Video: Presenting the Forward Look 1956 DeSoto

1956 DeSoto HardtopDeSoto had plenty to talk about for 1956, including new body styles and a bigger, more muscular hemi V8 engine. Check out all the changes for ’56 in this original promotional spot from the classic Groucho Marx show, You Bet Your Life. 



Fans of the golden age of television will immediately recognize the voice and face in this promotional spot. Here’s the suave George Fenneman, announcer and straight man for the incomparable Groucho Marx in the classic 1950-1961 NBC game show, You Bet Your Life, in which DeSoto was the presenting sponsor. Alas, Groucho doesn’t appear in this spot, though he did usually end each show with the phrase, “Friends, go in to see your DeSoto-Plymouth dealer tomorrow. And when you do, tell ’em Groucho sent you.”

DeSoto had plenty to talk about for 1956, including freshened-up Forward Look styling, a larger 330.4 CID hemi V8 with 255 hp (320 hp in the Adventurer) and push-button controls for the Powerflite automatic transmission. Also new were Chrysler’s powerful Center Plane brakes and a 12-volt electrical system. Though they’re not mentioned in this spot, a Fireflite convertible served as the pace car for the Indy 500 that year, and there was a sporty new body style, the Fireflite Sportsman, a pillarless four-door hardtop. The new DeSoto, Finneman croons, is “the car that’s delightful to drive, de-lovely to see—the delightful, de-lovely DeSoto for 1956.” Enjoy the video.


One thought on “Video: Presenting the Forward Look 1956 DeSoto

  1. The Chrysler center plane brakes are really difficult to adjust properly, but once you get them right they work like no other drum brakes. Typical Chrysler over engineering.

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