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Chrysler De Soto 1939 Custom

De Soto Company was founded in 1928 by Walter P. Chrysler. It sprang up as a part of Chrysler syndicate together with marques like Dodge and Plymouth. Its vehicles should have competed with Oldsmobile, Nash and Pontiac. It was called after Spanish conqueror Hernand de Soto. Cars of American compact car class were coming out of its gateway. In the late 50’s when the demand for the cars of this category decreased, was the production put to a termination and in 1961 definitely closed. During its inherence more than 2 million cars have been produced.

De Soto Six from 1938 is the model, which answered for a basis of construction. The bodywork is four-door. The interior offered a place for five or even six passengers. Originally it was driven by 3738 cm3 6-cylinder in-line engine with OHV distribution put in the front. This engine produced a maximum output of 68 kW (93 PS) at 3600 rpm. There was a three-speed transmission, backwheel drive, axle perch 3023mm, weight of approximately 1500 kg. A maximum speed - 140 kph.

We have the honour to introduce something exceptional to you today. We talk about the beautiful classic from 1938, De Soto Six in the modification, which isn’t seen very often. It is a decoration of every meeting, everywhere, where it appears, it arises earned attention. The owner of this beauty is Paul Caslava alias “Pavka” from the Czech Republic.

Paul is literally obsessed with us cars. It means that he really likes them. They have become the inseparable part of his life. His love of cars from the USA isn’t only Platonic now. He dearly puts brain to their renovations and modifications. He has already dreamed a long time about creating something unusual, something which he will idolize and realize his ideas on. Something what will be like reflection of his work.

Chryslet De Soto
Project De Soto sprang up more or less by chance. Sometime in 1996 Paul learned from his friend that there is an old, unknown America hiding in old barn, close to Brno. They immediately jumped into the car and set for the village which was only 30 km away from Brno. After arrival they saw an old, rusted through and destroyed car mired up to the splash boards.

But Paul was struck by immediate idea. He took no denial by the first impression and with help of tractor they rescued the car from couple years old mire silts. From the first time, as Paul saw the car, it was clear for him, that this vehicle won’t be renovate to its original variant, but it will become some reflection of his craftsmanship and imagination.

After arrival to the manufactory he thoroughly inspected the car. Floor and its components were completely disintegrated by corrosion influence. The original 6-cylinder in-line engine had three times broken cylinder block and rusted pistons. None the better were transmission and car chassis. The interior, if it could be called so, was in miserable and ramshackle condition. From the whole car only bodywork was available.

Car – producer and type:Chrysler DeSoto 1939
Engine: 4.0-litre 6-cylinder in-line engine
Output: 130 ps
Maximum speed:180 kph
Wheels (marque, type, size):sheet metal 15x7,5
Bodywork colour:dark blue
Bodywork dimensions:lenght=5230mm, width=1750mm
Weight:1650 kg
Type of bodywork: four door
Audio: radio
Car – producer and type:Chrysler DeSoto 1939
Engine: OHV 4.0-litre 6-cylinder in-line engine
Output:204 ps
Maximum speed:180 kph, it is not recommended to drive faster – bad aerodynamics of the bodywork
Acceleration from 0 to 100 kph:14,4 s
Wheels (marque, type, size):American racing 15x10
Tires (marque, type, size):American Eagle, 275x15x50 at the front and 295x15x50 at the rear
Bodywork colour:from under to the top – dark green-gold-beige metallized lacquer
Bodywork dimensions:length=5420mm, width=2050mm
Weight:1650 kg
Tuning accessories – producer and type:headlamps Chevrolet Camaro + additional, back up lights – handmade, Harley-Davidson glass, windows foils
Audio: Autoradio with DVD original Chrysler

Original Chrysler De Soto 1939 gallery:



Chrysler De Soto
It was a vital wound for Paul or it was by chance that he bought a crashed Jeep Grand Cherokee, year 1994, with 4 liter engine and 4 MOTION all wheel drive. The bodywork of this Jeep was destroyed, but aggregates and all mechanical parts of the vehicle were perfectly all right. Then Paul was struck by a crazy and for many unimaginable idea. He wanted to join the bodywork of De Soto with aggregates and axletrees of the Jeep.

Do you think that it is impossible? Contrary is the case. Of course, the primary problem was the connection of like a set of rungs frame holding mouldered bodywork of De Soto in a body with aggregates and axletrees of the Jeep mounted in the monocoque body. The only possible solution was to mount De Soto’s bodywork on the car chassis of the Jeep. Paul solved the problem of differences between dimensions by extending the bodywork of De Soto by the whole 36 cm. Perfect assembly reinforcement was necessity. For example, there were used mountings with dimensions of 10x8 cm only in the side skirts.

After successful transplantation of the Jeep’s car chassis onto the bodywork of De Soto, the next step was the bodywork modification. All modifications had to be designed in the custom spirit. Front splash boards were modified at first. Their shape had to be tuned as to fit to the on-coming chrome wheels with dimensions of 10x15-inch.

The original headlamps were removed and they were replaced by headlamps from Chevrolet Camaro. It was necessary to do another modification on the front splash boards as to mount the headlamps properly. The front part of the car remained untouched thanks to its beautiful chrome cooler mask. The front hood was weld to one compact whole, fixed on the hinges above the cooler. The side part of the bodywork was expunged; all openings on the car handles and locks were weld. The rear doors are opened in anti-drive direction. Mechanics of doors and windows opening comes also from the Jeep.

Chrysler De Soto
The rear part of the car required most of the work done. Thanks to different dimensions of bodywork and car chassis, the rear part had to be completely reconstructed. The most notable is reconstruction of the lower part, where are the rear splash-boards. Choosing a suitable color for the car was also very complicated. It was important to choose an interesting color, which, at the same time, will go together with the car. Three-color combination with gradual shade crossing was chosen at the end.

And now, something about the interior. Of course, it comes from the Jeep. It really suits here by its approach and mainly by the shape of instrument board. There are all elements of comfort included, namely: automatic air-conditioning, board computer, leather seats. There is also CD receiver together with DVD player with output for 7-inch LCD monitor to make the drive more comfortable. The interior is interesting also by some witty details (rifles, guns) evoking gangster cars from the 30’s and 40’s of the last century.

Modified Custom Chrysler De Soto 1939



The car is powered of course by the engine from the Jeep Grand Cherokee. 4.0-litre aggregate with OHV produces a maximum output of 150 kW (204PS) and its torque is 325 Nm. It includes also 4-speed automatic transmission and 4 MOTION all wheel drive. Quaternion of disc brakes, borrowed also from the Jeep, takes care of reliable braking.

Paul and his wife are very famous and popular on “us cars” meetings, which are held from Poland, through Germany, Belgium to Italy. Wherever they come, a great attention is paid to them and their honey. 42 cups from meetings all over the Europe is a fact which shows how perfect this car is. And these cups are in most of cases from Best of Show. And finally, Paul presented its honey also on the Discovery broadcast.
Cars in the custom style aren’t seen very often on our pages. Only a few enthusiasts are fond of them. But it all the more gives us pleasure when we can present such a jewel and show, that mania called tuning mania can be developed in such a direction.

What is your opinion on this Chrysler De Soto?

Source: Tuningmag.net

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