’57 DeSoto Adventure Sportsman coupe has drag-racing credibility

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Pick of the Day is a 1957 DeSoto Adventurer Sportsman coupe that is not only rare because it’s one of only 1,650 produced, but it has a nearly 60-year history of single ownership by a Midwestern drag racing pioneer.

“In 1961 it was acquired by Midwest drag racing legend Jerry Saar,” says the St. Louis dealership advertising the car onClassicCars.com. “Jerry and his brother, Ron Saar, built and opened Lee County Dragway in 1969, which they operated until 1988. 

“Throughout their two decades of racing, Lee County Dragway hosted numerous A.H.R.A. and several N.H.R.A. events. 

“Jerry Saar was known to use his black and gold Adventurer as a tow vehicle to pull his race cars to and from events at Lee County Dragway,” the seller adds.

The car has been driven less than 77,200 miles since new. It is powered by a FireFlite Hemi V8 and has air conditioning (though it is not currently operating, the dealer notes), power windows/steering/brakes, swivel bucket seats, dual antennas for its AM radio, a Highway HiFi in-car record player and rear fender skirts.

Record player under dash

DeSoto launched its Adventurer in 1956 as a four-seat, higher-performance coupe available only in white, black and gold tri-color paint. In 1957, the model was incorporated into Chrysler’s “Forward Look” body styling, but with the same tri-color scheme. 

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The Pick of the Day example, which has been restored, is being offered for $69,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The description states the car "has been restored" yet further states the air conditioning is not currently working. Then this car has not been "restored".

    • I agree with William T’s comment….RESTORED is totally misleading..partially refurbished is more like it, Don’t get me wrong I think this is a great car, but it will take a lot more money spent on it to qualify as restored.

  2. Yo tengo un DESOTO ADVENTURE del año 1959 Convertible, Blanco/Gold fue del Presidente del Paraguay ALFREDO STROESSNER, solo tiene 26.000 Millas

    • Actually there were legal in SOME states in 1957. Chrysler produced cars with 2 lights and also with 4 lights that year. The fender was designed to hold either headlight bucket. I was thinking that Studebaker/Packard may have done the same thing as well.

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