If you don’t remember DeSoto, no worries. They’ve been gone for almost sixty years. If you do, you’re probably a car nut. Once a significant part of Chrysler Corporation’s hierarchy, slotted in between Chrysler itself and Dodge in the lineup, the 1958 recession caused the marque to stumble, and stumble badly. Final DeSotos were built in an abbreviated 1961 model year. And that was that.
As recently as 1957, DeSoto had a great year, with over 117,000 finny Forward Look motor vehicles produced. Things came to a sudden stop in 1958. Thanks to the aforementioned ’58 recession, all car sales took a hit. But DeSoto still fared worse than the average bear, with sales dipping down to under 50,000 units.