The Distinguished 1953 DeSoto FireDome

This beautiful FireDome convertible captured at Auburn 2001 is just one of 1,700 FireDome convertibles built by DeSoto during the brand's stellar 1953 model year.

Newly styled, the '53 FireDome demonstrated that a DeSoto could be as curvaceous as it was imposing. Rear fenders stretched to new lengths while ornamentation detailed a longer, lower look.

More than a beauty, the DeSoto FireDome was an athlete powered by the industry-leading FireDome V8 hemi-head engine. The V8, in its second year of production, displaced 276.1 cubic inches and produced 160 horse power. Amazingly, the FireDome engine working through Tip-Toe Shift with Fluid Torque Drive hurled DeSoto down the quarter mile in 19.7 seconds at 69 miles per hour - according to the testers at Motor Trend. Top speed was 100 miles per hour.

Base price for the impressive FireDome convertible was $3,172, which rivaled convertible pricing at Buick, Hudson and Packard. Helping boost the price was a list of options that included wire wheels, power steering power, brakes, power windows, and the stylish continental kit shown here.

- Dave Duricy

photos by D. David Duricy
Copyright 2001