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New Desoto owner with questions
Yesterday I brought home a true “Barn Find” The original owner passed away in 1980. His son had it towed to a barn surrounded by horses, goats, cactus and Mesquite bushes because it had a dead battery. There it rested in peace gathering dust and dirt for 32 years.
I’ve been a Ford enthusiast most of my life and went chasing a Model A coupe. Sitting next to it was this 1956 Desoto Firestorm Seville 2 Dr Hardtop. I hope I didn’t make a mistake by asking what he wanted for it. Now my “MOPAR” learning curve has begun.
The data plate is hard to read as it's below the voltage regulator on the firewall and partly hidden. The following is as close as I can come to reading it.
FT 026 (NOT SURE IF THIS IS FT OR PT AS IT WAS HARD TO READ)
So, what does the above decode to? Thanks in advance
I do not have a complete ability to answer your eleven questions so I'll do
just "the easy stuff".
Every S-23 SeVelle was the entry level Marketed De Soto in every year it was produced.
This means crank up Clear Windows and move the Wing Vents by hand.
One single color.
The Manual Three Speed Transmission was what they all came with ( Three on-
the tree ).
The Rear Axle Ratio is: 3.9:1.
The Steering is Manual.
The Generator issued is: GJC-7002A (30 AMP ).
The Univerersal Joint is The Ball & Trunion type at the front.
The engine with every S-23 is 330 cubes - 2 bbl Carburator and Single Exhaust.
This means 305 Pounds of Torque at 2800 RPMS ( measured at Wide Open
******************** ******************** ***********
If you have any thing other than the above it was an Paid for more Option or
an item that may have been added by another ( it has been several years
since 1956 and things happen ).
For the Imperial Division the pink is called "Desert Rose" and the White is:
Cloud White. It was an very popular 1956 color com-bo.
The eleven items you asked about will tell you how the car was first equipted
or how appointed.
Sooo, what is the nearest City - Town or whatever they call it to you ???
Rodger & Gabby
There is information related to the data plate of a 1956 Firedome 4 door Firedome Seville on page two of this message board under the topic: New Project: 1956 Seville 4 Door Hardtop, authored by Tim Bowers. You have indicated your car is a two door Seville which would be a S-23 Firedome two door hardtop. The body code for this model is 22 which should be on the plate.
From the information presented, the PT 411 would be the paint code which is Shell Pink lower and Iridescent Gray upper. The TR is the trim code and yours is probably 565 as there was no code 568. The 565 was for gray cloth and vinyl trim. The other codes as you list them are foreign to me. These are hard to read when still attached to the firewall.
Here's a picture of my data plate. It looks totally different then the one posted by Tim Bowers. If you enlarge it you can see the TR code is really 568 although I can see where a 5 could look like an 8 but this sure looks like a legitimate 8. Some of the options I have are
Power boost brakes
I've looked at a lot of Sevilles on line and non of them have the trim on the pillar. Mine has the aluminum trim and round medalions with the DS not the crest as normally found. I know it would be easy to assume this car was modified after purchase but it was a family car and I've talked at length to the original family. This car was purchased as it is currently equipped with the exception of the same color repaint of the pink. The only mystery is the white vs silver per the PT code. So, were any of the Sevilles equipped with the round medallions and trim on the pillar?
Your data plate is different from most. The trim code does look like 568. What is your serial number (VIN) from the driver's door post? From the SN it can be determined where the car was produced. If produced in LA it is possible it had a different data plate. There also have been found to be other differences in the LA produced cars and the Detroit produced cars. I suspect yours may be a LA car. Your codes are definitely different and unknown to me. Most data plates had DESOTO DIVISION stamped on them.
I will attach a data plate scan from a 55 which is much like the 56 plate I believe. I will also attach a scan of a 56 Seville 2 door hardtop from the sales brochure. These depictions are notorious for being inaccurate.
Where did the original owner live? If out west, it is possibly a LA car.
Here is the complete 1956 De Soto Sales Brochure.
http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/N ... index.html
If you have Dual Exhaust then you know for sure that changes were made. The Color of the vehicle as already said has been altered too.
If you have Power Steering then you should have the Power Steering Pump
which is attached to the rear of The Generator. With out Air Conditioning and
with Power Steering the installed Generator is: GJC-7003C .
I was writing this response when the brochure was posted. That's wonderful and just what I need to sort through some of the mysteries.
I went through the list of accessory groups and narrowed it down to Group 4 or Group 7 based on the Dual Exhaust. Perhaps the M8 on the data plate denotes the accessory group since it is 4. The only difference in 4 and 7 is 4 has Solex glass. I have no idea how to tell if my car has that type glass.
The car was an LA assembled car. It was purchased at Rollings Motor Company in Tucson, AZ in March (according to the AZ registration) by Roy Minder. and has spent it's entire life here. I purchased it from Douglas Minder his son who inherited it in 1980 and put it in storage immediately never using it. I'm positive the car has not been modified from it's original config. I would post a picture but I don't want to clean the dust off until the DOL does the inspection. Once it's detailed I'll post a picture.
Is it possible the LA assembly plant installed the pillar trim (between the rear window and side window) that was not a Seville feature? I'm just beginning to do research as I've only owned it since Friday so know almost nothing at this point. The number on the door tag is 64028530. I did buy a few brochures and a paint chip chart that should help a little but I think most of my knowledge will come from this forum.
Your car was the 530th out of the 6,405 Firedomes produced in LA for the 1956 model year. I believe your car was produced as a two door Firedome Sportsman which had the trim pieces you describe. I now believe the 026 under the FT on your data plate is the code for the Firedome two door Sportsman model. The Seville two door model would have 022 for this code.
Does your car have the Seville script on the sides?
Yes, it has the Seville script on the sides. Is there any other options on it that will tell if it's really a Sportsman? The courtesy lights inside on the rear pillar area are round with DS on them. Is this a feature of the Seville or Sportsman. The reason I ask is I saw some round courtesy light lenses advertized as NOS for the Firedome. The picture did not show the DS.
To my limited knowledge, the only verifyable differences between the Detroit built two door Sportsman and Seville would be the following:
-the Sportsman vs. Seville script
-the Sportsman had ornamentation molding with the "DES" roof medallion above it. The Seville had no molding with an eagle medallion instead of the DES medallion.
-the data plate would indicate a body code 26 for the Sportsman and a 22 for the Seville.
-the trim codes for the Seville were unique to the Seville. The data plate would have either 563, 564 or 565.
As far as the LA built cars, there were low production numbers of Plymouths, Dodges, DeSotos and Chryslers. There were many anomalies on the cars produced there such as DeSotos with the Chrysler Spitfire engines. From the information you have provided, your car has not been modified but was built as a Sportsman and had the Seville script applied instead of the Sportsman script.
Are the accessory groups you refer to posted somewhere.?
I found the accessory groups posted here. This is the link:
I think you're right that the Seville script got installed instead of the correct Sportsman. I was thinking I should try and find the Sportsman script and replace the Seville but then I had second thoughts. Right or wrong it's the way it came. I'm sure if I attend any conventions someone will notice and make a comment.
I'm amazed at the knowledge here on this sight and the willingness to share. I'm sure I'm going to be tapping the knowledge bank a lot. The biggest challenge now is to get her running again. I have the cylinders soaking and tune up parts on order.
Thank you for showing The Group Listing's.
Solex Glass was the era name used for Tinted Glass.
If you attend an Annual Convention all will be very happy
that you came ( from _______________ ). There always
seems to be an Map and The attendee's home city is shown.
For any of you who are not National De Soto Club Member's,
you will find out that you can be there too.
Rodger & Gabby
Solex glass actually has a label in one of the corners that says Solex. I could probably take a picture with my good camera but not til this weekend. It is easy to see on my 53.
I found the SOLEX stencil so all I'm sure of for now is my car was ordered with Accessory Group 4. I found the Chrysler site where you can order build data and decoding for some cars. I ordered mine so it will be interesting to see if I have a Sportsman with Seville script or a Seville with Sportsman trim. I wish it didn't take 4 to 6 week to get a response.
Welcome, Barbara, and congratulations on the purchase of your DeSoto. Really looking forward to seeing photos and to hearing more about your new, old car.