10-11 October 2013

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Lot 102

1961 DeSoto Hardtop Coupe

  • Chassis no. 6113112247

Sold for $49,500

265 bhp, 361 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, Torqueflite pushbutton three-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with torsion bars, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 122 in.

  • One of 911 built in the last year of DeSoto production
  • Formerly of the Binder DeSoto Collection
  • Largely original, with 6,000 actual miles
  • Documentation from new

Introduced in late 1960, the 1961 DeSoto was available in only one series; gone were the Fireflites and Adventurers of olden days, as they were replaced by a single model offered in either two- or four-door hardtop form. Based upon the Chrysler Newport’s architecture, the cars were given a fashionable, canted quad headlamp treatment, as well as a unique grille design with two stacked tiers, a horizontal front bumper, revised tail lamps, and updated body side trim. The sole engine choice was the stout 361-cubic inch V-8, which produced 265 brake horsepower. Backing this powerful engine was a pushbutton-operated Torqueflite three-speed automatic transmission, with a manual transmission available as an option.

Forty-seven days after the introduction of the 1961 model, Chrysler pulled the plug on the DeSoto brand, and production at the Jefferson Avenue plant wound to a halt on November 30, 1960, after a mere 911 hardtop coupes had been built.

Chris Binder, of Spencer, Iowa, believed in DeSoto in a major way, and he carried that belief to the end of both the marque and his life. Binder was a passionate enthusiast, and by the time of his passing in 2006, he had collected at least one car from every year of DeSoto production. As a true testament to his devotion to DeSoto, he was carried to his final resting place in the back of his 1958 Ambulance. He actually purchased this Glacier White 1961 model brand new for his collection, taking delivery from the Spencer Motor Company for $3,997.25, which was four days before the last DeSoto was built. Incidentally, the price paid was the window sticker price, with no markups!

Binder lightly drove this car before putting it into dry storage, from which it was retrieved and sold after his passing. Today, it records just over 6,000 actual miles, and it remains an original car, except for a single, post-Binder repaint in its original color. The original red and black “Jet Age” interior remains in remarkable overall condition, as do the original body panels, chrome bumpers, and brightwork throughout. The car retains its original deluxe steering wheel, roof molding package, windshield washer, deluxe radio, dashboard pad, and Solex glass, and it has power brakes and steering.

Most impressively, this car is documented with its original window sticker, two broadcast sheets, its original owner’s manual, and every registration since new, as all were carefully kept by the fastidious Mr. Binder.

Likely the finest original survivor from the final days of a great American marque, this car is worthy of the closest consideration for any Chrysler collection that desires to be complete.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

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Ontario, Canada

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