One of the forgotten names of the American car business is DeSoto. First launched by Chrysler in 1928, DeSoto was an all-new brand that would compete with Buick and Studebaker in the mid-market segment.
Due to their affordable price, DeSotos were popular right from the start. The 1929 models set a first-year sales record that stood for 31 years! DeSoto hit the peak of their popularity in 1956, when they had grown to become the 11th largest US automaker.
One of the cars that propelled DeSoto up the sales charts was this 1955 DeSoto Fireflite. It caught my eye on a recent visit to the Martin Auto Museum in Phoenix.
This has got to be one of the rarest Corvettes around. According to my research, there are only either 2 or 3 of these cars in existence, depending on who you ask. This particular Corvette is on display at the Mel Martin Auto Museum in North Phoenix. It is owned by Mel’s son.
There isn’t much information on the internet about these cars, but according to the sheet of paper that was displayed near the car, its got a Vortech supercharged 383 stroker LT1 putting out 500hp and 454lb-ft of torque. The brakes have been upgraded to Brembo units, the wheels are 17 inches (this was 1992, remember) and it cost $80,000 when new. The modifications were performed by Lister Cars in England.