Vehicle Profiles

Sedan

The 'Airflow' design, applied to both Chrysler and its sister marque DeSoto, is one of the most important cars of all time. At the same time it was both an incredible engineering success, as well as a crushing commercial failure. While largely shunne....[continue reading]

Coupe

By 1934 the DeSoto had become more 'Chrysler-like.' When Chrysler Corporation introduced its revolutionary Airflow design in 1934 it meant all DeSotos had the new look.....[continue reading]

Coupe

From 1934 through 1936, the Airflow was built by the Chrysler Corporation for sale through its DeSoto Division. The design was radical and aerodynamic. It had a 115-inch wheelbase which was smaller than its stablemate, the Chrysler Airflow of simil....[continue reading]

Coupe

Chassis Num: 6078798

At the turn of the 20th century, little concern was placed on aerodynamics. Most all of the vehicles designed and built were nothing more than big, abrupt cars that were about as concerned about airflow as they were about gas mileage. However, just a....[continue reading]

Sedan

Chassis Num: 5073380
Engine Num: SE 6702

This 1934 DeSoto Airflow Brougham Sedan was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Amelia Island, Florida. The car was offered without reserve and estimated to sell between $45,000 - $60,000. It is powered by a 241.5 cubic-inch six-cylinder....[continue reading]

Sedan
 
Coupe
 
Coupe
 
Coupe
Chassis #: 6078798 
Sedan
Chassis #: 5073380 

History

The Carl Breer designed Chrysler Airflow was ahead of its time in terms of aerodynamics. The design was revolutionary for the 1930s; the sales however would be its downfall. The design of the vehicle came about after many hours spent in wind tunnels. Orville Wright, an aviation expert, was called upon to help design a vehicle that achieved aerodynamic similar to an airplane. Light weight, rigid materials were used to help compliment the vehicles design. A prototype called the Trifon Special was constructed in 1932. In 1934, the production model was completed and ready for sale.

Chryslers Airflows used strictly eight-cylinders while the De Soto version used 6 cylinders. The vehicle could be purchased in five different wheelbase lengths. The largest length being 145 inches and labeled the Custom Imperials.

The front of the car had a large grill that extended from the hood to the bumper. When sales did not do well, the grill was changed to a more conventional 'skyscraper' gill in 1935. This also did not produce desirable sales results so the grill was once again modified. Sadly, sales still were unacceptable.

Hydraulic brakes were fitted to the car. A three-speed manual gearbox was used. The 122 horsepower Inline-8 could power the car from zero to sixty in 19.5 seconds and attain a top speed of about 88 miles per hour.

During the first year of production, 11,292 Chrysler Airflow's were sold. The cheaper De Soto alternative sold 13,940 vehicles. The 1936 year saw only 6,285 Chrysler Airflow sales and 5,000 De Soto sales. In 1937, the vehicle was taken off the market.


By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2007

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1935 Airflow Image Right
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