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Published on Nov 2, 2015
1948 DeSoto S11 Seven Passenger Sedan
Not only is this 1948 Desoto a classic that you rarely get to see, it has a history that makes it even more unique. The car was originally purchased new in 1948 by the Swank Funeral Home in Ashley, Indiana. It was later converted to an Ambulance by a company in Michigan. The modifications included making the center column on the passengers side removable to patients could be easily loaded into the interior. You can even still see where the Ambulance lettering was put onto the rear deck. Since being purchased by the Funeral home the car has lived its entire life in the same family. It currently belongs to the original owners nephew. The vehicle was taken out of service in the late 1960's after which it was only driven occasionally to parades. For the past 30 years the car has set but still starts up and drives well. It is actually pretty amazing how well it runs considering its unrestored original state. The inline 6cylinder has recently been gone through and services with new belts added and the brakes checked. Backing the motor is a tip toe shift fluid drive transmission that is also a unique feature. Chrysler had a similar transmission called the Presto-Matic and Dodge called them Gyro-matic. It incorporates 2 forward gears but utilizes an electronic overdrive system which can be used in either gear creating 4 forward speeds.
The exterior of the car is in good shape and coated in the original Black paint. The car sits at 19ft long and weighs in around 4,000lbs. The paint is fading in spots with some surface rust showing through. At the bases of the body there are some spots with rust and pictures of all of the problem areas are available. That being said the car is very restorable with all of the frame metal being in good condition. The 7 passenger 4 door utilizes suicide rear doors which creates a pretty cool look and makes the pretty easy to climb into the back seats. All of the glass is in good condition with a two piece style front windshield. All of the chrome and stainless trim is there and with a little work would clean up nicely. The original wheels and hubcaps are there with thin white line tires.
The interior is done in the original upholstery 2 full rows of bench seating with 2 middle seats that fold up out of the way. You will find all original components in the interior with the standard equipment including the AM radio, clock and heater.
If you don't see the potential in this classic you aren't looking hard enough. A restored original, wild custom, or even rat rod. The possibilities are endless with this classic and no matter what direction you go, this will certainly be one of the only ones you ever see.