Chrysler Airflow at Bonneville

Chrysler wanted to demonstrate to the public that its new car, the Airlfow, was fast and fuel efficient. They took it to the Bonneville Salt Flats for some test/publicity runs. Some say that despite their promotional efforts, the future arrived with a thud when Chrysler introduced its line of Airflow coupes and sedans in 1934. The streamlined car, a product of the science of aerodynamics, had long been predicted in works of science fiction but no manufacturer had, heretofore, been bold enough to realize that Buck Rogersesque vision. Chrysler's engineering triumvirate Carl Breer, Owen Skelton and Fred Zeder scientifically tackled the aerodynamic challenge and got Walter P. Chrysler to authorize design testing in a wind tunnel, overseen by no less an authority than Orville Wright. The result was more than just a slippery envelope of a body, a radical departure from virtually all that had gone before. The design of the '34 Chrysler (and DeSoto) Airflow took some getting used to and, sadly, the car buying public just didn't "get" the snubby deco look, a true "cab forward" design dictated by the wind. The look was underpinned by a new kind of construction - the body panels were mounted on a steel cage, not unlike Saturn's, which was structurally connected to the frame creating a single stress-bearing unit, the precursor to unit body construction. Airflow body and frames were wood-free, another departure from tradition. As it became apparent that the public wasn't as enthused as the engineers and the media -- Walter P. Chrysler shared the cover of Time Magazine with his Airflow -- the company scrambled to tone down the radical styling, losing the deco waterfall grill a/k/a "bull nose" by the second year and modifying design elements to hark back to more traditional, consumer-acceptable shapes. Owning an Airflow today is tantamount to having a piece of history to yourself. The significance of this design, even though it was a commercial disaster has reverberated through the decades and into another century. In just about every way, figurative and literal, Chrysler's Airflow was ahead of the curve and remains a true automotive icon for the ages. S068 For Licensing Contact: Global Image Works 65 Beacon Street Haworth, NJ 07641 p. (201) 384-7715 f. (201) 501-8971 email: information@globalimageworks.com

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Chrysler Airflow Economy Run
Chrysler engineers thought they had a winner with their aerodynamic coupe the Chrysler Airflow. Created during the art deco, streamlined era of the 1930s the company was convinced that the public was ready for something really new and different. The engineers touted that fact that it was not only stylish but roomy and because its sleek design caused less wind resistance - it was fuel efficient. Unfortunately, the public stayed away from the futuristic vehicle and Chrysler stopped producing the Airflow after two years.





Vintage: Chrysler Airflow von 1936 | drive it
The 1936 Chrysler Airflow was the most radical car of its time. But the avant-garde design caused all kinds of problems for the company. Many people considered it to be ugly. But the Airflow offered more than a very modern design. It was also technologically advanced. Drive it shines a new light on the Airflow.





1936 DeSoto Airflow
1936 DeSoto Airflow





ICON Derelict - Jay Leno's Garage
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