All information below was previously part of www.roadkillontheweb.com and was written by Lee Exline, National DeSoto Club.
I will try to cover the non-dealer promos here. I will be covering more than just the Dinky cars made by the dinky toy companies of England and France. I will also touch on slush cast early American made versions, Japanese pressed tin and even some modern day issued items aimed at collectors.
I am not an expert in this field but I will try to give as much information as I can at this time!
Dinky cars of England and France
Dinky of England produced 3 different version of 1957 Desoto cars. All of them were based on the Fireflite series 4 door sedan, One was painted Grey with a red sweep and roof another was painted Green with a tan roof and sweep they both carried the #192, the other one was the same car But it was painted up as a police car! The body was all black except the front doors, they were white with the black letters "POLICE" the front and rear bumpers were painted silver, the taillights were dotted red, and on the police car the trunk and hood had small police stickers on them. The single red (bubble gum) light was mounted on the roof with a whip antenna on the drivers side rear fender top. The police car even carried an interior were the other cars did not! The Dinky Toy Company of France also made a mini Desoto but this one was not based on the 1957 Fireflite series. It was based on the 1959 Diplomat series! This was an export series that was based on a Plymouth body with Desoto front fenders. This car was available in either orange and black or green and white variations. I have seen them with both white and black wheels again the front and rear bumpers were painted in silver with red on the taillights. Both versions carried the number 545.
I currently only have 2 versions of tin cars! One is a friction car made in Japan and is based on a 1958 Fireflite 4-door hardtop model. I have seen it in both red and blue versions so far. The other is based on a 1953 Firedome 2 door hardtop and is friction powered also.
Probably the earliest version of a Desoto toy car is the 1935 Airflow by Tootsie. Another rare version was the 46-48 (S-11) version of a skyview taxi, since this was made in plastic very few have survived to this day. Let's face it the plastics of that day was not the best and these things were made to be played with by children! It also focuses on the fact that many Desoto cars were used as Taxis. I can not find it right now but someone recently put of a 57 Desoto Firesweep sedan and a 59 Adventurer has also been released by one of the mints that sells "collector" diecast cars. Probably the rarest Desoto miniature that I have ever seen was a promo 1950 Truck it is a stake bed slush cast and obviously done for the export market only. I am sure that I have left out many examples but I am also sure that many of the experts out there will set me straight. Or the average collector such as myself will send me pictures and information on their pride and joy.