DeSoto Fireflite HEMI 2 door Hardtop 1957

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Fireflite HEMI 2 door Hardtop 1957





The DeSoto (sometimes De Soto) was an American automobile marque, manufactured and marketed by the now-defunct DeSoto Division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1928 to 1961. The DeSoto logo featured a stylized image of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The De Soto marque was officially dropped November 30, 1960, with over two million vehicles built since 1928.

The DeSoto Fireflite is an automobile which was produced by the DeSoto Division of the Chrysler Corporation in the United States from 1955 to 1960.

The Fireflite was introduced in 1955 as De Soto's flagship model. It was wider and longer than previous DeSoto models and it came equipped with a V8 engine producing 255hp (190 kW) and PowerFlite automatic transmission. The transmission was operated by a Flite-Control lever located on the dashboard. The car weighed 4,070 lb (1850 kg).

In 1956 a gold and white Fireflite convertible was the Official Pace Car for the 1956 Indianapolis 500. The Fireflite convertibles were rare, with only 186 produced. Indianapolis 500 President Tony Hulman said the DeSoto was chosen unanimously by the track committee because it delivered outstanding performance and had superb handling characteristics

The car was best known for its long, tapering tail fins, often accentuated by a two-tone exterior finish. The interior offered bench seating that could accommodate six passengers. The Fireflite had a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration time of 11 seconds and a top speed of 110 mph (175 km/h).

The 1956 Fireflite had a longer stroke, 3.80 inches, giving a 330 cubic inch displacement. Compression ratio increased to 8.5:1 and power increased to 230hp (172 kW).

The Fireflite’s appearance for 1957 was redesigned with the help of Chrysler Corporation's head stylist, Virgil Exner. The design was bold and radical with large tail fins, dual oval exhaust and triple-lens taillights. The tail fins were not only aesthetic, but helped to stabilize the car at high speeds.

A four-headlight system was optional for both the Fireflite and DeSoto Firedome models in 1957. The DeSoto Firesweep polyhead V8s were introduced with a bore and stroke of 3.6875 in (94 mm) X 3.800 in (97 mm) for 325 cid. The two barrel V8 was rated at 240hp (179 kW) while the four barrel version produced 260hp (194 kW).

The 330 cid hemi engine was replaced by a hemi which was 341 cid. The two barrel carburetor produced 270hp (201 kW), while the four barrel version was rated at 295hp (220 kW). Both engines had a 9.25:1 compression ratio.

In 1957 the Fireflite was superseded by the DeSoto Adventurer as the premium DeSoto model. Nevertheless, Fireflites continued to offer high-grade appointments in a full line of body styles. Also in 1957, a station wagon was added to the Fireflite's lineup. Back-up lights became standard.

In 1958, a new engine was added.

For 1959, the car was restyled. The electric clock became standard. A hand brake light was optional.

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