This is an American muscle car that was produced for our SA market in RHD. By 1958 the horsepower had increased to over 300 (220 kW) with the optional of the 361 cubic-inch (5,920 cc) V8 engine. Zero to 60 mph (100 km/h) now took just under eight seconds with a top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h). However 1958 DeSoto's sales skidded by almost 60% from 1957's model year output, partially due to the economy and partially because of build issues with the 1957 models.
In an attempt to attract buyers, Chrysler offered the 1959 DeSoto Firedome in 26 solid colors and 190 two-tone finishes. By the end of the 1959 model year, Chrysler was struggling to find buyers for its DeSoto automobiles. Despite the wide variety of models available, consumers shunned DeSoto automobiles as rumor circulated that Chrysler would phase out the marque. A padded dash was standard.