• Feb 24, 2009
Click above for a gallery of the Marquis DeSoto

It is neither a Mercury Grand Marquis nor a DeSoto, but perhaps it could be considered a kind of royalty. Furniture maker Steve Heller wanted to build a car of his own design, and possessed of a love of Fifties car details, he swiped the things he liked and built what he calls the "Marquis de Soto." It can also be called the New York Times Collectible Car of the Year.

The Marquis is based on a 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis. The Marquis' wings have been poached from the rear of a 1957 DeSoto, along with 1959 Cadillac taillights, the front fenders and lights from a 1958 Lincoln, 1955 Cadillac bumpers, a 1965 Buick Skylark hood, chrome from a 1957 Buick, and a grille glommed built from two 1957 Corvette pieces.

Heller spent 20 years collecting all the parts – he makes furniture using vintage car doodads – and spent four months building the car in back of his furniture shop. We dig it... but we dig it even more when it was just wearing primer. It has The Riddler written all over it. For more on the Marquis DeSoto, you can watch a great Heller-narrated slideshow or check out the gallery of photos below. Hat tip to Avinash


[Source: New York Times]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The NYTimes contest wasn't really a fair one... you see it wasn't based on Popular vote, but on Ballot Stuffing! The rules were as follows... registered users vote once a day for 30 days, which can add up to 30 votes per registered user.

      So if one car had 700 unique votes (1 vote by 700 people), that would lose to Hellers, 35 friends that voted every day (1000)!

        • 5 Years Ago
        ...and where's your evidence that this is what happened?

        It's entirely likely that this, being one of the more eyecatching entries, won because it won, and no other reason.

        One thing's for sure: it's the epitome of American motoring for the past sixty years. (And I'd appreciate it if people would look up the actual meaning of "epitome" before they reply based on what they thought it meant.)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do you need a land yacht skipper's license to pilot it?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Someone had too much time on his hands.
      • 5 Years Ago
      its funny i saw that picture of it and thought, "though i dont think it should be the most collectible car of the year, it does have a very modern roofline" as i read on i realized why it had such a modern roofline. and why it shouldnt be the most collectible car of the year. 1-off conversions dont count as "collectible cars" in my books, ok, thats awesome if its totally custom. but that means that no-one else can have the same thing removing it from the list of cars that can be "collectible."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, pretty negative reception here. While it may not be the sort of custom Frankenstein car I'd make, I admire the man's creativity and whimsy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd say, more like Automotive inbreeding
      • 5 Years Ago
      The negativity stems from the fact that it looks like crap...

      The lines of the car are all over the place, the back part is particularly nasty. The least you could do is blend the belt line to flow into the fins; it looks like someone just taped the fins on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      NYT smokes pot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, it's readers are. This was voted as the most collectible by them, not by the staff. So sad considering all the other amazing cars on the list this year - http://collectiblecars.nytimes.com/Contest/Vote.asp.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea mike there are some cars there WAY more deserving of this than a rebodied Grand Marquis...
        • 5 Years Ago
        He collected significant parts off of seven different cars to make this so its clearly the most collectible.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The NYT is only useful on the bottom of a bird cage.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I imagine the face of the other contender when they saw the winner: "WHAAAT?!?!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a waste of a DeSoto.
      • 5 Years Ago
      its a piece of crap but i think he improved it over stock.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ooooooo yaaaaah... that is sooooo collectible.... right in the garbage dump; I've seen similar collections there.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope to see one day, a Camry or Accord having the DeSoto tailfins ;-)
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