Chrysler Imperial Airflow Coupe
Chrysler Corporation made automotive history when it premiered the Airflow at the New York Auto Show in January 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 combining light weight and superb strength (a precursor to the unibody); an enormous interior with 50-inch wide chair-height seats; for the first time in an automobile, a rear seat situated forward of the rear axle offering unprecedented room; and an engine placed over the front axle 20 inches further forward than it did in other Chryslers, making for a very spacious front seat. Passengers sat within the wheelbase resulting in a remarkably smooth ride.
Unfortunately, production glitches developed, and the cars were rushed off the assembly lines. The public lost interest, never quite warming to the styling, and the Airflow disappeared after 1937 with only 55,000 produced for both Chrysler and DeSoto car lines over four years. Today they are regarded as automotive icons due to the myriad technical advancements the car offered.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2010 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan.
130 bhp, 323.5 cu. in. inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with automatic overdrive, solid front and rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, Lockheed four-wheel brakes. Wheelbase: 128"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel