De Soto owner tells tale of his first national meet road trip
Only four years into his corner of the old car hobby, Mike Welsh was sold on attending an annual major meet of the National DeSoto Club, Inc. One reason he went was due to its proximity, only 220 miles from home. His tale is covered in the article, “My First Convention,” featured in DeSoto Adventures, Vol. 33, No. 5 (Dan Lyman, editor).
‘Welsh’s 1959 De Soto Fireflite “is a survivor car and a work-in-progress...now that the car runs and drives well, the latest project was to make the factory air conditioning function.” He did a step-by-step report on his work, which can be a godsend for others in a similar fix.
Mike and Judith experienced a full schedule with a couple high points per day as they headed to Branson in 2018.
The car garnered a second place it its class, which is commendable. The only downer on the drive was running over a “weed-eater” abandoned on the road. Fortunately, the car wasn’t damaged.
All this left a good feeling with Welsh. He realized his car could make the grade, performing well along the way. Had he been frightened by the thought of pressing the old car 220 miles there and back, he mayhave never left the garage. He also discovered 40 other De Sotos that were there, eight of which were from 1959.
Welsh almost certainly shared stories with other car owners during the meet. That by itself is a learning experience worth the time, cost and effort to attend a national meet.
“I made some new friends, went to the board meetings to see what went on, and we might go again,” he reported, uncertain if longer drives to either coast would be considered. But he did not discount them, either. What sticks with him is the range of De Sotos that appeared from 1929 to 1960. It all made him happily go into “De Soto Overload,” and he was glad he did.
National clubs often change locations for meets, thus allowing Welsh and others to attend when the destination isn’t too far away.