1960 DeSoto Fireflite survivor


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Skaneateles, New York, United States

Features and Specifications

Make: DeSoto
Model: Fireflite
Type: 4dr hardtop
Year: 1960
Mileage: 56,000
VIN: 7103101338
Color: White
Engine: 361
Cylinders: 8
Transmission: Automatic
Drive type: RWD
Interior color: Red/White/Grey/Black
Vehicle Title: Clear

1960 DeSoto Fireflite

Up for sale is a survivor 1960 DeSoto Fireflite. One of only 1,958 manufactured during DeSoto's last full year of production, this 4 door hardtop was the lowest production of any model. Finished in its original Calcutta Ivory color, the car retains its original paint except areas below the stainless side spears. I am selling the car as I purchased it 6 years ago, but never drove it. My father spotted it and suggested it was worth buying as I had been purchasing a number of Exner finned MoPars at the time. It was driven about 120 miles to a climate controlled storage facility and parked. And until last week, that is where is has sat. It needs to find a new home where it can be enjoyed--driven and displayed by the next care taker.
The car has led a very sheltered life. As you can see from the dealer plate on the rear, the car has lived in Upstate New York its whole life. It was sold new in Massena and I bought it off a gentleman up in the 1000 Islands area about 75 miles away the original dealership. Normally, such a car would have rusted out in five years, but here it is, with minimal undercarriage rust almost 60 years later. I don't think it has seen much sun either as the steering wheel has no cracks and the rubber components are also very supple--as evidenced by the trunk mat. I have a few lower mileage late 50's MoPars and the trunk mats are all brittle. This one is very soft and in great shape, which, unfortunately was bad news for the trunk floor as the trunk seal has a leak and water stayed under the mat and ate at the trunk pan as you can see in the one picture. I popped off a lot of undercoating to see the full extent of it. It's not structural. I would have just put a couple of coats of POR-15 on it, but I'll leave that up to the buyer. The rocker panels had some rust repairs in the mid 1990's (hence the lower portion repaint) but my bondo detector tool indicated no filler of note and there are no rust bubbles after all this time, so the work was obviously done right.
To prepare it for sale, before even trying to drive the car, I drained the fuel tank, blew out the line, installed a new fuel pump, fuel filter, and correct rebuilt carburetor. I changed the oil and filter, lubed the chassis, flushed and adjusted the brakes, and drained and replaced the coolant. I also put in new plugs, points, rotor, and changed the leaking valve cover gaskets. You can see how clean the inside of the engine is in the pictures. No sludge at all. It fires right up and runs quietly.
The prior owner did have the seats recovered for some reason. It is a decent job, but the cloth is not the original style. I still have the original material which is included with the sale. It doesn't look worn out. The door cards, rug and headliner are original. The red/grey/black/white color combination is correct for the car.
I would believe the mileage to be original looking at the condition of the rug, keys, pedals as well as the trail of paperwork showing slowly increasing mileage over the past 20+ years (see picture of receipts with dates and mileage). The last inspection sticker from 2012 shows 55K miles. The odometer seems to function but the numbers are not lined up properly. I do not believe it has been tampered with, but wanted to point it out.
It has some unusual options of cruise control and an automatic headlight dimmer. I don't believe either of them are currently functioning. The gauges, horn, radio all work, but there are a couple issues to sort out still. While cleaning up the car, the right turn signal decided to stay on. I suspect the switch is stuck in that position due to aging lubricant or the engagement tab broke off. I don't believe it would be a big issue to repair, but the steering wheel needs to be pulled to take a look. The dash light dimmer switch has been bypassed to an on/off switch, as I suspect the headlight switch rheostat stopped working, which is not uncommon.
The car comes with an original shop manual and a few other pieces of literature and spare parts. Please call 917-847-1690 if you would like to discuss any specifics or have further questions. See my seller feedback, as i have sold a couple cars already on eBay to satisfied buyers.
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