1934 Chrysler Imperial Airflow Series CV Vehicle Profile

Chrysler made automotive history when it premiered the Airflow at the New York Auto Show in January of 1934. It was a radical departure from anything that preceded it. In addition to its streamlined, art-deco looks, the car was bursting with technical ingenuity: a novel beam and truss design combined light weight and superb strength; an enormous interior with 50-inch wide chair-height seats; a rear seat situated forward of the rear axle but still offering unprecedented room; and an engine placed over the front axle 20 inches further forward than in other Chryslers. The public never really warmed up to the advanced styling and the car was a sales disaster - too much change too soon. The Airflow disappeared after 1937 with only 55,000 produced for both Chrysler and DeSoto lines during a four-year period.

This 1934 Chrysler Airflow Imperial Coupe is one of 212 originally built and one of only three known to exist today. A 3 year restoration from boxes of many original parts and the original chassis and engine was just concluded. The project was commissioned by the current owner after a two year search for a 34 CV Coupe with enough original parts and overall integrity to restore. This model was one of Chrysler's first attempts at a streamlined aerodynamic shape formed through wind tunnel research which did not receive the expected acceptance of the buying public. It caused Chrysler to drop the line after 1937. This unique design was ahead of its time.

The current owners acquired this car in pieces in December of 2013 from a collector in Illinois who had found the car and many of the parts over a 10 year period before finally deciding on another project. The next step was to find a donor car for some parts that could not be sourced or fabricated. That car was located behind a barn in Minnesota and once the snow had cleared sometime in July, or so it seemed, they were ready to go. Both Gary Hoover of H&H Collision and Paint (Alliance, Ohio) and Jay Johnson of J.L. Johnson Upholstery & Interiors (Hartville, Ohio) have extensive backgrounds with Airflow restorations having completed over 40 Airflows combined.

Airflow production lasted from 1934 until 1937 and represented such a radical departure from then popular body designs that the cars were far ahead of their time, regretfully were never accepted by the American market and destined to failure. However, some say the original split window Volkswagen was heavily influenced by the 34 Airflow Coupes.

The 1934 Chrysler Airflow was one of the first production automobiles to use a wind tunnel for design and all-steel tubular structure for strength where wood had previously been used.

Wind resistance prior to the entry of the Airflow was so poor that most 301s vehicles had lower wind resistance when placed in the wind tunnel backward. The all-steel construction was mocked by other manufactures of the day as too weak, not as strong as the then popular wood bodied cars until Chrysler engineers had enough and pushed an Airlfow off a 110 foot cliff and then drove the car away silencing their critics permanently.

This model Airflow Imperial CV Coupe has been recently recognized as a full classic.


No auction information available for this vehicle at this time.

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1934 sales)
1934 Chrysler Custom Imperial Airflow
Sold for $213,400
  2014 Auctions America - Auburn Spring

No Sale

1934 Chrysler Imperial Airflow Series CV's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1934 Chrysler Imperial Airflow Series CV 2009 Automobiles of Arizona$57,000$75,000$100,000
1934 CHRYSLER IMPERIAL LIMOUSINE 2001 Kruse Auction Scottsdale Arizona$75,000  


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