• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

1956 Firedome wagon


Well-Known Member
Local time
9:00 PM
Apr 4, 2010
Reaction score
I hope it's alright that I post this here. Reception has been frosty cold over at the forwardlook forums.

I had wanted a B-body wagon for a while. I have always thought that they were cool. I didnt know that Desoto made a wagon in 56. They did not make alot of them and there arent alot left. They rarely come up for sale, so when I saw this one, I jumped on it. I bought this sight unseen off a car lot in Washington last winter. I had it shipped to Iowa. I assumed it had floor rust, but was not expecting the bottom 6 inches of the car to be non existent!

202102089509543395HDR.jpg IMG_20210509_164019062_HDR.jpg 20210208_095145_HDR.jpg 20210208_095150_HDR.jpg 20210208_095237_HDR.jpg 20210208_095353_HDR.jpg 202102089509564195HDR.jpg 20210208_095324.jpg IMG_20210207_123512386_HDR~2.jpg
Last edited:
I took a couple weeks off work to fix the floors. I pulled the interior and found that the rockers, floors, transmission tunnel, body mounts; gone. Aftermarket support is non existent. I called the big forward look salvage yard in California. They had one car that had rockers/ floors. They sent me pics and the floors were still rusty. At nearly 1600 to my door for rust, I decided to fab what was needed

IMG_20210518_165538842.jpg IMG_20210518_165544971.jpg IMG_20210518_165555150_HDR.jpg IMG_20210518_165602809_HDR.jpg IMG_20210518_165602809_HDR.jpg
Work was painfully slow, as I kept finding hidden rust. Hand crafting everything was eating up massive amounts of time. This was the rear body mount that I made. I spent lots of time carefully extracting paper thin pieces, so that I could make patterns off them

It got to the point where I was getting buried the further I went in. Rather than get overwhelmed, I doubled down and refused to be beaten. So I bailed myself out, in the form of a 56 sedan parts car. I drove down to Kansas and fished this out of a field. Site unseen. Seems to be a common theme with this car! It just so happened to have a less rusty (but still quite rusty) front floor pan.

IMG_20210619_122720897_HDR.jpg IMG_20210619_122732033_HDR.jpg
It had a pretty cool split bench from a 63 b body 2 door in it. Since the seats tracks were toasted in the wagons bench ( the seat frame had serious rot as well), I will be enjoying this split bench in the wagon.

IMG_20210619_122705262_HDR.jpg IMG_20210619_140526785.jpg IMG_20210619_140612689.jpg
Much work has gone into the front floor after removal. Any place there was a pinch weld, it was so heavily pitted that it needed metal replacement. Approximately 75-80% of this pan was saved. I have never patched a panel as much as I have this piece. The guy who media blasted it said that people who walked into his shop were impressed at the amount of work done!
I was fortunate that there was as much of this useable as there was. These floors were undercoated from the top and had horse hair padding. Once they got wet, they didn't survive.

I could tell that the firewall was rotted and so heavily pitted that it could not be used. I cut a chunk out of the sedan. The repair piece was also rusted and needed repair before use.

IMG_20211021_144959968.jpg IMG_20210926_142759682_HDR.jpg
Here is an inside shot, note the lower front body mounts that I had to fab.

IMG_20211021_144931765_HDR.jpg IMG_20210601_131205012.jpg
Here we are all caught up. I will Teks screw the front floor/ rockers together before I weld anything up. Before and after of the passenger side door jamb. Or after and before. Don't judge

IMG_20211028_162420909.jpg IMG_20210518_165555150_HDR.jpg
Last edited:
Also, I dont want to give the impression that I am a jedi knight of getting work done. My two weeks off work has turned into months and I still have a ways to go before I can start road testing it and see what it really needs.
This man must be nuts but, this keeps him out of the taverns!
I have been buying up anything wagon only related. Taillights are 56 Chrysler and DeSoto Wagon only. Both my tail lights are broken out. It appears that one of the previous owners ran into the scarcety of these parts, as there is a trailer light wired into the housing! I bought an NOS lense off eBay. I sent that into D and D Auto Memorabilia for them to cast a new pair of tail lights. Top is NOS, bottom is freshly cast. Still waiting to receive these

Last edited:
Largely junk. I bought rockers from them. They needed such massive reconstruction that I might as well have made bucks and formed my own.
I bought a piece fro that place. I tossed it in the scrap pile. A total piece of chit! Disclaimer: Your results may vary!!!!
Your like my Dad, they would say he’s like a dog with a bone, never stopping until that bone was done. That split bench seat will be comfortable while “fishing”. Full speed ahead. Damn, and a HEMI.