So, now what ? The 14's look too small in the wheel openings, the wires are
becoming overdone, but get you 15" tires that nicely fill those openings. If I
owned a 57 Firedome, I'd be thrilled to strip the 2nd bar of side trim off, lose
the color sweep, and run 15 steelies, painted body color, and dog dishies. But
no sweep 58's look a bit silly, it wasn't even an option on a Fireflite, and dog
dishies would be entirely inappropriate on a top end model ! So, I am stuck.

I toy with the idea of building a set of 15" steelies that have the proper rib to
hold a 14" 58 Adventurer wheelcover, but that is WAY out there after getting
the bodywork done. Theft would be a real threat with those. They are made
of solid unobtainium and may prove too tempting for the kind of scum that
would pop them off wherever I might have it parked.

I will be forced to cross this bridge at some point, but right now it is not an
issue.

With the great looking 57 color sweep, wheel covers, and other details, your
only problem is fitting a larger tire into that wheel well. Maybe use my idea
of a custom steel wheel that holds a 15" tire and a 14" wheelcover ?
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58coronet
Posted 2017-03-02 1:49 AM (#534997 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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dlyle, great looking DeSoto and a n awesome find!
On your tire question, I can offer a bit of advice based on my buying experience lasr year. I purchased a set of Goodyear Super Cushions in 8.00 x 14 size for my '58 Dodge Coronet and couldn't be happier with the looks, ride and performance. These replaced a cheapie 20 year old set of discount radials in 215/75R14 size, and they are about 2 inches taller than those old radials. I think you would be more than pleased with a set for your DeSoto. I was amazed how much better my car rode with these Super Cushions. My experience is that bias plies handle very well as long as the front suspension and steering are tight and aligned to original specsgood luck with your beautiful, rare DeSoto!Mark
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-02 10:33 AM (#535011 - in reply to #534948)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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soiouz - 2017-03-01 9:14 AM

dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM

They do make a radial that isn't wide....looks pretty much like a bias ply.



I was considering those "bias-look" radials made by coker before I actually saw them installed on a car that had been driven for a month or so. The white band was cracked all over and they really looked bad. I opted for the super cushions instead and am very satisfied.

These DeSotos came with 8.00 x 14 originally, no?


The Firedome and the Fireflite came with 8.50 x 14 or the optional 9.00 according to the owners handbook. Firesweep had the 8.00 x 14.

Funny though because the smaller 8.00" x 14" has about the same height as the 9.00" x 14" and has a wider tread width. Seems like it doesn't do me any good to go with the 8.50 or 9.00" x 14" tires.

size diameter section width tread width whitewall price
Goodyear Custom Super Cushion 8.00/14 28.67 8.29 4.95 2 1/4 $200.00
BF Goodrich 8.50/14 28.1 8.35 4.75 2 1/4 $223.00
BF Goodrich 9.00/14 28.68 8.8 4.8 2 1/4 $227.00
American Classic Radial 8.00/14 27.59 7.7 5.9 2 1/4 $266.00
LeMans (on car now) 7.50/14 27.68 7.78 4.675 2 1/4


Edited by dlyle 2017-03-02 1:21 PM
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big m
Posted 2017-03-02 11:23 AM (#535014 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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Contact Kelsey Tire in Missouri, they have the correct Goodyear Super Cushion bias-ply tires available. I just bought another set for my 58 Fury.

---John
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-02 2:10 PM (#535024 - in reply to #535011)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM Funny though because the smaller 8.00" x 14" has about the same height as the 9.00" x 14" and has a wider tread width. Seems like it doesn't do me any good to go with the 8.50 or 9.00" x 14" tires.


Doug: I think that you are trying to use modern tire math to compute bias ply tire heights. Modern math says a 225/50/16 tire has the same overall height as a 205/55/16 tire because width and aspect ratio come into play to calculate the side wall height. I think with those old bias ply tires, the side walls were pretty much the same height regardless of the nominal tread width.

*I think*
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dlyle
Posted 2017-03-02 4:03 PM (#535027 - in reply to #535024)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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56D500boy - 2017-03-02 11:10 AM

dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM Funny though because the smaller 8.00" x 14" has about the same height as the 9.00" x 14" and has a wider tread width. Seems like it doesn't do me any good to go with the 8.50 or 9.00" x 14" tires.


Doug: I think that you are trying to use modern tire math to compute bias ply tire heights. Modern math says a 225/50/16 tire has the same overall height as a 205/55/16 tire because width and aspect ratio come into play to calculate the side wall height. I think with those old bias ply tires, the side walls were pretty much the same height regardless of the nominal tread width.

*I think* ;)


No modern math here. From what I can tell the 8.00, 8.50, or 9.00 are just referring to section width.....
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57burb
Posted 2017-03-02 5:00 PM (#535029 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I noticed your build sheet indicates whitewall tires, but not a specific size. Maybe I missed it.

My '57 New Yorker build sheet says it came with 9.00-14. Would a Fireflite have been the same? I'm asking since both cars came with larger wheels than came on Windsor/Saratoga and Firesweep/Firedome.



Edited by 57burb 2017-03-02 5:02 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-02 6:37 PM (#535041 - in reply to #535027)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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dlyle - 2017-03-02 4:03 PM
56D500boy - 2017-03-02 11:10 AM
dlyle - 2017-03-01 11:49 AM Funny though because the smaller 8.00" x 14" has about the same height as the 9.00" x 14" and has a wider tread width. Seems like it doesn't do me any good to go with the 8.50 or 9.00" x 14" tires.
Doug: I think that you are trying to use modern tire math to compute bias ply tire heights. Modern math says a 225/50/16 tire has the same overall height as a 205/55/16 tire because width and aspect ratio come into play to calculate the side wall height. I think with those old bias ply tires, the side walls were pretty much the same height regardless of the nominal tread width.
*I think* ;)


No modern math here. From what I can tell the 8.00, 8.50, or 9.00 are just referring to section width.....


Exactly. But in contrast to radials where the height of the tire is based on both the section width and the aspect ratio, i.e. 50 = the height of the tire is 50% of the section width (x 2) + the wheel diameter, the bias ply tires just had a side wall height, e.g. 5", regardless of the section width.

Sorry. Just being my pedantic engineering self.

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GregCon
Posted 2017-03-02 6:53 PM (#535043 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: Re: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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I really like this car more than the 'multitude' of Adventurer converts you see.

But ... I'm not with you guys on the radial issue. That's because even back in the day no one like bias ply tires.....it was simply all there was. That's at least applicable to the skinny-ass tread. I do agree the sidewalls look 'nicer' but I'll trade the wider rubber available in radials any day of the week.

If I lived in a small town in Iowa .... I'd be fine cruising around on bias ply's. But here in the concrete jungle of Houston, it would be asking for death to take to the road with 4.5" of bias ply rubber at each corner. Even with good radials (and discs), driving a FL car requires some definite foresight....but drum brakes and bias ply's? That's a near-guarantee of fresh sheetmetal.
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1957sotos
Posted 2017-03-02 8:59 PM (#535054 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible


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Wow, very nice car! I have both, a 57 Flite and a Dome that is the same color as yours. The Dome has 225/75R14 skinny white radials and the Flite has 8:00-14 Super Cushions. Yes, the Dome handles better, but the Flite looks very right with the wide whites. Yes the size should be 8:50-14, but Goodyear no longer makes these.
And you should consider going to the Desoto convention as is. Mine were the only '57s there, and about 6 '56s were present.

Perry
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Fireflite56
Posted 2017-03-02 11:30 PM (#535064 - in reply to #534814)
Subject: RE: my "new"' 1957 DeSoto Fireflite convertible



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From the Chrysler Historical information sheets I have, my '59 Adventurer is listed as having 5 - WSW Nylon 9.00x14 and my '59 Fireflite Sportsman 2 door is listed as having 5 - WSW Rayon 8.50x14.

Perry - are these your two cars? I took these photos in MD last summer.



(IMG_3238A.jpg)



(IMG_3239A.jpg)



(IMG_3236A.jpg)



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Attachments IMG_3238A.jpg (168KB - 129 downloads)
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Attachments IMG_3236A.jpg (175KB - 131 downloads)
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