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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1956 DeSoto Firedome Seville

Pick of the Day: 1956 DeSoto Firedome Seville

Delicious style in this de-lovely DeSoto

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Automakers are famous for borrowing names from their past and reviving them on newer models. Remember when Mercury revived the Montego for its Taurus (née Ford Five Hundred) clone? Or Dodge applied the Monaco name to a captive import built by Renault?

But there also is a history of automakers recycling names from other manufacturers. The ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day, this 1956 DeSoto Firedome Seville two-door, perfectly demonstrates this footnote of American automotive history. (Click the link to view the listing)

1956 Desoto firedome seville, Pick of the Day: 1956 DeSoto Firedome Seville, ClassicCars.com Journal
1956 Desoto Firedome Seville

Let’s start off with the fabulous styling. Virgil Exner introduced his Forward Look theme in 1955 across the board within the Chrysler Corporation. It was a much-needed dose of style as the corporation was saddled with solid-but-dumpy cars. The 1956 facelift was even more spectacular thanks to Exner’s artful extending of the rear fenders into graceful, sweeping fins. Among Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler, and Imperial, which came off the best? We can take it to the alley out back, or we can agree that DeSoto was the looker among the Forward Look clan.

1956 Desoto firedome seville, Pick of the Day: 1956 DeSoto Firedome Seville, ClassicCars.com Journal
1956 Desoto Firedome Seville

DeSotos of this vintage were one of two models: Firedome or Fireflite, with an Adventurer sub-model added to the Fireflite range in 1956. The Firedome may have been at the bottom of DeSoto’s models, but we’re talking about a medium-priced car, so it already had a decent list of features in its DNA. Four-door hardtops were new at DeSoto (and much of the industry), and the Firedome featured two, plus a four-door sedan, a pair of two-door hardtops, a convertible, and a station wagon.

Since 1950, DeSoto used the name “Sportsman” to designate the hardtop body style, which was always of a high-spec trim level. Starting in 1955, DeSoto decided to offer a slightly cheaper two-door hardtop for the Firedome series called the Firedome Special; in 1956, it was renamed Firedome Seville and was also offered as a four-door hardtop.

1956 Desoto firedome seville, Pick of the Day: 1956 DeSoto Firedome Seville, ClassicCars.com Journal
1956 Desoto Firedome Seville

What we have here for the Pick of the Day is a two-door 1956 Firedome Seville hardtop powered by a 330cid Hemi V8 good for 230 horsepower (the Fireflite had 255, which was quite powerful for a regular car at the time). This one, like most, was built with the nifty Powerflite pushbutton automatic transmission. Seller claims the red and white paint are “show-quality” and that the interior is original. For only $26,950, you can have a stylish Fifties cruiser and never have to worry about seeing yourself on the road.

1956 Desoto firedome seville, Pick of the Day: 1956 DeSoto Firedome Seville, ClassicCars.com Journal
1956 Desoto Firedome Seville

Of course, Seville was used by Cadillac from 1956-60 as part of the Eldorado series, and later as the first small Cadillac in 1975. It’s strange to know that both DeSoto and Cadillac used a name concurrently, and it even happened again in 1959 when DeSoto brought back the Seville name as specially trimmed two- and four-door hardtops for both the Firesweep and Firedome series.

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

Hagerty
Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Nice car and nice history but just compare this car to a ‘56 Packard. For all the accolades heaped upon Virgil Exner these cars look outdated when sitting alongside a Packard. Taking this a step further Packards V- 8 was dishing out nearly three hundred horsepower and far more torque not to to mention their totally new and unique torsion bar suspension and the smoothest transmission in the automotive world as heralded by no less than Road andTrack.

  2. My mom had this same car in green and ivory – after many years my brother Mike cut it in half , re welded with a beer keg gas tank – same dash and front seat, all open air – thanks for the memory

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