DeSoto Airflow Sedan

In 1934, Chrysler Corporation revolutionized automotive design with its all-new and radically streamlined Airflow models. A design far ahead of its time that predicted today’s aerodynamic and “cab forward” designs, the Airflow featured a spacious interior with a wide front seat capable of accommodating three adults abreast. Since the engine was placed forward over the front axle and the passenger cabin was placed between the front and rear axles, ride comfort was vastly improved as well. In addition, the Airflow series was nothing less than a marvel of inspired engineering that incorporated aircraft design principles and unit-body construction among its many advanced features.

A major design benefit of the Airflow was greatly increased fuel economy when compared with the more conservatively styled automobiles of the era. To illustrate the point, famed racing driver Harry Hartz managed a cross-continental road trip from New York City to San Francisco, California with a total fuel bill of just $33.06, averaging over 22 mpg. Under AAA scrutiny at the Bonneville Salt Flats during 1934, a Chrysler Imperial Airflow Coupe shattered no fewer than 70 records! Sadly, the Airflow was simply too great a leap forward to achieve wide acceptance, and after 1936, the Airflow was quietly retired.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2011 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan and in July of 2012 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.

100 bhp, 241.5 cu. in. L-head inline six-cylinder engine, single-barrel carburetor, three-speed synchromesh manual transmission and Lockheed four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115.5".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

Gallery: DeSoto Airflow Sedan