Monday, August 10, 2009

The DeSoto: "Exciting look and feel of the future"

A DeSoto station wagon taxi rumbles along the street in Havana

Chrysler made the DeSoto from 1928 to 1961. It's named after Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.
The DeSoto Fireflite car debuted in 1955 and was DeSoto's flagship model. It had a powerful 255-horsepower V8 engine and automatic transmission, Wikipedia says.
In 1957, Chrysler added a station wagon to the Fireflite line-up. Ads touted the wagons as having "the exciting look and feel of the future."
"Pups or people, there's plenty of room in a DeSoto Wagon," one ad said.
More than five decades later, all that space is coveted in Cuba, where some DeSotos are pressed into service as taxis.
Other DeSoto wagons - with the natural look of a hearse - are used for funeral services.


Chrysler announced it was halting production of the DeSoto in November 1960 and the brand quickly became associated with bad business decisions and failure. Yet DeSotos chug along in Cuba as if nothing happened.

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