- This example was used in the Happy Days TV show as the Cunningham family car.

- Produced from March 1946 to March 1949 with minimal annual changes.

- Wheelbase extended from 121.5 to 139.5 inches for 9-passenger seating: 2 bench seats plus folding jump seats.

- With its high passenger and luggage capacities, it was a favorite of the livery service.

- The body style was unchanged for prewar models.

- Price New: $2,631 (7,500 produced).





Encyclopedia of American Cars

Cars of the Fascinating 40’s




The Custom Suburban was DeSoto’s top-trim level, and most expensive line.  As long as a limousine, the 139.5 inch wheelbase Suburban was a medium-priced sedan that was built for utilitarian purposes.  It seated eight passengers and was equipped with fold-down rear seat and no truck partition.  A wood and metal luggage rack was standard equipment, making this model a favorite of the livery service capable of handling many passengers and their luggage.  The 1946-1948 DeSoto’s used prewar body styles.  The Custom Suburban shared their engine design with the Deluxe and were powered by Chrysler’s L-head 236.7 cid six cylinder, delivering 109 bhp.  The car was equipped with a three-speed manual transmission.  This particular car was used in the hit TV series “Happy Days” as the Cunningham family car.

1948 DeSoto Custom Suburban


Year: 1948

Make: DeSoto

Mode: Custom Suburban

Style: LWB Limousine

Serial No: 5945719

Color: Green

Engine Size: 237 cid

Engine Cylinders: I-6

Engine BHP: 109 BHP

Transmission: Manual 3-Speed

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