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Home/Technical Info/DeSoto/11. Car Models Described/ 1957/
1957 DeSoto Models Described


The 1957 DeSoto Adventurer boasted 345 HP from 345 CID—and could back up the claim! A convertible Adventurer was also offered and only 300 were made.
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1957 DeSoto Production Figures 1957_DeSoto_Production_1.pdf
1957 DeSoto Full Line Brochure 1957_DeSoto_Prestige_Brochure_1-16.pdf
 
Print/Download: 1957 DeSoto Cars Described - 1957_DeSoto_Info_1B.pdf
 
 
 
 
 
 

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1957 DESOTO - GENERAL: DeSoto models were announced October 30, 1956, less the Adventurer, which came two months later. All new styling and chassis engineering characterized 1957 DeSotos. Changes from 1956 included: new bodies that were lower and longer, new side trim and color sweep treatments, a massive new bumper grille combination, and new upswept rear fender tailfins. All Chrysler products went to a torsion bar suspension for 1957, called "Torsionaire" in advertising. The overdrive transmission was discontinued this year. 

A new entry level model was introduced, called the "Firesweep" series, that used the 1957 Dodge chassis and drivetrain under its skin.

INNOVATIONS: Torsion bar front suspension, called “Torsion-Aire” and the Torqueflite 3-speed automatic transmission was introduced on Firedome and Fireflite DeSotos and big sister Chrysler as well as 14" tires/rims. Dual headlamps would become standard mid year, when accepted by all states.

1957 FIRESWEEP SERIES S27 (8-Cylinder V-8):  This new, lower-priced line helped increase DeSoto production during what would be known as a major recession year. Identification features for this line were "Firesweep" on the rear fender, a wide continuous metal band on the tops and side of the headlamp hoods, optional dual color "sweep moldings" or a standard trim treatment that had a molding starting at the rear of the car and extending forward across two-thirds of the front door.

Standard features included: "Torsionaire Ride", "Oriflow" shocks, "Safety-Lock" door latches, "Total Contact" brakes and "Power-Tip" spark plugs. Firesweeps used Dodge sourced engines that were featured Polyspheric "semi-hemi" combustion chambers and 325 CID. The Automatic transmission was the older Powerflite 2-speed unit rather than the new Torqueflite

1957 FIREDOME SERIES S25 (8-Cylinder Hemi): The former low-priced DeSoto became the middle series in 1957. This was a true DeSoto in the sense it shared no parts with a Dodge though, of course, it did share the major body structure of all Chrysler products. The triple round tail lamp theme was a carryover from 1956. Headlights were positioned separate from the grille. The grille was now part of the bumper structure and the "color sweep" was located low on the body panels. Exhaust tips were integrated with the rear bumper and were of a flat oval or elliptical shape; suggesting the same styling used for the grille.

Sedans had six-windows, and the license plate housing was recessed into the rear deck lid. Twin rear antennas and dual headlamps were available in this series. There were rear fender "Firedome" nameplates, a Firesweep-like standard molding treatment, and optional color sweep style side moldings

1957 FIREFLITE SERIES S26 (8-Cylinder Hemi): Fireflites - the top-line series - had "Fireflite" rear fender nameplates, and medallions were added at the front fender side moldings. Headlights, like the Firedome, were also positioned separate from the grille, with cut-back notches in the sides of the hood. Late in the model run, headlights became duals, prior to that single lamps sat in these bezels. Dual color sweep moldings were standard trim on hardtops and convertibles. The standard side trim used on sedans and station wagons consisted of the upper molding sections only. The convertible coupe used a distinctive, dome-like windshield, which would become standard for all Sportsman models for 1958. Front fender top chrome ornaments were used on some Fireflite models.

The six-passenger wagon was referred to as the "Shopper", while the nine-passenger version was called the "Explorer".  Torqueflite automatic transmission, foam seat cushions, backup lights, and wheel covers were all standard.
 
1957 ADVENTURER SERIES S26A (8-Cylinder Hemi): The Adventurer was once again the high-powered, performance car line. The Adventurer hardtop coupe was introduced two months after regular DeSoto introductions. An Adventurer convertible was introduced even later in the model year, which is the reason for such low production numbers. Both models had special gold colored trim accents as would now be the differntiator of the line as had been the case in 1956. The two-toning and the "color sweep" copied the Fireflite.  Distinctive "Adventurer" nameplates appeared on the rear fender and bright metal strips were found on the rear deck lid. Dual headlamps were standard as they were now accepted as legal in all states when the Adventurer was released.

The Adventurer's standard equipment consisted of: TorqueFlite automatic transmission, power brakes, dual exhausts, dual rear radio antenna, dual outside rear view mirrors, white sidewall tires, padded dashboards, and special paint and trim. As in 1956, the Adventurer had a special V-8 racing type camshaft and with dual four-barrel carburetors as standard. This V-8 made one horsepower per cubic inch of displacement—an industry first.

MODEL/ENGINE I.D. DATA:

  • Firesweep serial numbers. Cars built in Detroit had serial numbers that ran from 58001001 to 5803840. Cars built in Los Angeles had serial numbers that ran from 60014001 to 60017360. Motor numbers ran from KDS-1001 to 287531 (Dodge sourced).
  • Firedome serial numbers. Cars built in Detroit had serial numbers that ran from 55332001 to 55377868. Cars built in Los Angeles had serial numbers that started at 64035001. Motor numbers ran from S25-1001 to 47060.
  • Fireflite serial numbers. Cars built in Detroit had serial ran from 50396001 to 50426380. Cars built in Los Angeles had serial started at 62053001. Motor numbers ran from S26-1001 to 29541.
  • Adventurer serial numbers. All Adventurers were built at the Detroit factory. Adventurer Serial numbers ran from 50396001 to 50426380.  Motor numbers were included in the Fireflite numbers however they had a S26A prefix and like the Fireflite, they ran from S26-1001 to 29541.

Serial number codes were on  the left front door hinge pillar post. V-8 the engine numbers were positioned at the top of the engine block under the water outlet elbow. No code numbers were provided for positive identification of body style type.


BODY PAINT CODE/COLORS:

  • A Black
  • B Capri Blue
  • B Lagoon Blue - Firesweep
  • C Azure Blue
  • C Seatone Blue - Firesweep
  • D Mist Green - Firesweep
  • D Seafoam Green
  • E Leaf Green - Firesweep
  • E Tamarack Green
  • F Dawn Gray - Firesweep 
  • F Dove Gray
  • G Charcoal Gray - Firesweep
  • G Charcoal Gray
  • G Slate Gray - Firesweep
  • H Fiesta Red
  • J Muscatel Maroon - Firesweep
  • J Muscatel Maroon
  • K Sunburst Yellow - Firesweep
  • K Sunlit Yellow
  • L Cloud White - Firesweep (LA)
  • L Frosty White
  • L White - Firesweep (Detroit)
  • M Light Aqua - Firesweep
  • N Dusty Orange - Firesweep
  • N Gauguin Red
  • P Adventurer Gold - Adventurer Only
  • R Mandarin Rust
  • S Samoa Green - Firesweep
  • V Spanish Gold
  • X Sahara Tan
  • Z Spice Brown


DESOTO ENGINES:

  • Firesweep Base V-8. (Dodge-sourced engine). Overhead valves, polyspheric combustion chamber. Cast iron block. Displacement: 325 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.69" x 3.80". Compression ratio: 8.5:1. Horsepower: 245 @ 4400 RPM. Torque: 320 @ 2400 RPM. Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetor: Manual Transmission: Stromberg two-barrel model WW3-149; Auto Transmission: Stromberg two-barrel model WW3-150.

  • Firesweep Optional Power Pack V-8. (Dodge-sourced engine). Overhead valves, polyspheric combustion chamber. Cast iron block. Displacement: 325 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.69" x 3.80". Compression ratio: 8.5:1. Horsepower: 260 @ 4400 RPM. Torque: 335 @ 2400 RPM. Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter WCFB four-barrel model 2532S. Dual exhaust standard.

  • Firedome Series V-8: Overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chamber. Displacement: 341.4 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.78" x 3.80". Compression ratio: 9.25:1. Horsepower: 270 @ 4600 RPM. Torque: 350 @ 2400 RPM. Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetor: Ball & Ball Two-barrel model bbd-2522S.

  • Fireflite Series and Firedome Power Pack V-8: Overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chamber. Displacement: 341.4 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.78" x 3.80". Compression ratio: 9.25:1 Horsepower: 295 @ 4600 RPM. Torque: 390 @ 2400 RPM. Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetion: Carter WCFB four-barrel model 2588S. Dual exhaust optional.

  • Adventurer V-8: Overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chambers with enlarged valve ports, high-lift camshaft, larger diameter valves and stiffer valve springs. Modified slipper pistons, heavy-duty connecting rods and shot peened crankshaft. Displacement: 345.0 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.80" x 3.80". Compression ratio: 9.25:1. Horsepower: 345 at 5200 RPM. Torque: 390 @ 2400 RPM. Five main bearings. Special long duration camshaft. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetion: Carter dual four-barrel WCFB Carburetors, front model 2365S, rear model 2636S. Dual exhaust standard..


CHASSIS:

  • Wheelbase: Firesweep 122". All others 126".
  • Overall length: Firesweep station wagon 217.4". Firesweep passenger cars 215.8". Adventurer 221". All other station wagons 219.5". All passenger cars 218".
  • Front tread: Firesweep 60.9". All others 61".
  • Rear tread: All 59.7".
  • Tires: Firedome, Fireflite and Adventurer 8.50 x 14. Firesweep 8.00 x 14.


POWERTRAIN OPTIONS:

  • Automatic transmissions were now considered standard DeSoto equipment at additional cost for lower cost for Firedome and Firesweep models; no extra cost for Fireflites and Adventurers. Push button gear selection was standard with either automatic transmissions.
  • Powerflite automatic transmission was offered only in Firesweep models at $180.
  • Torqueflite automatic transmission was offered in all lines ($220 option on Firedome and Firesweep, standard on Fireflite and Adventurer).
  • Three-speed manual transmission with column mounted gear shifting was standard on all models except Fireflite and Adventurer. It was an infrequently ordered  and was a "deduct option".


SIGNIFICANT OPTIONS:

  • Air conditioning w/group order ($404).
  • Air Conditioning with Fresh Air heater ($493).
  • Air Foam seat cushions - standard on Firedome, Fireflite, Adventurer, optional on Firesweep ($11).
  • Air rest on four-door and sport models ($27).
  • Antenna, dual rear ($16).
  • Antenna, power single ($24).
  • Clock, self-winding, steering wheel clock ($30).
  • Clock, electric  ($18).
  • Dual exhausts, except on Adventurer, ($34).
  • Engine - four-barrel power-pack, Firesweep only ($45).
  • Firesweep backup lights ($12) - standard all others.
  • Front and rear carpets in Firesweep - standard on Firedome, Fireflite, Adventurer ($14).
  • Heater, Fresh Air ($89).
  • Heater, Instant Air ($157).
  • Non-Slip differential ($50).
  • Outside mirror ($6).
  • Padded safety dash panel ($21) - standard on Adventurer.
  • Power brakes ($39).
  • Power seat, six-way ($101).
  • Power steering ($106).
  • Power window lifts ($106).
  • Radio, standard with antenna ($120).
  • Radio, Electro Tune with antenna ($140).
  • Rear seat speaker ($15).
  • Rear window defogger ($21).
  • Special paint finish, solid or two-tone ($71).
  • Tinted glass ($32).
  • Two-tone finish, standard type ($19).
  • Undercoating ($14).
  • Variable speed windshield wiper - standard on Firedome, Fireflite, Adventurer ($7).
  • Wheel covers ($16).
  • Whitewalls, standard on Adventurer ($42-45).
  • Windshield washer ($12).


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: The 1957 DeSoto Adventurer was the first base-model U.S. car to provide one horsepower per cubic inch of displacement, as the 345 horsepower engine was not considered optional equipment. The 1956 Chrysler 300-B and 1957 Chevrolet were available with one horsepower per cubic inch V-8s as optional equipment. The Firesweep line made DeSoto the only maker in the medium-low price field to achieve a gain in new car sales over the previous season. 


PRODUCTION: Model year production peaked at 178,594 units, topping all Post-War DeSoto yearly production figures. As such, DeSoto earned 1.63 percent of total U.S. auto sales for 1957. See attached chart for production numbers.


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The 1957 DeSoto Adventurer boasted 345 HP from 345 CID—and could back up the claim! The convertible Adventurer was a new offering, but came late in the year and only 300 were made.

The 1957 Adventurer hardtop also bowed late, in December 1956. Even so, 1,650 were delivered, ensuring that the model would continue.

The 1957 DeSoto Fireflite 4-door Sedan was the line's best seller at 11,565 units.

The 1957 Fireflite 2-door Sportsman Hardtop was the sporty hardtop model just below the Adventurer and sold well at 7,217 units.

The 1957 Fireflite Convertible had a base price of $3,890. It was less expensive than the two Adventurer models as could be expected, but surprisingly less than the Fireflite station wagons. 1,151 were produced.

The 1957 Fireflite Sportsman 4-door Hardtop was a good seller as well, with 6,726 delivered.

The 1957 Fireflite Explorer 9-passenger wagon shown here was more expensive than an Adventurer Hardtop with a $4,124 base price. Surprisingly more (934) were sold than the less expensive 6-passenger Shopper.

The 1957 Firedome Convertible was differentiated from the Fireflite by a lower HP V-8 and a less luxurious interior. Though $500 less expensive, only 1,297 left the factory.

The 1957 Firedome Sportsman 2-door Hardtop was as sporty as the more powerful and better equipped Fireflite version, but was a bigger sales success. 12,179 units were sold.

The 1957 DeSoto Firedome Sportsman 4-door Hardtop was not as popular as the 2-door version, but still sold 9,050 units.

Solid and straightforward, the 1957 Firedome 4-door Sedan was DeSoto's best seller for this year at 23,339 units.

The new for 1957 Firesweep models used the 122" Dodge chassis and were headlined by the 2-door Sportsman Hardtop that sold 13,333 units.

The 1957 DeSoto FireSweep Sportsman 4-door Hardtop sold well for a new introduction. 7,168 were delivered.

The 1957 DeSoto Firesweep 4-door Sedan was a solid seller at 17,300 units, due to its more reasonable pricing but still with the DeSoto's sharp looks.

The 1957 DeSoto Firesweep Wagons came in 6- and 9-passenger versions. Like the Fireflite wagons, the were called "Explorer" (9-passenger) and "Shopper" (6-passenger). They sold 1,198 and 2,270, respectively.

 

1957 DeSoto wagons finally had a similar fin and rear tail lights. The lenses were the same but the bezel was different.

The 1957 DeSoto Fireflite and Firedome (left) models had similar front facias, but the Firesweep (right) used the Dodge front with a DeSoto bumper.

The 1957 DeSoto Adventurer had 345 advertised horsepower 1HP per CID as its normal engine – not an option like others like the FI Chevrolet. This V-8 was definitely a high output engine, with a 280/270 degree 0.430/0.413" lift camshaft, dual valve springs

1957 DeSoto Production - all series

   


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