Amelia Island | Lot 192

1949 DeSoto Custom Convertible



$71,500 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida

12 March 2016

Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
  • Offered from the Richard & Linda Kughn Collection
  • Extremely rare today; one of 3,385 built
  • Attractive, well-presented older restoration

112 bhp, 236.7 cu. in. L-head inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed Fluid-Drive transmission with Tip Toe hydraulic shift, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 125.5 in.

Like most Detroit automakers, DeSoto introduced its first all-new post-war automobiles for 1949 with considerable fanfare. A new, taller radiator shell and grille combined with shorter front and rear overhangs to visually reduce the car’s overall appearance, giving it the look of being ready to spring forth. Other new touches were the addition of taillights in small flares atop the rear fenders, the first of what would eventually evolve into the famous MoPar tailfins of the 1950s.

DeSoto’s only convertible for 1949 was offered as part of the upmarket Custom series, which bore additional chrome trim on the front fenders, more comfortable interior fitments, and Fluid-Drive semi-automatic transmission (with Tip Toe hydraulic shifting) as a standard feature. The drop-top was rare even when new, selling only 3,385 copies, and survivors of this attractive little automobile are seldom found today.

One of the happy exceptions is the car offered here, from Richard and Linda Kughn’s well-known collection. A favorite driver of the Kughns at their Florida home for several years, it is an attractive and well-presented older restoration that has been well-maintained and has a not-overdone, factory-quality appearance throughout. The body panels are finished in Dawn Gray, with a beautiful striped cloth and blue vinyl interior, accentuated by a push-button AM radio and dashboard clock. The convertible top fits well and features the full-length rear window characteristic of this model. A full-size spare tucks into the properly restored trunk. At the time of cataloguing, the car had recorded 62,814 miles.

A well-presented example of a seldom-seen Chrysler product, this snazzy little convertible will give its new owners many miles of pleasurable summer day cruising, just as it has for its current owners and their family.

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