Diecast: NEO’s 1956 DeSoto Firedome

Pink DeSoto Firedome will light up a display case …

Pink was a hot color in the 1950s. Think Florida, think flamingos, think the Latin influence of Cuba and Desi and Lucy. Two-tone cars also were all the rage as the nation climbed out of the gloomy war years into the bustling 1950s.

So, a two-tone pink and metallic rosy dark pink 1956 DeSoto Firedome 4-door Seville seems to perfectly reflect the mid-1950s’ look and feel in the automotive world. To that end, NEO has cranked out a beautifully finished and detailed 1/43 model of the DeSoto, aglitter with chrome trim.

The History

DeSoto’s full-sized Firedome was made between 1952 and 1959 and originally was a premium level car featuring a V8 engine, while its Powermaster models carried 6-cylinder engines. DeSoto, a division of Chrysler Corp. at the time, couldn’t make up its mind though on positioning the Firedome lineup. So for the 1955-’56 model years, Firedome was bumped down to an entry-level price tag and then back to mid-level lineup by 1957. 

Firedome models featured a powerful 291 cid V8 that made 185 horsepower in 1955 and that was boosted to 230 horses for 1956. So the Firedome’s were muscular and came in 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan and wagon models, plus a 2-door convertible.  The 4-door in Seville trim is what Neo delivers here. This rode on a monster 126-inch wheelbase, making it a big family hauler.

Sadly the DeSoto seemed to always bounce around in Chrysler and Dodge’s stable. By 1960 the gig was up and the brand disappeared in late 1960, just after it had announced its 1961 lineup. The brand had lasted 32 years.

The Model

I fell in love with the DeSoto as soon as I opened the box. It’s twin color combo is an eye-melter and the front and rear bumpers and photo-etched grille give the car more shelf presence than most models.

There are chrome headlight hoods and beautiful jewel-like headlights. I’ve always loved DeSotos for their triple stacked taillights and these absolutely sparkle with their chrome backing. Door handles are chrome as is the driver’s side mirror and PE side window and vent window frames. Plus the Firedome and Seville V8 script on the sides, and DeSoto nameplates front and rear are chrome finished.

Window trim around the windshield and over the doors is painted silver, but it is crisply executed, as is the paint scheme.

The car rides on wide white-sidewall treaded tires that surround beautiful chrome hubcaps. Two chrome-tipped exhausts exit under the back bumper.

Inside, the DeSoto continues the pink theme with white and pink ribbed bench seats and door panels. Detail is strong inside too with silver painted door handles and window cranks on the doors and a big two-spoke steering wheel with horn ring. The dash is a twin-cockpit style and black on top with chrome and white passenger side dash face/glove box and a small clock atop the dash. The driver’s side gauges are visible, but appear minimal in detail.

For those who care about such things, the car features a green New Hampshire license plate front and rear.

This DeSoto is a stellar 1/43 model that in this color will be the center of attention among like-sized models.

Vital Stats: 1956 DeSoto Firedome 4-Door Seville

Maker: NEO
Scale: 1/43
Stock No.: NEO46851
MSRP: $89.95

Link: American-Excellence.com



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