1934 DeSoto Airflow Coupe
Chassis no. 6078798
241.5ci L-head Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Ball & Ball Carburetor
100bhp at 3,400rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
Solid Front Axle, Semi-floating Rear Axle with Leaf Springs
Lockheed 4-Wheel Hydraulic Brakes
*Attractive and rarely seen Coupe body
*Fewer than 1600 Coupes produced in 34
*High quality restoration and recent service
*Formerly owned by Airflow Club of America President
*Streamlined, aerodynamic design of the Art Deco era
The DeSoto Airflow
Chryslers Airflow line of the mid-1930s was the first truly aerodynamic streamlined American car. "It bores through the air," Chrysler advertisedand they could prove it, because the Airflow had been extensively tested in the wind tunnel. But it was more than its form that made the Airflow historically significant. Its steel, semi-unitized body was years ahead of the competition. Chrysler demonstrated the Airflow's structural strength by pushing one off a 110-ft high cliff, then driving the car away.
Introduced in 1934, the Airflow was sold under both the Chrysler and DeSoto brands until 1937. The first year, with its curved "waterfall" grille, was the purest expression of the design; the 1935 through '37 models had a more vertical grille, designed give them a more conventional appearance. Today, the '34 is especially prized for its resemblance to the famed streamline train, the Burlington Zephyr. Both the Airflow and the Zephyr were art moderne sensations at the 1934 Chicago World's Fair.
All Airflows were closed models and their interiors were also unlike anything else on the road. Inspired by aircraft of the time, the Airflow's seats featured exposed chromed tubular frames. The cloth upholstery had leather accents and piping. Most Airflows were 4-door sedans, although there was a coupe model sold in limited numbers. Underappreciated in its day, collectors have now begun to recognize the Airflow as a significant high water mark in American car design and engineering.
The Motorcar Offered
Perhaps the best looking DeSoto Airflow was the sleek 2-door Coupe model, of which fewer than 1600 were produced in 1934. Only a handful are known to survive today, and very few indeed have been restored to the level of this car. Finished in 2010, this stylish Airflow was restored to original specifications, including a complete engine rebuild, new silver paint, and a correct brown cloth interior. As a testament to its quality, this car was formerly owned by Charles Cochran, once president of the Airflow Club of America. The car delights with its many Art Deco era styling features, and is presented fresh from a recent service.
Shocking and controversial when it was introduced, the Airflow is today appreciated and celebrated as a predecessor of modern aerodynamic cars. It was, truly, a car ahead of its time. One thing hasn't changed, though; if you enjoy a spirited conversation, driving up in a 1934 DeSoto Airflow is, was, and always will be, a great way to start one.