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1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom
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The Chemist
Posted 2019-05-31 2:51 AM (#582745)
Subject: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom


Member

Posts: 11

Hi everybody,
my name is Guido and I'm from Italy.
basically I am an American vehicles enthusiast and generally I consider myself a bit a petrolhead.
I'm a Ford fan (and owner), Harley-Davidson super fan (and owner) and this year for my 40th birthday I decided to get a nice gift for myself.
so after several months of research, I felt in love with a '57 Firedome, a 2 door hardtop made mild custom and on a style very similar to Larry Watson's cars.
I bought and took it to my mancave last february.
Some pictures are here below, on a web album I am keeping updated

https://photos.app.goo.gl/PaKweGxaY5JwPt9JA

This Firedome is quite famous in European custom scene, built in 1957 it arrived in U.K. in 1963/64 and the last UK owner was a "hot-rodder" who made it in this custom style, in the late 90's. it arrived in Italy in 2010 and I am the 3rd owner here.

It is equipped with its 341 cu.i. V8 Hemi, torqueflite 3 speed transmission with pushbutton system. Engine is still running well but it feels like "tired". I found a smart guy expert in american cars, he owns a garage not far from where I live, so the Firedome is already there to improve some things and to fix some others.

I fully respect the history of the car and the job done by Johnny Best in UK, but honestly it has not been kept as I would have kept it in the years. so I am trying to bring it to a better level. I already made arrive from the U.S. new full carpet floor, all new weatherstrips and rubbers, new tyres. the garage owner is working on it, new brakes pipes, a big check to the engine, rebuilding the interior part of the seats, additional cooling system for the transmission and some other.

there is a nice job to do even in future. but this summer I want to use it with my family, wife, small boy to make some trips to the lake.

I hope you like the car.

I'll probably come in future to ask things to you experts. to find spare parts etc.

 



Edited by The Chemist 2019-05-31 3:01 AM




(sfondo pc.jpg)



(sfondo pc 1.jpg)



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Attachments sfondo pc 1.jpg (192KB - 18 downloads)
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wizard
Posted 2019-05-31 3:08 AM (#582746 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Board Moderator & Exner Expert 10K+

Posts: 11956
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Location: Southern Sweden - Sturkö island
Welcome Guido, you came to the right Place for the FL-cars. Here's a welth of nowledge and the guys are willingly sharing it.

That's a classic custom style and very period correct.


Cazzo di Budda che macchina
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57desoto
Posted 2019-05-31 6:39 AM (#582747 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Expert

Posts: 1401
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Location: New Castle PA
Hello, Guido. I knew that the Storrie/Best car went to Italy, but I didn't know that you were the lucky new owner, so thank you for introducing yourself. If I can help in any way, you can use this forum or contact me directly. I'm the 1957 tech advisor for the National DeSoto Club, and always willing to help out a '57 owner.
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StillOutThere
Posted 2019-05-31 10:34 AM (#582750 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



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Location: Under the X in Texas
This is a very tasteful, great looking mild custom DeSoto. Hope you are very happy with the experience.
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The Chemist
Posted 2019-05-31 10:34 AM (#582751 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom


Member

Posts: 11

thanks for your asnwers and for the welcome here.
basically the first spare part that I would like to keep at home is the transmission shift cable. on ebay I found only one but it seems to me in bad conditions.
I found a new one on moparmall website (I guess, if I remember correctly) but I don't know if this cable is the "push-in" or the "screw-in".
do you know this? even if it's quite expensive, I wouild take it.

at this time I hope engine and transmission will last for some more years without big troubles. same for the body, without rust or paint problems.
I know I will have to consider maybe bigger works on the car for the future, but if it will be a bit later, it's better.

despite the full respect to the history of this car and to the johnny best's job, I am afraid in case of big rust or other bad cases I could consder to change totally the colours of the car.
I mean I really like the current style and paint but I also love some different colours schemes of the custom 50's cars.....but this is too early to speak about it.

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wizard
Posted 2019-05-31 10:49 AM (#582754 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Board Moderator & Exner Expert 10K+

Posts: 11956
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Location: Southern Sweden - Sturkö island
As for the cast iron hog (TorqueFlite-transmission), if it's got oil cooler lines to the radiator, then install an extra oil cooler in serie with the one in the radiator.

You should change the transmission fluid and add one bottle of Omega 917 seal saver to the new fluid.

Check the gearshift cable adjustment while the oil pan is removed and adjust the bands.

Check the throttle valve linkage and adjustment.

The TorqueFlite transfer is next to bullet proof if it's been maintained correctly.
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jboymechanic
Posted 2019-05-31 3:41 PM (#582763 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Expert

Posts: 1571
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Location: Muskego, WI
Love the car Guido, thanks for sharing. The shift cables on MoparMall are expensive, but they are very nice quality.
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The Chemist
Posted 2019-06-03 8:16 AM (#582863 - in reply to #582754)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom


Member

Posts: 11

thanks. I'm taking notes on your suggestions.
do you know if the shift cable is screw type or push-in type?

all fluids in the car will be replaced with new ones.
last saturday they removed all the old carpet flooring; the seats are already in progress to be almost restored.
next days new rear tyres will be installed plus balancing and camber checking.
it seems in june I will not be able to use it, but some jobs were needed.
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jboymechanic
Posted 2019-06-03 9:30 AM (#582866 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Expert

Posts: 1571
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Location: Muskego, WI
They have both push in and screw in, you have to specify when you order. I thought screw in came later, 1959 and after?
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1960fury
Posted 2019-06-03 10:11 AM (#582867 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Expert 5K+

Posts: 6064
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Location: northern germany
Can't say I'm a big fan of the paint job, but, welcome. I have a 1980s magazine article about a 1960 Plymouth in the UK and there is a 57 Desoto in the background in a couple of shots. I was told this is the 57 before Johnny Best customized it. IIRC it was white.
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57burb
Posted 2019-06-03 10:19 AM (#582868 - in reply to #582867)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Expert

Posts: 3599
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Location: DFW, TX
Beautiful car, welcome to the site!
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The Chemist
Posted 2019-06-04 2:44 AM (#582906 - in reply to #582867)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom


Member

Posts: 11

before johnny best bought it, it was pink and white, he said to me.
he also sent me pictures

the original colour from the production was instead yellow/white, as still appears on the original tag on the car.



Edited by The Chemist 2019-06-04 2:46 AM




(2c7cd955-05c3-49aa-9dd9-00337a1b7e2d.jpg)



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Attachments 2c7cd955-05c3-49aa-9dd9-00337a1b7e2d.jpg (118KB - 17 downloads)
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ToMopar
Posted 2019-06-04 6:18 AM (#582912 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Elite Veteran

Posts: 781
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Location: D-70199 Heslach
Hello Guido,

welcome here. The car is well known, but I don't see it in person.
Where are you located (in Italy)?
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The Chemist
Posted 2019-06-05 3:06 AM (#582948 - in reply to #582912)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom


Member

Posts: 11

Hi, yes I'm from Italy, north, 40-50 km east from Milan city.

Edited by The Chemist 2019-06-05 3:29 AM
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The Chemist
Posted 2019-06-05 3:23 AM (#582950 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom


Member

Posts: 11

current status of the car is like this
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6bLwcJp7ui6F1-JvZcqDULjB8kodSxDwyo...

all old flooring has been removed. it was very wet on the rear side. the interior padding of the seats were really old and damaged, so we decided to fully fix them now, instead of next winter. I also discovered that the nice white vynil was installed over the old interior of the car. and unfortunately the '57 seat covering started to make some mould. the vynil can be saved, but at this point I also decided to remove and change all the flooring, as I already bougth last month a new one, black coloured. this job is making delaying other things and probably I'll not be able to go to the lake with the firedome until july. when interiors will be put back in the car, an hygienic new treatment will be done.


Edited by The Chemist 2019-06-05 3:29 AM
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Rebels-59
Posted 2019-06-05 12:15 PM (#582960 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Board Moderator & Exner Expert 10K+

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Location: .Norfolk..Mafia.. ,England UK
Welcome to the Forum Guido ..
Good to see the Desoto being cared for, as it was well known of here in the UK,, I actually almost bought it the last time it was for sale in the UK,, But didnt jump on it in time, Thats when it was Sold and shipped to Italy...


Clive
England UK
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57burb
Posted 2019-06-05 12:30 PM (#582961 - in reply to #582950)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom



Expert

Posts: 3599
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Location: DFW, TX
It sounds like the old girl needs some attention, like they all do. I'm sure you'll get the interior looking fantastic again, and then freshen up the drivetrain for many years of cruising. It's an awesome car and deserving of the work!
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The Chemist
Posted 2019-06-07 8:05 AM (#583058 - in reply to #582745)
Subject: Re: 1957 DeSoto Firedome - mild custom


Member

Posts: 11

in really short time, the interior has been fixed.
new flooring (black coloured this time), additional parts black with gold borders for the feet areas, all seats paddings made new, big cleaning treatment.
when I took the car at home, seats were almost grey; I spent a full day cleaning and they were "almost white".
now they are really back white.
it will cost me additional money in this moment, but..... no pain-no gain this time.
pics here:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/aePUGJxhBvDLgJwRhw2xBJAIpgHkV4gjPW...
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TG8kCAbs1l42Q7ggISPfhWIOTrQQXWVZwt...
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nvQeafwXN1_I2wBWJy4DK19f_fWYgsTo8o...

Edited by The Chemist 2019-06-07 8:06 AM
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