10-11 October 2013

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Lot 102

1961 DeSoto Hardtop Coupe

  • Chassis no. 6113112247

Sold for $49,500

265 bhp, 361 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, Torqueflite pushbutton three-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with torsion bars, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 122 in.

  • One of 911 built in the last year of DeSoto production
  • Formerly of the Binder DeSoto Collection
  • Largely original, with 6,000 actual miles
  • Documentation from new

Introduced in late 1960, the 1961 DeSoto was available in only one series; gone were the Fireflites and Adventurers of olden days, as they were replaced by a single model offered in either two- or four-door hardtop form. Based upon the Chrysler Newport’s architecture, the cars were given a fashionable, canted quad headlamp treatment, as well as a unique grille design with two stacked tiers, a horizontal front bumper, revised tail lamps, and updated body side trim. The sole engine choice was the stout 361-cubic inch V-8, which produced 265 brake horsepower. Backing this powerful engine was a pushbutton-operated Torqueflite three-speed automatic transmission, with a manual transmission available as an option.

Forty-seven days after the introduction of the 1961 model, Chrysler pulled the plug on the DeSoto brand, and production at the Jefferson Avenue plant wound to a halt on November 30, 1960, after a mere 911 hardtop coupes had been built.

Chris Binder, of Spencer, Iowa, believed in DeSoto in a major way, and he carried that belief to the end of both the marque and his life. Binder was a passionate enthusiast, and by the time of his passing in 2006, he had collected at least one car from every year of DeSoto production. As a true testament to his devotion to DeSoto, he was carried to his final resting place in the back of his 1958 Ambulance. He actually purchased this Glacier White 1961 model brand new for his collection, taking delivery from the Spencer Motor Company for $3,997.25, which was four days before the last DeSoto was built. Incidentally, the price paid was the window sticker price, with no markups!

Binder lightly drove this car before putting it into dry storage, from which it was retrieved and sold after his passing. Today, it records just over 6,000 actual miles, and it remains an original car, except for a single, post-Binder repaint in its original color. The original red and black “Jet Age” interior remains in remarkable overall condition, as do the original body panels, chrome bumpers, and brightwork throughout. The car retains its original deluxe steering wheel, roof molding package, windshield washer, deluxe radio, dashboard pad, and Solex glass, and it has power brakes and steering.

Most impressively, this car is documented with its original window sticker, two broadcast sheets, its original owner’s manual, and every registration since new, as all were carefully kept by the fastidious Mr. Binder.

Likely the finest original survivor from the final days of a great American marque, this car is worthy of the closest consideration for any Chrysler collection that desires to be complete.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more