1956 DeSoto Adventurer Hardtop

Lot 2070 | West Palm Beach | Now Asking $90,000


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Hardtop

Lot 2070 | West Palm Beach | Now Asking $90,000


  • Top-of-the-line, “Golden Adventurer” model with special interior and exterior features
  • Specially modified, high-performance 315-horsepower, 341 cu-in, Hemi V8 with dual four-barrel carburetors
  • Heavy duty suspension, power hydraulic drum brakes, push button Powerflite transmission
  • Power seats, power windows, and under the dash mounted Highway HiFi 16 ⅔ RPM record player
  • AACA Senior Grand National Award Winner


Chassis No. 50383031

Representing the top-of-the-line for DeSoto in 1956, the Adventurer was offered as a limited edition, two-door hardtop, affectionately dubbed the “Golden Adventurer” among collectors. Based on the hugely popular Fireflite Sportsman Coupe, the Adventurer featured sleek lines courtesy of Virgil Exner's spectacular, finned “Forward Look” body. According to the consignor, a noted DeSoto enthusiast, the car was a hit and all 996 limited production Adventurers were snapped up within six weeks of production.

DeSoto paired the sleek Adventurer body with a specially modified, high-performance version of its S-24 341 cu-in Hemi breathing through dual four-barrel carburetors to help achieve a claimed top speed of 144mph. The Adventurer's special Hemi engine was mated to a push button Powerflite automatic transmission, all underpinned by heavy-duty suspension and power brakes.

A decorated AACA Grand National Prize winner, this limited production DeSoto is finished in two-tone Jet Black with Adventurer Gold complimented by turbine style, aluminum gold anodized wheel covers, anodized gold aluminum mesh radiator grill, with special Adventurer medallions, and badging. The Adventurer interior features an exhaustive list of amenities including a power front bench seat, power windows, a steering wheel mounted 15-jewel Swiss clock, and a Highway HiFi 16 ⅔ RPM Record Player. As a special model, the Adventurer interior colors and materials were closely coordinated to the exterior including a white steering wheel with gold grips, seat and back bolsters in gold metallic finish, seat cushions and back inserts in brown tweed, and black carpet with gold Mylar flecks.

As the top-of-the-line model, the limited production Adventurer was not only emblematic of DeSoto's desire to differentiate it from other Chrysler offerings but also from the Fireflite Sportsman Coupe it is based on. A success on both fronts, this DeSoto Adventurer is one of the finest examples of Virgil Exner's Fifties-style designs to come to market in recent memory.


Donnie Gould
Senior Car Specialist

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