DeSoto Diplomat Sedan (4 doors) 3.5

The DeSoto Diplomat is an automobile produced by DeSoto from 1946 to 1962 for sale in export markets other than the United States and Canada.

The export DeSoto based on the Plymouth was first introduced in 1937 and was built in Detroit. Chrysler Corporation of Canada, which before 1947 enjoyed “Imperial Preference” (reduced tariff barriers in British empire markets) and did not start building export DeSotos until late in the 1939 model year.

In 1946, the export DeSoto became the DeSoto Diplomat. They were either exported or assembled locally (from CKD kits) in Europe, South Africa, South America, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia. In 1955, Chrysler of Canada did not export any cars and all 1955 Diplomats came from Detroit. In the late 1950s, some European taxicab drivers preferred to have a Perkins P4C diesel engine in the Diplomat; these diesel engines were installed on a Belgian assembly line.

From 1938 to 1956, the export DeSoto used Plymouth bodies with a grille that looked similar to the regular DeSoto but fit the Plymouth grille opening. From 1957 to 1959, the DeSoto Diplomat used the DeSoto Firesweep front clip with Plymouth body.

The 1960 and 1961 DeSoto Diplomats were based on the full-size Dodge Dart. Although 1960 was the last year for DeSoto in Canada and 1961 for the United States and export markets, Chrysler South Africa built a number of 1962 DeSoto Diplomats based on the Dodge Dart 440 sedan. After 1962, the Diplomat name was retired and the Dodge Dart was marketed under its own name in South Africa.

Assembly: Wyoming Assembly (Detroit, Michigan, United States)

Years of production: 1946—1962

Length: 4915 mm

Width: 1867 mm

Height: 1568 mm

Engine: 6 cylinders; 3567 cc

Power: 98 HP

Max speed: 136 km/h

Fuel consumption: 16 l/100 km

Weight: 1363 kg

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