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Atlanta Georgia – Wagstaff Motors De Soto and Plymouth

Following yesterday’s post covering the Mastin-Parris Motor Co. a De Soto and Plymouth agency in the pre-war days, today’s feature is post-war promotional photos of Wagstaff Motors, another De Soto and Plymouth dealership that was located on Spring Street in Atlanta, Georgia. The photo taken at a Gulf service station is dated June of 1960, and the De Soto two-door hardtop is described as being a 1960 “Firesweep” model.

The pair of photos below taken earlier in 1954 show both the showroom and an exterior view of Wagstaff Motors. On the far-left of the interior view is a display 276 c.i. 160 h.p. De Soto “Fire Dome” V-8 Hemi engine, banners for the “Powerflite” automatic transmission are also present. Note the safe in plain view in front of one of the offices. The lower photo is an exterior view of the dealership.

Share with us what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of the Georgia State University Library.

16 responses to “Atlanta Georgia – Wagstaff Motors De Soto and Plymouth

  1. The building still exists and is recognizable as a former automobile dealership. It is a “Gentlemen’s Club”, the Cheetah Lounge.

  2. In `53-`54, It had to be tough selling those frumpy-looking Chrysler products, compared to the beauties that GM and Ford were producing. They finally got a leg up when the `55s hit showrooms, and by `57 it only got better in the style & looks dept. Interesting that the `60 DeSoto hardtop was mis-identified as a ‘Firesweep’ model; one would think the dealer selling those cars could get it right.

    • The mis-identification is particularly egregious because there wasn’t a ’60 Firesweep. 1960 was when DeSoto consolidated its production lines down to just the Fireflite and Adventurer.

  3. The 1949 Chrysler was one of the most beautiful immediate post war cars in my humble opinion. It was almost jewel-like in detail. It lacked the excitement of other new cars and Chrysler followed with newer models that lacked the class of the ’49. Just as conservative and beautifully detailed were the Plymouth, Dodge and Desotos.

  4. Second pic identifies a sedan with “Hy Drive”. This optional transmission was similar to Chrysler’s earlier fluid drive units except by 54, they replaced the fluid coupling with a torque converter. Still had a clutch but you could drive in city traffic all day by leaving it in “high”. By the time the forward look 1955 models came out the following year, Plymouth offered their new Power Flite, a traditional two speed automatic transmission to keep up with Power Glide and Ford-O-Matic competition. The Desoto models this dealer sold already came with the “modern” Power Flite behind their Firedome 170 HP (HEMI) V8’s. Ah, the horsepower race was on!

    • Howard; I was just thinking of this last week on one of my stops on I95, coming back from NY. The gas pumps were fully loaded and I had to wait for a spot so I could get my right sided Equinox to the pump.

    • I quite often pull into whatever space is open & about half the time stretch the hose to the opposite side of the vehicle. I haven’t yet run into a situation where the hose wasn’t long enough to reach.

  5. I like those old showroom pictures; there’s so much a prospective buyer could look at while contemplating which car to buy! A couple years ago I bought a new Subaru and the showroom was like a fancy hotel lobby, except for a rack of Subaru brochures.

    • Currently, and for past several years, Ford and Lincoln will mail you a personalized printed color brochure in a large mailer envelope for a particular line of cars. I believe the quality is quite good wih impressive close up photos and good descriptions and actal printed specifications. To request a brochure, you need to visit their websites and click on the mailed brochure option. Cadillac literature is handled similarly. Many of the European cars are still using printed literature. General full line brochures or SUV/Truck line brochures are the usual handouts at major city car shows and they are awfully skimpy on details.

  6. My dad had a 60 desoto just like that, white 2 door coupe with red interior. He traded in their 56 2 tone white over blue 2 door coupe Chevy bel air. My mom hated 4 doors, she was afraid we could open the door and fall out while moving. My dad loved the desoto, especially with all its power.

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