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1959 DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman Hardtop
I bought this car from George Hellmann of the National DeSoto Club who lives near me and was a person I had known for quite a few years prior to purchasing the car. Last year he had sudden health issues that left him unable to walk for some time and decided it was time to sell it after owning it for 30 years. With a '56 Fireflite Sportsman apart for restoration, I was in the market for a running car and the rest is history! I have spent a lot of time cleaning it and fixing some mechanical issues, but I have also been able to accumulate around 1,200 miles on it this year alone! I also still see George several times per year and he has been able to accompany me and the car to several shows where he still enjoys talking to spectators about it.
The car was originally built on January 9, 1959 and sold on January 21, 1959 at Miller Motors in Ellwood City, PA, though the FCA paperwork shows it was shipped to Mahoning Motors, also in Ellwood City, PA. It was purchased from Miller Motors by a gentleman named Arthur M. Brown for a total of $4,000 after taxes. It is unknown how long Arthur owned the car, but it was purchased in 1972 by Gail Terry. In September 1974, it was sold to Robert Schultz of Terre Haute, IN. On November 16, 1986, George Hellmann of Richmond, IL purchased the car with 16,000 original miles. On July 31, 2016, I purchased the car with 41,000 original miles. Though the sun has taken its toll, the car still has original paint, chrome, and interior. The car is black with a silver and red bench seat interior and the optional stainless sweep inserts. The car also is equipped with auto-dimming headlights, the Adventurer deck lid (5 chrome trunk strips), power seat, jiffy jet washer, and rocker mouldings.
Evidently the photos didn't carry over from the old website, so I'll repost some here to go with the article.
Also as an update, I was able to since confirm that Gail Terry was indeed the second owner as she is Arthur Brown's daughter and appears to have inherited the car upon his death based on how the dates line up. This means I have full ownership history of the car, though that is bittersweet since I know for sure 3/4 of the previous owners have passed away and I have not yet found anything on Robert Schultz.