Hershey

5-6 October 2017

The Thomas F. Derro Collection

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Lot 257

1957 DeSoto Adventurer Convertible

  • Chassis no. 50417133
  • Engine no. S26-A-2127

$140,000 - $180,000

Without Reserve

To be auctioned on Friday, October 6, 2017


  • Offered from The Thomas F. Derro Collection
  • One of just 300 examples produced; among the rarest MoPars of its era
  • Very rare factory air conditioning and power steering
  • Restored by well-known Forward Look experts Greg Groom and Gary Goers


For most of the late 1950s, the Adventurer was DeSoto’s limited-production glamour and performance model, and one of the most appealing and dramatic products of Chrysler’s Forward Look era. In 1957 it was available as a hardtop coupe or convertible, strictly in either black or white, both with a contrasting “side spear” and interior in Adventurer Gold Poly, and matching gold-anodized aluminum trim, wheels, and hardware accents. Even the carpet glittered, having been woven with gold metallic threads. Under the hood was a Hemi V-8, bored out by 20-thousandths of an inch and dressed with a performance camshaft and dual quads, so that it would produce the magic one horsepower per cubic inch, 375 in all.

All Adventurers built between 1956 and 1958 were limited in production, but the 1957 model was especially so, having been introduced later than the rest of that year’s DeSoto line. There was no mention of the model in the catalogue, and no Adventurer brochure – just an insert for the owner’s manual, welcoming owners to “the elite Adventurer family.” Elite, indeed; in 1957, only 300 convertibles were made.

The car offered here is even more rare in being equipped with factory Airtemp air conditioning, as well as the Benrus steering wheel-mounted chronometer, power seats, and correct accessory wire wheels. It was fully restored in 1998 by well-known Forward Look expert, Greg Groom of Chrysler Works in Highland, California, to a very high standard, including proper trim throughout, such as the metallic threaded carpet that is now nearly impossible to find. In a recent telephone conversation, Mr. Groom recalled the DeSoto well, noting that it is a true Adventurer and that it was acquired as a solid, good-running car, on which only the trunk floor and fenders required replacement. The interior was done by MoPar upholstery legend Gary Goers.

Subsequently the DeSoto was acquired by Thomas F. Derro in January 1999, and has remained in his collection since. Fit and finish throughout remains superb, and the car appears to have always been well-maintained and preserved. It recently underwent a brake service and detailing, in preparation for sale, and presents beautifully throughout, with fine paint and chrome, and an excellent interior.

Nothing beats a ’57 Adventurer for sheer motoring drama, and this is among the finest-optioned examples for one’s next exciting adventure.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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