Lot Number

1931 DeSoto Model SA Standard Coupe

Sold For $18,150

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 10 - 11 OCTOBER 2019 - The Merrick Auto Museum Collection

Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Latin-themed American car
  • Medium-priced, quality engineering
  • Chrysler’s “idea car”

January 1931 brought a restyled DeSoto with a larger 205-cubic-inch, 72 bhp engine and a new series designation: SA. Thereafter, six-cylinder DeSotos (an eight introduced in 1930 was soon dropped) would have an S prefix for some 25 years. Standard equipment on the SA included Delco-Remy ignition, hydraulic shock absorbers, and Chrysler’s hallmark four-wheel hydraulic brakes.

This handsome DeSoto SA coupe is the Standard version, with a rear luggage compartment instead of a rumble seat, as found in the Deluxe. Purchased by the Merrick Auto Museum in 2006, its previous owners include Ken Garland of Travelers Rest, South Carolina. Painted entirely in gloss black, its principal accents are the whitewall tires and tasteful chrome accents. The tires are 4.75-19 Firestone whitewalls on black steel-wire wheels.

Perhaps the most dramatic aspect of this car is found inside. Upholstered in wide-pleated button mohair, it is quite out of the ordinary, but taking pride of place is the instrument binnacle, a wide oval assembly housing the drum speedometer and all four essential gauges under one sheet of glass: temperature, fuel, oil pressure, and ammeter. The odometer reads just short of 88,000 miles.

For a period in the 1930s and ’40s, DeSoto served as Chrysler’s “idea car.” A quick look is all it takes to see that it is a very good idea indeed.

Suggested lots

5 February 2020


Place Vauban, Paris, France


6 - 7 March 2020

Amelia Island

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida