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1956 DeSoto Adventurer 2 Door Hardtop

We are excited to be able to do our second restoration of a '56 DeSoto.  This one is an Adventurer, well equipped with a 341cid Hemi, dual 4 barrels, dual exhaust, dual antennas, and a HiWay HiFi Record Player that I was told would "skip a little at around 130 mph".

 

Follow our progress!  Oldest pictures are at the bottom of the page.

 

              

 

 


 

 

 


 

Click on the image above for a video of the engine coming to life after more than 30 years of storage.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The 2012 McPherson Kansas All School's Day Parade

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Relaxin' after all that show prep!

 

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Our 1st event was the 2012 McPherson College Car Show

We're pleased to have received 1st in Class and Best of Show.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

new antenaa masts on original bases

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

rebuilt cushion replaces the deteriorated foam

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

installed cusion cover

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Mopar installed these stickers to the horns in 1956 to help service techs and parts managers recognize that these horns were now 12 volt, where all previous horns were 6 volt.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Restored Hiway HiFi

Click HERE to watch a short video of it playing!

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Loaded up and off to Goldfield Trim and Upholstery for interior work

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Rear side panel

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Assembled rear seat area.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Body color overspray on the perimeter of the hood underside as correct from the factory

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

dusty, but coming together!


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Wiring junction block for the headlights, front markers, and horns.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Original and NOS tail light lenses cleaned and polished

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

painting details on the re-chromed tail light towers


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

photo courtesy Goldfield Trim and Upholstery

rebuilt rear seat cushion by Goldfield Trim

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

photo courtesy Goldfield Trim and Upholstery

completed rear seat cover ready to be installed

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

new wiring on the original voltage regulator.

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

photo courtesy Goldfield Trim and Upholstery

rear seat back rest

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

photo courtesy Goldfield Trim and Upholstery

 rear seat arm rest cover

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

photo courtesy Goldfield Trim and Upholstery

package tray with correct holes for AC and rear speaker


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

How the front sheetmetal is bolted together determines the fit of the grill chrome, so we held that back from the chrome shop until we were satisfied with the fit.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 Using the hood to align the front clip.  Once we're happy, the hood can come back off and go to paint.

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

New side panel, with stitching using correct sized black thread

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 Getting the front clip sheetmetal installed

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

New wiring on restored original horn and starter relays


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

comparing the new cloth against the old

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

new interior side panels

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The backside of the interior panels showing the new construction.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

New cloth ready to go to the upholstery shop.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

"Bling" comes in many shapes, sizes, and gloss levels.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Newly applied cushioning rubber on the loom retainers

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Sub-assemblies starting to come together, albeit a little dusty.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

More parts waiting their turn.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Correct gray on the backside of the wheels

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Black face on the wheel along with the detailed wheelcover retainer clips

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Wiring harness loom retainers cleaned up


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The aluminum Airtemp tag cleaned up well!

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Correct, Goodyear 2 3/4" wide white wall tires.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

correct brackets fabricated from patterns retain the AC lines along the passenger frame rail

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

the original resistor for the A/C circuitry

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The color sweep on the fenders is done by an additional piece of metal.  This saved the factory from having to mask and do 2 paint jobs on the front fenders


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

An original but rusty AC hood latch bracket, along with a non AC bracket correctly modified.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Fabricating new AC lines

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

AC blower motor ready to reinstall into the trunk mounted evaporator unit.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

AC switch installed

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

repairing the rust out on the rear seat armrest

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Visor bracket reinstalled into the windshield header


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

old harness on the AC dash switch.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Cleaning the guts of the AC switch


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Re-assembled chrome

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

rear window with new chrome on the upper frame, and correct cad plated lower track.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

New embossed vinyl for the rear seat.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

More bling!

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Fenders in paint


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

new decal graphics for the fender chevrons

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

checkerboard, restored chevrons

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

out on the trailer ready to go for exhaust work


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

6 bladed AC waterpump fan

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

new "fuzzies" on the rear window guides

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

rubber flaps on the inner fenders are applied with staples as original


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Rebuilt carbs ready to go

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Wiring.....

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Wiring and a newly vulcanized brake pedal


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Back window in!

The hole in the quarter panel for the A/C vent provided a nice "cup holder" for our soapy water to lubricate the weatherstrip.

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Here's the bottom of the exterior stainless that goes on the lower sweep on the quarter panel before fixing the dents.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

New exhaust deflectors wait there turn.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

New trinidad carpet with the gold thread weave

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Trunk light with new wiring


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Mariah is still smiling working on the wiring harness.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

New harness on the back of the gauge cluster.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Dash starting to come back together with a new dash pad from Just Dashes

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Windshield in!

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Gauges go back together with newly gold plated center buttons.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The exterior stainless is cataloged and sent out for polishing

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Goldfield Trim and Upholstery sews up a new headliner and comes to the shop to install it.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The linkage from the accelerator to the bell crank "before"

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The accelerator pedal bracket with cleaned up and new dust boot.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

After re-assembly and a new core, the radiator gets painted.  The core is masked for an application of correct paint for radiators.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

More parts!

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

The hardware comes back freshly cadmium plated and looks brand new again.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Fuel tank cleaned, bodyworked, and painted to resemble "tank tone"


     

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The radiator top tank is removed from the core and the dents are metal finished out.


     

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

After polishing, the body is put back on the frame.

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Engine masked and ready for paint

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

drive shaft

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

All new wiring.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

all those parts that were "bagged and tagged" come back out so that we can start putting things back together.

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

detailed differential

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

differential and axle housing


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

correctly detailed chassis hardware

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

these are the original exhaust clamps and will be saved.  The rest of the original hangars are present, too.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Lots and lots of individual parts.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

This is the backside of the power brake booster mounting bracket, and shows us the correct level of gloss for the black on the engine compartment accessories. Quite glossy, actually.

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The frame in the booth getting primed

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Rewelding the section of the frame back in.  Since the body will be covering this area, we reduced the amount of time necessary to "pretty it up".  A quick grinding of the welds and we're done.

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The crossmember center section straightened and ready for reinstallation

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The bottom of the frame had a series of dents in it, so we cut the top section open so that we could swing a hammer and move the metal back to where it was

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The center of the front crossmember was damaged most likely by a jack used to raise the front of the car.  We cut that section out so that we could straighten it.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

While the frame section was exposed, we brushed in some corrosion resistant paint.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

Brake teardown


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The frame and it's components are completely stripped and ready for sanblasting

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

The passenger side gets the same repair

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restorations Hemi

 


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer 341 Hemi Stellar Antique Auto Restoration

The Hemi is ready to come out.

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Hemi Engine Stellar Antique Auto Restoration

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer Stellar Antique Auto Restoration

Prior to disassembly, the brake assemblies are documented.


     

 


1956 DeSoto Adventurer restoration

The panel is welded solid, and then a corrosion resistant primer is applied.

 

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer restoration quarter panel repair.

The outer panel is tacked and then welded using the TIG welder.

 

1956 DeSoto Adventurer restoration Stellar Antique Auto Restorations

The low profile and small heat zone of the TIG weld.


     

 


The panel is tacked into place.

 

 

 The new outer panel is temporarily in place.

 

The same repair for the passenger side.


     

 


 

 

 

creating the beads in the metal

 old and new


     

 


 

 

 

Paper template maps out the shape we need to make

 

The template is taken to a metal blank and the details are drawn out.


     

 

 

 

A crease in the passenger quarterpanel


     

The roof in primer

 

 


     

 


The initial cut indicates what lies behind.

 

 

Dirt and rust accumulated in the quarter

Quite the pile of crud out of the panel


     

 


 

 

One week after having the sheetmetal back from the media blaster, and most of the metal parts (besides the body) are in their first application of high build primer.

 

A short clip evaluating the rust out of the quarter.


     

 


Fully TIG welded in place

 

A light skim finishes out the area.

The green primer is a self-etching primer that provides excellent adhesion.


     

Another shot of the "S", but you have to look close.

These holes are leftover from the installation of the underdash AC, and are no longer necessary.

Patches tacked in place.


     

A few places have some rust;  this is the passenger rear quarter behind the wheel.  Same situation for the driver's side.  There's also a small amount at the front of the passenger wheelhouse.

 

Excellent trunk floor.  The sandblaster took a quick pass on the undercoating here and removed whatever "volunteered"  to come off.

It's faint, but it appears that the number '24" is apparent on the metal in the cowl area.  Above that is "S",  The '56 Adventurer is a sub model of the S24 Fireflite.


     

 


The lead shown here is a repair

"REP" shadowed on the metal.  A work order to "repair" the panel?

We knew there was some damage on the rear left quarter panel.


     

Being unloaded at the media blaster.  The outside surfaces of the body will recieve plastic media blasting, while the underside of the body, door jambs, and firewall will recieve sandblasting.

 

 

Dave at FH@B does is usual excellent job of getting all the unwanted gunk off the car.

There wasn't anything wrong at all with the undercoating on the floor, so we had the mediablaster  leave it alone.


     

 


Part of restoration is "archeology", discovering the factory method in which the car was assembled.  In addition to the gold paint found under the other areas of the body, evidence shows that the doors were painted entirely in gold prior to the black being applied.

 

 

Gold is over then entire door as shown in the following 2 images, not just in the area of the sweep.


     

photo courtesy roadkillontheweb.com

 

 

 

 

photo courtesy roadkillontheweb.com

Here's an image with the factory installation of the record player.  Look out the front left of the windshield and looky what's there!  Looks black and gold to me!


     

 

 


 

 

 


     

 


Replacement is clamped in and ready for welding.

Only factory holes, now!

Body off the frame and ready to be sent off for media blasting


     

 


Factory markings on the back of the decklid .

 

With the numerous rough cuts made into the package tray for the aftermarket AC, we decided it was quicker and a better repair to remove the package tray and install another with a replacement from the other car.


     


No paint on the decklid where the hinge was.

There's very little paint in the front jam of the decklid, which makes sense with the lid installed on the car when it was painted.  Also difficult to see here is that there's gold paint overspray on the outer jam of the lid

Some sanding on the fin of the quarter panel reveals that there's gold paint under the black.


     

A little polish on the paint reveals a secret....

Some light sanding to the area reveals the factory stamp.

CW

17

More production secrets;  After removing the trunk lid, there's no paint between the lid and the hinge.  This tells us that the decklid was on the car when it was painted.


     

starter relay

The housing for the starter relay goes for cad plating.  Here's the guts

We're used to seeing an inspection stamp on the cowl in this area.


     

The front sheetmetal off.  A few more details to disassemble with the main body, and then it is ready to come off and then off to the media blaster!

inner and outer front fender

more bag and tag and documentation


     

Here's the attached piece after the weld was ground down.

With the front grill trim fit, we began disassembling the sheetmetal from the front of the car


     

 


The fit of the center seam on the upper grill trim didn't line up, nor was it actually in the center of the car.

The first trial fit lines up the back edge.  Next is to get it actually into the center of the car.

For the passenger side grill trim, I took another approach to correcting the fit of the pot metal.  This time I welded more potmetal onto the trim and ground it down to fit, rather than trying to build up the entire area just with muggy weld.  It went much better.


     

 


The factory fit of the passenger grill trim.  I've already gently pushed the trim in to better fit with a little heat.

The black shaded area represents the amount of material that's been built up.

A test fit reveals that we're close, but still need a little nit-picking.

 


     

 


A paper template provided by a club member of the National DeSoto Club shows us where to put the A/C air intake.

The A/C intake hood mounted to the quarter.

 

 


     

Metal finishing of the crease to correct the metal without filler.

 

The line from the rocker to the fender is now straight as it should be.

A quick pass with the body grinder and some sanding with the DA finishes the metal.

 


     

 


The damage to the left fender caused an unslightly gap from the rocker to the fender.

Re-orienting the mounting points of the fender, and some manipulation of the fender well establishes a much better line on the sheetmetal.  The fit of the inner fender has been corrrected, too.

 

A straight edge on the fender shows a gap at the crease.


     

 


The driver's fender suffered a light crease.  The arrow highlights the increased gap related to the inner fender.

Another view of the wide gap at the rear of the fender wheelhouse.

 

A straightedge on the passenger side rocker panel shows a straight line from the rocker panel to the front fender.


     

Dash components out

Rear glass out

 

 

 


     

Disassembled gauge cluster

Some critters managed to get above the headliner and set up housekeeping.

Headliner out reveals the factrory insulation

 


     

Speaker grill to the right of the glovebox door

Disassembled gauges

Front windshield out.


     

Disassembly continues with interior components.  More documentation, bagging, and tagging.

Dash Disassembly

Dash mounted clock.


     

 


Power window motor

Paying attention to the finish on various parts;  the screw heads are not painted on the anti-rattle wedge, indicating that this part was installed after the car was painted.

The loor latch (and the latch hood that has been removed) were installed before the car was painted.  This is evidenced by the fact that there wasn't any paint under these parts.


     

 


Vintage business card. 

Production date on the interior panels.

The guy with the undercoating gun must have really been flinging it around.

 


     

An unexposed flap of carpeting shows the original gold thread woven into it.

Childhood makeup mirror found under the rear seat

And a really cool Mercedes matchbox found under the front seat.


     

 


Every car has a story to tell.  The carpet over the transmission tunnel in the back seat is worn through to the floorboard.

Awesome embossement in the back seat

Removing the rear courtesy light reveals clean headlining underneath.


     

 


Photo documentation of the interior begins the disassembly process.

 


     

 


Hardware that will be cadmium plated ends up in a common barrell at the plater, so we must keep a record of individual parts as they will come back in one big bag and no longer be sorted.

 

Keeping a record of the routing of the wiring.

The reinforcing bracket for the hood latch plate was torched when the aftermarket AC was installed.


     

 


Alignment of the adjoining pieces needs worked.

 

Disassembly photos help to keep a record for when it's time to go back together.

One of these things is not like the other.......


     

 


After adjustment of the stone guard and grill extension, the fit of the parts lines up again.

 

The replacement upper grill molding doesn't line up well with the left grill extension.

After a little heat, the potmetal softens up and can be gently moved into alignment.


     

 


An engine installed in a '56 Fireflite Convertible sporting the Adventurer's 4 bbl intake and batwing aircleaner.  Black sparkplug wire covers with red lettering.

The gold cad plating on the bolt heads is not correct from an "authenticity" standpoint, nor are the hose clamps.

It's a very attractive engine comparment, however.

An engine installed into a '56 Adventurer, also with gold valve covers, black sparkplug wire covers, and red lettering.

An engine installed in a '57 Adventurer, with an (incorrect ) gold block, valve covers, and sparkplug wire covers.  Interestingly, the sparkplug wire covers say "Firedome", rather than the correct "Fireflite"


     

Conventional wisdom says that all '56 Desoto engines were painted at the factory with silver color on an assembled engine.  Generators, pulleys, brackets and accessories were black and installed after the engine was painted.  Evidence from other Adventurer vehicles shows that some were painted with gold valve covers.  Recent examples sold at high profile auctions show gold on silver.  A fully gold block such as the '57 Adventurer engine shown is incorrect.

 


The waterpump shows mostly silver paint, with an area that may be discolored from heat

The timing cover shows silver behind the idler pulley.

 


     

 


Many engines in restored cars have black sparkplug wire covers, but our car's are gold, and show no evidence of ever having been black, or silver.

 

The lettering on the sparkplug wire covers shows evidence of originality and show the hasitly painted lettering done with a stencil.

The backside of the plug wire covers has gold color creeping under the backside, also showing no evidence of black or silver.


     

 


A silver head with a gold valve cover

Removing the spark plug wire cover reveals no evidence of a color change.

The intake does not show any evidence of gold paint.


     

Part of proper restoration involves research and documentation.  Even "production" cars had anomolies, and cars could be ordered according to a customer's wish.  So even when we might say "DeSoto engines were painted silver" it is important to check and document an individual car.   The series of images above show what we found on our DeSoto Adventurer.

 


The Mark IV parts are off the engine, and the Airtemp parts are being fitted

The holes in the radiator core support that we need to repair.

Trial fitting of the brackets.


     

 


The Airtemp evaporator mounted under the package tray

 

The Airtemp's cool air duct mocked up in place.


     

 


The aftermarket A/C air vents

 

And the holes they left in the package tray.

A pretty nice original trunk mat, which is not reproduced.


     

 


 

 

 


     

 

 


Interior lights work.

 

 


     

 

 

 


The Beginning! 

After a quick bath, we applied polish to a small area of the roof just to see how well the paint could be revived.

The engine has the important "S24A" serial number indicating that it is in fact an Adventurer engine.

A charged battery reveals that most of the lights still work on the car.