Safety and comfort are among the keywords in this classic promotional spot for the 1950 DeSoto. Let’s ride along.
We will always have a place for DeSoto here at Mac’s Motor City Garage, even though the brand never quite carved out a distinct place for itself in the Chrysler family of cars. Originally slotted in above Plymouth and just below Dodge when it was introduced in 1928, DeSoto was later moved upmarket to fit between Dodge and Chrysler in price and features. Maybe it’s this lack of a clear product identity, in part, that makes DeSoto such an interesting study today.
While the division often struggled for sales over its 33-year history, 1950 was a pretty solid year for DeSoto, with more than 136,000 vehicles produced. This was the first year for the Sportsman, DeSoto’s name for the two-door pillarless hardtop body style, and an example is featured at around the halfway point of this original 1950 commercial spot. There’s also mention of driving “without shifting,” a reference to Chrysler’s Fluid Drive system, which permitted leisurely clutchless starts. Extra-cost options included radio, whitewall tires, and check this out: an illuminated hood ornament. Who could pass that up? Video below.