Vintage Dealers: 1958 DeSotos & Plymouths For Kids And Grown Ups

Exner’s finned wonders arrived for their second year in 1958. And as this dealer’s display shows, Chrysler Corp. was bringing the jet-age driving fun not only to grown-ups but also to the little ones.

The kiddie car was the DeSoto Firemite, powered by a 2 hp Briggs and Stratton gasoline engine. It was part of a brief fad creating detailed scaled-down cars for kids, with a few automakers joining in the fun (A Mercury one appeared at CC recently).

I assume that both DeSotos have been filled up in this shot, and Junior seems eager to follow Dad for a night of fun in the city.

Being more of a sales gimmick than a serious effort, the little Firemites proved rather fragile, and not many have survived to this day. Not that everything should be blamed on Chrysler’s assembly woes; after all, those little drivers were pretty unruly!