'DeSoto' was a brand name given by Walter P. Chrysler in 1928 to a new mid price range of cars. Hernando de Soto discovered the Mississippi River in the 16th century, although he was less than kind to thousands of people he discovered on his way. In 1934 the DeSoto Airflow gave a new streamlined style to American cars, but the public wouldn't buy it and Chrysler pulled it in 1936. DeSoto Airstream models were more conventional, and in 1939 a new bodyshell grew sales for the brand, with the 1941 'Rocket' restyle being well received. But DeSoto ran out of steam and by 1960 Chrysler realised it couldn't run four brands so the final DeSotos were sold that year. Chrysler then launched the Newport model into the DeSoto price range and ironically cheapened the 'Chrysler' brand which started terminal decline.
aa DeSoto Custom 1946 badge
DeSoto Custom 1946. A 3.9-litre 6-cylinder engine powered the DeSoto mated to Fluid drive transmission developed for Chrysler Group cars. A driver could change gear using the clutch or simply leave in one gear and let the transmission cope with changes of gear.