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Les Fairbanks 1952 DeSoto Custom  

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BrentJacobsen
(@brentjacobsen)
Estimable Member

Les is too humble to brag about his 1952 DeSoto here, so I asked him for permission to brag about it for him. He grudgingly said yes. I hope he doesn't regret doing that!
I have taken many photos of his car, and will share them with the club here. Here is a photo taken at the 2017 Ypsilanti Orphan car show. This one shows the front end. Notice that Les' car is an early 1952 custom. It has the individual DeSoto letters on the hood, the narrow DeSoto crest and the Hernando bust hood ornament.

Brent Jacobsen
Owner of a 1952 Desoto Firedome

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Posted : 18/09/2017 4:17 pm
BrentJacobsen
(@brentjacobsen)
Estimable Member

Here is another photo also taken at the Orphan Car show. This one is of the rear quarter. Les swears that this chrome is original. I am envious- his is as bright and shiny as the day the car was made!

Brent Jacobsen
Owner of a 1952 Desoto Firedome

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Posted : 18/09/2017 4:24 pm
BrentJacobsen
(@brentjacobsen)
Estimable Member

Here is a photo of the instrument panel in Les' car. If you ask Les, he will tell you a story about how the plastic in his gearshift knob had deteriorated, so he machined a new one. Wow. I don't think I could figure out how to chuck a piece of plastic into a lathe.

Brent Jacobsen
Owner of a 1952 Desoto Firedome

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Posted : 18/09/2017 4:33 pm
BrentJacobsen
(@brentjacobsen)
Estimable Member

Now for the good stuff. Here is a shot of the engine compartment of Les' car. If you look close, you will notice that Les has managed to find the original type hose clamps for all his coolant hoses.

Brent Jacobsen
Owner of a 1952 Desoto Firedome

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Posted : 18/09/2017 4:42 pm
TimBowers
(@timbowers)
Member Admin

Les's car is awesome! Thanks for taking the time to share!

It's supposed to be fun!
1949 De Soto Custom Convertible (project)

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Posted : 18/09/2017 6:03 pm
lesfairbanks
(@lesfairbanks)
Reputable Member

Thanks Brent for posting these pic's but I want to correct a couple of things. I am not sure "humble" is an accurate description as I am proud of the old De Soto but there are several '52's that are as nice or better.

As you pointed out, the lighted hood ornament and emblem are early '52 and original. Also, black is not a '52 color but the color chart says paint left from '51 models was used on early '52's and black was one of them.

The car only had 72,000 original miles when I bought it twenty years ago and has a lot of original features left on it. The steering wheel is nearly perfect and I believe it is original. I am proud of the gear shift knob I made out of Cycolac styrene that almost perfectly matches the original material. I was able to match the details close enough that it is difficult to tell from original. Not difficult to chuck up Brent, I started with a piece of 3/4" round stock that I put in a collet.

I believe the bumpers have been re-chromed but I believe the rest of the chrome is original.

Everything under the hood is original except the battery and one of the battery cables is not correct. The hose clamps are original. The inspection stamps on the firewall are original not reproductions. Wiring is original.

It still has the original wooden chock block in the trunk that you don't see very often.

I think it is one of the most original '52's out there but it has it's flaws that loses a lot of judging points. We consider it a driver and we enjoy driving it so we are happy with it as it is. Les

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Posted : 18/09/2017 10:40 pm
FredRoman
(@fredroman)
Reputable Member

Dad was a DeSoto-Plymouth Dealer from 1946 till DeSoto was no more and then he got the Chrysler line.

The very first '52 Firedome he received from the factory was a black 4 door sedan like Les' - but that's all that I can recall. I'm not sure of what options were on the car but probably had a radio, heater, power steering and maybe power brakes, WSW tires and full wheel covers.

Super nice car Les and look forward to you having it in Branson next year. Hopefully there will be more pics from that show of other DeSotos coming soon.

"It's delightful, it's delovely, it's DeSoto"

"It's delightful, it's delovely, it's DeSoto"

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Posted : 19/09/2017 4:00 am
BrentJacobsen
(@brentjacobsen)
Estimable Member

Thanks for the rest of the story Les. I like that car more every time you tell another story about it. It is always fun to look at showroom perfect cars, but in my book, cars that are driven and have some flaws to prove it are the best ones.

Fred, I do have photos of just about every car from that show, although some are from last years show, and some are from the Ann Arbor Show. The photos of Dan and Lois Dolan's 1942 are really fun to study, because I took several under hood shots of the Simplimatic transmission controls, and of the headlamp door mechanism. It would be fun to post them, but I hesitate to do that without permission from the owners.

Brent Jacobsen
Owner of a 1952 Desoto Firedome

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Posted : 22/09/2017 1:08 am
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