December 13, 2019

DE SOTO

DeSoto Motor Corp.

DeSoto Div. Chrysler Motors Corp.

Detroit, Michigan (1928-1961)


This is a DeSoto radiator emblem (1928-1930)     mjs
Size: 41mm high 28mm wide    MM: None (some Fox and Burwood)

Walter Chrysler introduced the DeSoto in mid-1928 for the 1929 model year. It was an immediate success, in its first 12 months a total of over 81,000 cars were delivered, beating the first year sales record previously held by Graham-Paige. The first DeSoto was a 55 hp six-cylinder automobile which provided excellent performance. An eight-cylinder model appeared in 1930 but DeSoto models were six-cylinder only from 1932.

Sales of the DeSoto fell during the depression in the early 1930's and struggled throughout the 1930's, while another Chrysler product, Dodge, did better. However, DeSoto was continued after World War II and survived until 1961.

It was not until 1937 that DeSoto began to produce trucks, although DeSoto taxicabs appeared in 1936. DeSoto trucks were also exported and some continued to be manufactured overseas for a while after DeSoto trucks were discontinued by the Chrysler Corporation in 1961.

Emblems

The first DeSoto carried a black and blue enamel radiator emblem based on the De Soto coat of arms, see example above at the top of this post.

DeSoto models assembled in Canada carried the same emblems as models built in the USA, except for the addition of the words "Made in Canada", see example below:

This is a Canadian DeSoto radiator emblem (1928-1930)     mjs
Size: 42mm high 28mm wide    MM: Day Nameplates

Export versions of DeSoto cars carried the same emblems as domestic models, except for the addition of the words "Made in U.S.A.", see example below:

This is a DeSoto export model radiator emblem (1928-1930)     kmc
Size: 42mm high 28mm wide       MM: None

The DeSoto radiator emblem was changed slightly in 1930 and was used on both the Series CK Six and the newly introduced Series CF Eight DeSoto models until mid-1931, see example below:


This is a DeSoto radiator emblem (1930-1931)      kmc
Size: 50mm high 36mm wide     MM: Adseal

The eight-cylinder DeSoto model also displayed a small "DeSoto 8" script mounted on the radiator core, see example below:

This is a DeSoto 8 radiator script (1930-1931)     mjs
Size: 181mm wide 70mm high

It is uncertain whether the six-cylinder DeSoto models were produced with a corresponding radiator script but the following, poorer quality "DeSoto 6" script has been seen mounted on the radiator core of some surviving six-cylinder models. This DeSoto 6 script is rare.

This is a DeSoto 6 radiator script (1930-1931)     dnc
Size: 176mm wide 94mm high

The following black, blue and gold enamel emblems were displayed on the headlight bar of the DeSoto Series SA Six and Series CF Eight, respectively, in 1931. These DeSoto headlight bar emblems are scarce.

This is a DeSoto Series SA Six headlight bar emblem (1931)     mjs
Size: 110mm high 79mm wide    MM: Fox

This is a DeSoto Series CF Eight headlight bar emblem (1931)     mjs
Size: 111mm high 79mm wide     MM: Fox

There was another DeSoto emblem change for 1932-1933. All DeSoto models were six-cylinder and displayed the following vertically curved emblem mounted at the top of the radiator. A flat version of the same emblem was displayed on the luggage rack where this option was used.

This is a DeSoto radiator emblem (1932-1933)    mjs
Size: 52mm high 30mm wide    MM: Ross-Adseal (grille)  Fox (luggage rack)

The 1932 DeSoto also had a black painted emblem over the crank hole, see below:

This is a DeSoto radiator grille showing the radiator and crank hole emblems (1933)  sbiii.com

The DeSoto Series SD Six models in 1933 also displayed very small DeSoto emblems on the headlamps, see example below. These DeSoto headlamp emblems are rare.

These are DeSoto headlamp emblems alongside a radiator emblem to show size (1933)   kmc
Size: 26mm high 16mm wide     MM: Fox

The DeSoto emblem was slightly changed for the 1934 Series SE Six Airflow by rounding the top of the emblem and changing the lettering style, see example below. However, this emblem was no longer on the radiator but was mounted at the top of the spare wheel cover at the rear of the car when this cover was fitted. 

This is a DeSoto Airflow spare wheel cover emblem (1934-1936)     mjs
Size: 51mm high 30mm wide   MM: Unknown (some D L Auld some Fox)

The 1934 DeSoto Airflow also displayed a similarly rounded but smaller DeSoto emblem on the top of the headlight rims, see example below. This DeSoto headlamp emblem is scarce.

This is a DeSoto Airflow headlamp emblem (1934)      mjs
Size: 41mm high 25mm wide    MM: Fox

This shows the DeSoto Airflow headlight emblem (1934)       hemmings

There was a new black, blue and gold enamel radiator grille emblem for the DeSoto Airflow from late 1934 to late 1935. The same grille emblem was used for the DeSoto Airstream models for 1935, see example below. This DeSoto grille emblem is scarce.

This is a DeSoto Airflow/Airstream radiator grille emblem (1934-1935)    mjs
Size: 92mm high 50mm wide    MM: D L Auld

The DeSoto Airflow/Airstream export models for the 1935-1935 period had "USA" in a black enamel panel at the bottom of the radiator grille emblem, see example below:

Ths is a DeSoto export model Airflow/Airstream grille emblem (1934-1935)   kmc
Size: 92mm high 50mm wide    MM: D L Auld

The DeSoto Airflow radiator grille emblem was slightly changed from late 1935 and the same grille emblem was used for the DeSoto Airstream models for 1936, see example below. This DeSoto grille emblem is scarce.

This is a DeSoto Airflow/Airstream radiator grille emblem (1935-1936)     mjs
Size: 90mm high 50mm wide    MM: Ad-Seal

The export version of this Chrysler radiator grille emblem is shown below. This DeSoto grille emblem is rare.

This is a DeSoto Airflow/Airstream export model radiator grille emblem (1935-1936)    dnc
Size: 90mm high 50mm wide    MM: R-AD

The 1936 DeSoto Airflow and Airsteam models also displayed a blue and gold DeSoto emblem mounted on a panel in the center of the bumper, see photo below:

This is a DeSoto Airflow showing the radiator grille and bumper emblems (1936)   flickr

The 1936 DeSoto Airstream and Airflow models displayed a black, blue and gold enamel emblem on the trunk lid similar to the radiator grille emblem but with wings, see example below. This DeSoto trunk lid emblem is scarce.

This is a DeSoto trunk lid emblem (1936)     dave duricy
Size: 248mm wide 90mm high    MM: Unknown (some Ross)

The 1937 Series S3 Six no longer displayed a radiator emblem but had a small gold plated "De Soto" script placed vertically at the top of the radiator between the grilles, see example below. This DeSoto script was continued in 1938 but was finished in chrome.

This is a DeSoto radiator script (1937)     dawnone

The export version of the DeSoto script was chrome plated for 1937 and 1938 and had "USA" stamped on the letter "T", see example below:

This the export version of the DeSoto radiator script (1937-1938)    dnc
Size: 108mm high

The 1937 DeSoto Series S3 Six trunk emblem with a shield painted in blue and yellow is shown below. This DeSoto trunk lid emblem was continued in 1938 on the coupe and convertible models and was usually mounted below the trunk or rumble seat lid, just above the bumper. This DeSoto trunk lid emblem is scarce.

This is a DeSoto Series S3 Six trunk lid emblem (1937-1938)     ms
Size: 248mm wide 79mm high   MM: Unknown (possibly Ross-AD)

The following photo shows a new old stock DeSoto trunk lid emblem found in Australia, finished in dark blue and cream paint:

This is a DeSoto Series S3 Six trunk emblem (1937-1938)     dnc
Size: 248mm wide 79mm high     MM: Ross-AD

The 1938 DeSoto sedan trunk lid emblem was quite different, see examples below: 

This is the rear of a DeSoto sedan showing the trunk lid emblem (1938)   k&d rosenkranz

This shows the DeSoto sedan trunk lid emblem (1938)      hiveminer

Also for 1938, the DeSoto had a horn button emblem finished in red, blue and orange enamel, see example below. This DeSoto horn button emblem is scarce.


This is a DeSoto horn button emblem (1938)     mjs
Size: 50mm diameter    MM: Unknown

There was a change in DeSoto emblem design for 1939, with a blue and gold painted emblem mounted just below the bottom center of the radiator grille and a chrome plated DeSoto script displayed on both front side panels just above the radiator grille, see DeSoto illustration below:

This DeSoto illustration shows the new emblems for 1939    ms

The blue and gold painted DeSoto emblem mounted below the radiator grille and shown below is scarce:

This is a DeSoto front emblem (1939)   ms
Size: Unknown  MM: Unknown

The following photo shows the front side panel DeSoto script:

This is a DeSoto front side panel script (1939)      richard spiegelman

The export version of this DeSoto script had a horizontal bar through the center of the script and "USA" stamped on the letter "S", see example below:

This is the export version of the DeSoto front side panel script (1939)    dnc
Size: 136mm wide

The trunk lid emblem was also different for 1939, see example below. This DeSoto trunk lid emblem is scarce.

This is a DeSoto trunk lid emblem (1939)      ms
Size: 280mm wide 75mm high    MM: None

The DeSoto emblem designs changed again for 1940 with an elongated shield shaped, blue and gold enamel radiator emblem mounted on a vertical chrome plated strip above the radiator grille and a DeSoto script displayed on the right-hand grille, see below:

This ad shows 1940 DeSoto radiator emblem and grille script (1940)    ms

This is a DeSoto radiator emblem (1940)      mjs
Size: 81mm high 21mm wide   MM: Unknown

This is a DeSoto radiator grille script (1940)    ms
Size: Unknown

There was also a larger, flat DeSoto enamel emblem mounted on the trunk lid, see example shown below:

This is a DeSoto trunk lid emblem (1940)     mjs
Size: 119mm high 33mm wide    MM: Fox

The DeSoto for 1941 had new set of emblem designs with a central blue and gold painted emblem and a vertical De Soto script between the grille panels, see below:

This illustration shows the DeSoto radiator and grille design (1941)   ms

This shows a DeSoto radiator emblem and script (1941)  ms

The DeSoto radiator emblem shown below is scarce:
This is a DeSoto radiator emblem (1941)     ms
Size: 140mm wide 51mm high    MM: Unknown

The 1941 DeSoto trunk emblem was a completely new design, finished in blue and white enamel and depicting the armored head and shoulders of the explorer DeSoto, see example below. this DeSoto trunk emblem is scarce.

This is a DeSoto trunk lid emblem (1941)      mjs
Size: 193mm wide 85mm high     MM: Unknown (some D L Auld)

There was a much smaller version of this DeSoto emblem on the dashboard radio grille, see example below:

This is a DeSoto dashboard radio grille emblem (1941)     mjs
Size: 67mm wide 28mm high   MM: Fox

This compares the sizes of the DeSoto trunk and dashboard radio emblems (1941)   mjs

There was a further change in the grille and emblem design for DeSoto in 1942 with a red, white and black enamel radiator emblem bent to fit a large, red painted chrome backing plate located above the radiator grille, see below. This DeSoto radiator emblem is scarce. 

This shows the DeSoto radiator and grille design (1942)     ms

This shows the bent DeSoto radiator emblem (1942)      bill mcchesney
Size: 140mm high 50mm wide (emblem)   MM: D L Auld

The following photo shows the more usual chrome plated DeSoto radiator emblem:

This is a DeSoto radiator emblem (1942)  kmc
Size: 140mm high 50mm wide  MM: D L Auld

flat version of the same DeSoto emblem was mounted on the trunk lid, see example below:

This is a DeSoto trunk emblem (originally chrome) (1942)     mjs
Size: 140mm high 53mm wide   MM: Fox

There was no DeSoto production for the years 1943 to 1945 due to the Second World War but production resumed in 1946 with a revised radiator grille and emblem design, see example below:

This is a DeSoto showing the new radiator grille and emblem (1946)   david van mill

The following photos shows the red enamel DeSoto emblem based on the DeSoto coat of arms and the DeSoto Fluid Drive script located above the radiator grille. The same emblems for 1946 were retained by DeSoto for 1947 and 1948.

This shows the DeSoto emblem and Fluid Drive script (1946)    enacademic

This is a DeSoto emblem (1946-1948)     peterc
Size: Unknown     MM: Unknown

This is a DeSoto Custom Series Fluid Drive script (1946-1948)     simon cars

The following photo shows the DeSoto trunk lid emblem for 1946 to 1948:

This is a DeSoto trunk lid emblem (1946-1948)     mjs
Size: 298mm wide 90mm high overall    MM: Grammes

There was a similar but much smaller DeSoto emblem mounted on the dashboard radio grille, see example below:

This is a DeSoto dashboard radio grille emblem (1946-1948)    mjs
Size: 106mm wide 45mm high (overall)    MM: AECo

This photo compares the sizes of the DeSoto trunk and radio grille emblems (1946-1948)  mjs

The first Series DeSotos in 1949 were 1948 Series models but the second Series DeSotos in 1949 were completely redesigned with a new radiator grille and a red enamel emblem mounted on the hood, see example photos below:

This photo shows the revised grille and emblem design (1949)   automuseumonline

This is a DeSoto hood emblem (1949)     mjs
Size: 277mm wide 75mm high    MM: DCPD

The 1950 DeSoto models displayed a new grille and an emblem with a colored plastic center showing DeSoto and his stylised coat of arms and a DeSoto script above the radiator grille, see photos below. This DeSoto radiator emblem is scarce.

This photo shows the DeSoto grille, emblem and script (1950)     youtube

This is a DeSoto radiator emblem (1950)      ms
Size: Unknown   MM: Unknown

I am most grateful to Dennis Nielsen for his valuable advice on the dates of use of DeSoto emblems. Any errors in my interpretation of this advice is entirely down to me.





























































































































































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