Lot 216

Hershey 2023

1959 DeSoto Adventurer Sportsman Coupe


$49,500 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Serial No.
M491 100658
Engine No.
ML383 26928
Canadian Registration
  • One of 602 examples produced for the model year; DeSoto’s final flagship offering with styling derived from previous Exner/Savonuzzi Ghia show cars
  • Powered by correct 383-cu.-in. Hemi Fireflite V-8 engine with push-button Powerflite automatic transmission
  • Exceptionally well-presented with notably correct detailing throughout; retains desirable “Sports Swivel” seats, gold wheel covers, “flying” post mirrors, and factory air conditioning
  • More than $13,500 CAD of refurbishment completed since 2021

Known today mostly for producing the high-quality, family-style cars that typify 1950s America, DeSoto also achieved importance as a manufacturer of high-performance automobiles. In the brand's last years, its top-of-the-line offering was the limited-production Adventurer, and it represents a stellar landmark in quality and performance. It is sometimes—unofficially, though quite appropriately—called the “Golden Adventurer” due to its standard gold paint, engine-turned trim, accents and DeSoto marketing copy that proclaimed it, “pure gold….in ride, pride, and pleasure.”

The production model’s name and styling are derived from two earlier concept cars that Ghia executed for DeSoto in 1952 and 1954, designed by Virgil Exner and Giovanni Savonuzzi, respectively. Following their show circuit duties, both progenitors were sold to notable end-users; Adventurer I went to Exner himself, while Adventurer II travelled from Ghia to King Mohammed V of Morocco.

Powered by a 345 cubic-inch Fireflite V-8 engine, the 1957 Adventurer was the first production vehicle to make the vaunted target of one horsepower per cubic-inch with the standard engine package. By 1959, the Fireflite V-8 had been significantly reworked for optimal smoothness and displaced a sizable 383 cubic inches with 350 horsepower on tap. Not just a high-performance vehicle, Adventurers were offered with automatic transmissions as standard and were available with a wide range of optional comfort and convenience equipment, including full power accoutrements, air conditioning, various radio options, and a unique steering-wheel-mounted, self-winding clock. At a suggested retail price of $4,272, just 590 Adventurer hardtop coupes were completed in 1959.

Presented in the attractive polychrome black and Adventurer Gold livery, which the model made famous, this striking 1959 Adventurer Coupe is still powered by its correct 383 cubic-inch V-8 engine and push-button Powerflite automatic transmission. With many correct details throughout, such as the proper upholstery, exterior engine-turned gold trim, “flying post” side mirrors, gold wheel covers, and significant assemblage of gold-plated factory badging, this DeSoto is made evermore tempting by nearly $13,500 CAD of corrective maintenance under current ownership. The interior is also replete with a factory-correct air-conditioning system, push-button AM radio, distinctive “Sports Swivel” seats, automatic headlight dimmer, and a full suite of power features.

Riding upon a fresh set of period-style wide whitewall tires, this remarkable 1959 DeSoto Adventurer Coupe remains one of the sharpest looking closed cars of Exner’s “Forward Look” era.