Junkyard Find: 1959 DeSoto

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

I haven’t been to the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard (where I bought my 1941 Plymouth sedan) for a while, but I’ve still got quite a few photographs of the thousands of old American cars that live there. We’ve seen this ’62 Cadillac, this ’52 Kaiser, this ’49 Kaiser, this ’51 Nash, this ’51 Frazer, this mystery custom, this ’48 Pontiac hearse, and a few more, and today we’ll admire an example of DeSoto‘s final years.

The Swedes who come to the Brain-Melting Junkyard every year and fill shipping containers with old American cars and parts may have grabbed this car by now, since they love big finned American sedans in Scandinavia.

It’s pretty rusty, but most of the trim and glass look good.

Most of the cars were saved from The Crusher by the yard’s owner, who spent decades hanging around the gates of Denver’s scrappers, offering a few bucks more than the going rate for anything interesting. Better that this one get shipped to Europe than head back to the steel jaws.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

More by Murilee Martin

Join the conversation
3 of 29 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jul 30, 2014

    My parents had a 57 Chrysler Windsor that we drove from Dayton, OH to Houston, TX in August of 1958 when we moved to TX. We broke down some where in TX with alternator problems (yes Chrysler was one of the first to use alternators). I remember the deep blue metallic paint was fading even after less than a year. My parents traded it for a new 1959 Plymouth Sport Suburban 9 passenger wagon with air which my middle brother wrecked 3 years later. My mother love the push button drive and the big fins but these cars were crap. My father said he wished that he would have bought a 57 Chevy instead. The 57 Chevy was a sales flop in 1957 outsold by Ford but look at which car has become the classic. The 57 Chrysler was a sharp looking car with its dark blue and white two-tone color but is was a bad car. I remember seeing it later and someone had painted it all white which was a good choice since the blue paint was fading and wearing off.

    • Thornmark Thornmark on Jul 30, 2014

      You are correct, Ford sold more 1957 Fords during the 1957 model year than Chevrolet sold of its 1957 Chevrolets. But Chevrolet actually sold 136 more cars during the 1957 model “calendar year” than Ford. Ford nipped Chevrolet in calendar 1959 sales, though Chevrolet won the model year production race by a bit less than 12,000 units. As for the alternator, it was introduced on the 1960 Valiant and later added to other Chrysler products well in advance of Ford and GM.

  • Bill mcgee Bill mcgee on Jul 31, 2014

    It is hard to imagine the styling sensation that the 1957 Chrysler products were when they were first introduced . I recall at the time ,and I was possibly only three years old , practically drooling over the pink 1957 Plymouth that belonged to the parents of our unpleasant babysitter, Emma Jo . They lived nearby so I frequently gazed lustfully at this probably low level pink sedan . Knew nothing of the quality problems back then but I was only 3 years old . I thought that Mom's 1956 Pontiac two-door wagon looked so dated and frumpy in comparison .

  • Lorenzo 1 million barrels is 42 million gallons. The country uses 368 million gallons a DAY. The reserve was set aside after Hurricane Sandy caused a gasoline shortage. The hurricane season starts on June 1 and is predicted to be active. Nice going.
  • Chuck Norton Toolguy- I have. It's hard on the knees...
  • EBFlex Welp the corpse is at it again. They think they can buy votes by selling off from the SPR. The best thing they could do to get votes is close the border and start deporting people. That would guarantee them a win in November. As of right now though, they are not doing that and Trump is rising in the polls every day.
  • Jalop1991 What is this "dealer" thing Ford speaks of?
  • Picard234 So this release amounts to 2.7 hours of gasoline consumption in the US. You won't even see a penny. The administration is draining the reserves for political optics, nothing more.