Second Series 1949
"The Car Designed With You In Mind"
With 1949 being a two-body-style year, the new design was unveiled around the beginning of March. Conforming to K.T. Keller's opinion of conservative practicality over extravagant design, the new S-13 series was practically all-new with one of the most extensive retooling efforts in DeSoto's history to that point. Every feature of the car was looked at to maximize practicality. The result was a car that was lower, wider, roomier, and overall more user-friendly, but not quite as advanced in styling as some of the competitors. This mentality of conservatism, which most of the public didn't agree with, would be what ultimately led to change in leadership and new futuristic design under Exner's direction starting in 1955.
The easiest change to recognize in distinguishing the second series 1949 Custom and Deluxe models was the flip in the orientation of the parking lights from horizontal to vertical. On the topic of lights, the second series 1949's were the first DeSotos to have plastic lenses in place of the convention glass. On a more subtle note, the standard chassis was increased by four inches overall. Despite the longer wheel base, the car was actually a bit shorter overall. In additional, a taller transmission tunnel allowed the overall height of the car to be decreased while not sacrificing interior space. Under the hood, the six cylinder engine also was massaged and refined for a 3 horsepower gain from 109 to 112. Cycle-bonded brake linings were also now in full use. Starting the system was a new convenient ignition-controlled starter.
Along with the new styling was also a new offering in the 9-passenger station wagon, the first offered by DeSoto Division. It was constructed as a steel body with real white ash framing simulated woodgrain panels. 3 seats were in-tandem and the center seat was actually split into two units. The curbside unit could be swung out of the way for access to the rearmost seat and both the center and rear seats were removable for cargo space.
Engine: 237 c.i. 6 cylinder, 112 hp
Wheelbase: 125.5 (standard, including wagon), 139.5 (8 & 9-passenger sedans)
Los Angeles Deluxe VIN Start: 60002001
Los Angeles Deluxe VIN End: 60004755
Detroit Deluxe VIN Start: 6212001
Detroit Deluxe VIN End: 6232740
Los Angeles Custom VIN Start: 62004001
Los Angeles Custom VIN End: 62011187
Detroit Custom VIN Start: 50000101
Detroit Custom VIN End: 55061189
Deluxe Woodcrafted Station Wagons Produced: 850
Deluxe 4-Door 6-Passenger Sedans Produced: 13,148
Deluxe Carry-All Sedans Produced: 2,690
Deluxe Club Coupe: 6,807
Custom Six 4-Door 6-Passenger Sedans Produced: 48,589
Custom Six 4-Door 8-Passenger Sedans Produced: 342
Custom Six Suburban 9-Passenger Sedans Produced: 129
Custom Six Club Coupes Produced: 18,431
Custom Six Convertibles Produced: 3,385
Source: The Plymouth and DeSoto Story by Don Butler