1949 DeSoto Custom Convertible

1949 DeSoto Custom Convertible

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Once automobile production resumed after being halted during World War II, redesigned Chrysler Corporation models, including from the DeSoto brand, would not reach showrooms until spring of 1949. Chrysler Corporation had returned to the marketplace in 1946 with recycled 1942 designs to quickly meet pent-up demand. President K.T. Keller is remembered for conservative ideas of styling, but in retrospect the 1949 models were visionary in terms of packaging with a focus on maximizing interior space and reducing mass. Chrysler was known for many engineering firsts, and new for 1949 were ignition key starting, longer-lasting bonded brake linings and safety rim wheels which better retain a tire after a blowout.

  • YEAR & MAKE - 1949 DeSoto
  • MODEL NAME - Custom  
  • BODY TYPE - 2-Door Convertible 
  • BODY BY - Briggs
  • # CYLS. - l-Head Inline-6
  • TRANSMISSION TYPE & NUMBER - 4-Speed Tip-Toe Shift Semi-Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
  • WEIGHT - 3,785
  • ESTIMATED PRODUCTION - 3,385 
  • HP - 112 
  • C.I.D. - 237
  • WHEELBASE - 125.5' 
  • PRICE NEW - $2,443 
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The DeSoto shared a body with the six-cylinder Chrysler, though with less trim and a smaller engine, and occupied the mid-price class below Chrysler. Convertibles were part of the Custom series, which received more chrome and the Tip-Toe Shift semi-automatic transmission as standard equipment. Despite the abbreviated model year, Chrysler Corporation as a whole sold more vehicles than 1948, but slipped from second to third in U.S. sales. DeSoto was the only Chrysler brand to sell fewer cars in 1949, though the 1949-1952 models would be the best selling DeSotos of all time.