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jim greatorex

1941 or 42 desoto

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My father bought a 1941 or 42 desoto convertible with a plaid convertible top and hidden headlights. He insist it's a 41 but I say it's a 42. He bought it in Boston Ma car show around August of 41 drove it for 6 months then left for the war. I had a pic of it and lost it (he hates me for losing). It was maroon with cloth and leather interior. Any info would help

Thank You

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Welcome to the AACA Form Jim. What is it you're exactly wanting to know?

Wayne

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If it had hidden headlights, it was a 42. I had 2 of them. The 41 did not have concealed headlights.

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My father says it is a 41 I keep telling it was a 42. I guess I was looking for verifiction. He must be losing his memory. He says he bought it at a show it was siting on a carousel and it cost over 2000 which I thought was a lot for 41. During the war his cousin totaled it. My grandmother says that the goverment called her to buy the car for the army.THis could be a tall tale??

jim

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If it had hidden headlights it was a 42, no question.No other DeSoto had that feature.

He could have bought it as early as September 1941. New cars were usually introduced a few months before the new year.

They did not have a plaid top but could have had plaid seat covers.

In April of 1942 new car production ceased for the duration. All unsold cars were impounded in government warehouses and rationed out to essential users. Doctors and veterinarians were one class of essential users.

I suppose it is possible the government contacted owners of late model cars thru new car dealers or registration records in an effort to buy them back. But I never heard of this being done before.

List price of a 1942 DeSoto Deluxe convertible was $1317. With accessories, taxes, license and insurance it could well have taken a check for $2000 before the dealer said "take her Jackson, she's yours.".

That was a hell of a lot of money in 1942. You could buy a Ford or Chev sedan for around $700 bucks.

The DeSoto convertible was a pretty swanky car.

My old man was the same. He remembered things that were close but not right on the money. Given the long and eventful life he led it's not surprising he didn't recall every tiny detail.

Give him some slack and enjoy talking to him while you can.

Incidentally there is an excellent article on the 1940 - 1948 DeSotos in the February 2008 Collectible Automobile. I'm sure you and your dad will get a bang out of it.

One more thing. If you want to see a new 1942 DeSoto convertible in action get a movie called "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers". There are some scenes at the beginning of the movie showing the car in action, getting in an accident, and stranded at a garage.

Another movie with a 42 DeSoto convertible in it is Rio Rita with Abbot and Costello.

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Greetings Jim,

42_desoto1.jpg

This is my buddy Dave Bowman's unrestored '42 DeSoto Custom Convertible at a show in Charlotte a few years ago. It's one of (literally) a handful extant of the 489 produced during the war-shortened '42 model year.

For '42, they had a special brochure for optional interiors that included a plaid upholstery option. I'll get in touch with Dave later today, have him scan the page illustrating that interior, and post it soon.

Perhaps this will help settle the dispute.

Regards,

TG

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Thank you for the pic. Dad says his car was maroon I'm not sure but he said the top was electric and he might be confusing the top with the interior, he insists the top was plaid silk and the interior was leather with cloth. Now I have to save that pic and get it to him. It might shock his memory. Although I have to admit his memory is better than mine he's 85 and I'm 64. He insist he paid 2,000 seems like a lot. Could the cars at shows been customized? He remembers it had 18 lights in the grille?

jim

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jim greatorex</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Thank you for the pic. Dad says his car was maroon I'm not sure but he said the top was electric and he might be confusing the top with the interior, he insists the top was plaid silk and the interior was leather with cloth. Now I have to save that pic and get it to him. It might shock his memory. Although I have to admit his memory is better than mine he's 85 and I'm 64. He insist he paid 2,000 seems like a lot. Could the cars at shows been customized? He remembers it had 18 lights in the grille?

jim </div></div>

LSD wasn't discovered until 1944.

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Jim,

Your father has quite a vivid memory. Other than the parking and headlights, the only thing that lights up on the front of a '42 DeSoto is the Flying Goddess hood ornament.

What "refreshments" were they serving at that car show?!

TG

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Sometimes cars were titled in the year they were bought, not the model year. My Grandmother always told me that they had a 41 Studebaker. After she died, I found a picture of it and it was a 42. They had bought it in the fall of 41 and it was titled as a 41.

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