published Friday, July 20th, 2012

DeSoto display: Iconic Chrysler Corp. cars here


What: National DeSoto Club Car Show and Rally.

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Camp Jordan Amphitheater and Pavilion, 323 Camp Jordan Parkway.

Admission: Free.

Phone: 490-0078.

Richard Carpenter likes them. Cosmo Fishhawk drives one. You couldn't walk a block in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles in 1960 without seeing one dressed as a taxi.

They're DeSotos, a discontinued car model made by the Chrysler Corp. from 1928 to 1960, and you can see a number of them around the Chattanooga area this weekend.

Judii Krasienko, vice president of the National DeSoto Club, said there likely will be 40 to 50 cars from around the country at this weekend's National DeSoto Club Car Show and Rally at Camp Jordan Amphitheater and Pavilion.

"The cars are so different," she said of the model, which featured a stylized head of explorer Hernando de Soto.

The model, a cut below Chrysler according to a 2011 Wheels magazine article, reached 2.13 percent of the U.S. domestic market in 1953 but was eliminated at the end of the 1961 model year.

Krasienko said the club was created by a subset of people gathered at a Walter P. Chrysler car convention 27 years ago in a Troy, Mich., hotel.

Among fans of the car are Richard Carpenter, male half of the pop duo The Carpenters, and Jeff MacNelly, late author of the comic strip "Shoe," in which Fishhawk drove a pink DeSoto.

Indeed, Krasienko said, she enjoys being around club members so much that even though she "divorced my DeSoto," she "kept the club," and she and her ex-husband were to come together to the show and rally.

They were to arrive in his four-door 1957 DeSoto, a model that features tall, sharp tailfins.

The most popular model year in the club, Krasienko said, is the 1956, which reached 11th place in production among U.S. cars.

The DeSotos will be on display Saturday at Camp Jordan for viewing and judging.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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