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

More Videos...


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.





ICON Derelict - Jay Leno's Garage
ICON Derelict. Automotive wizard Jonathan Ward shows Jay one of his Derelicts - a unique restomod of a 1952 DeSoto married to a Chrysler Town & Country with its original patina intact. » Subscribe: http://bit.ly/JLGSubscribe » Visit the Official Site: http://bit.ly/JLGOfficialSite THE BEST OF JAY LENO'S GARAGE » Exclusive First Looks: http://bit.ly/JLGExclusives » Ultra Rare Supercars: http://bit.ly/JLGSupercars » Jay's Book Club: http://bit.ly/JLGBookClub JAY LENO'S GARAGE ON SOCIAL Follow Jay: http://Twitter.com/LenosGarage Like Jay: http://Facebook.com/JayLenosGarage ABOUT JAY LENO'S GARAGE A new video every Sunday! Visit Jay Leno's Garage, the Emmy-winning series where Jay Leno gives car reviews, motorcycle reviews, compares cars, and shares his passion and expertise on anything that rolls, explodes, and makes noise. Classic cars, restomods, super cars like the McLaren P1, sports cars like Porsche 918 Spyder and Camaro Z28, cafe racers, vintage cars, and much, much more. Subscribe for more: http://full.sc/JD4OF8 NBC ON SOCIAL: NBC YouTube: http://full.sc/MtLxIM NBC Facebook: http://facebook.com/NBC NBC Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBC NBC Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NBC/posts ICON Derelict - Jay Leno's Garage http://youtu.be/fQVpSFoROg4 Jay Leno's Garage http://www.youtube.com/user/jaylenosgarage





Chrysler Airflow Demonstration - Safety with a Thrill
The Wilding Corporation of Detroit produced a film for Chrysler that captured the demonstrations featuring the streamlined Airflow at the Chicago Century of Progress. The Chrysler Airflow is a full-size car produced by Chrysler from 1934 to 1937. The Airflow was one of the first full-size American production car to use streamlining as a basis for building a sleeker automobile, one less susceptible to air resistance. Chrysler made a significant effort at a fundamental change in automotive design with the Chrysler Airflow, but it was ultimately a commercial failure. Chrysler also marketed a companion model under the DeSoto brand, the DeSoto Airflow. The basis for the Chrysler Airflow was rooted in Chrysler Engineering's Carl Breer's curiosity about how forms affected their movement through the environment. According to Chrysler, Breer's quest was started while watching geese travel through the air in a "V" flight pattern. Another source lists Breer as watching military planes on their practice maneuvers, while still other sources attach the genesis of the project to Breer's interest in lighter-than-air airships and how their shapes helped them move through the atmosphere. Breer, along with fellow Chrysler engineers Fred Zeder and Owen Skelton, began a series of wind tunnel tests, with the cooperation of Orville Wright, to study which forms were the most efficient shape created by nature that could suit an automobile. Chrysler built a wind tunnel at the Highland Park site, and tested at least 50 scale models by April 1930. Their engineers found that then-current two-box automobile design was so aerodynamically inefficient, that it was actually more efficient turned around backwards. Applying what they had learned about shape, the engineers also began looking into ways that a car could be built, which also used monocoque (unibody) construction to both strengthen the construction (the strengthening was used in a publicity reel[2]) of the car while reducing its overall drag, and thus increasing the power-to-drag ratio as the lighter, more streamlined body allowed air to flow around it instead of being caught through upright forms, such as radiator grilles, headlights and windshields. Traditional automobiles of the day were the typical two-box design, with about 65% of the weight over the rear wheels. When loaded with passengers, the weight distribution tended to become further imbalanced, rising to 75% or more over the rear wheels, resulting in unsafe handling characteristics on slippery roads. Spring rates in the rear of traditional vehicles were, therefore, necessarily higher, and passengers were subjected to a harsher ride. An innovative suspension system on the new Chrysler Airflow stemmed from the need for superior handling dynamics. The engine was moved forward over the front wheels compared with traditional automobiles of the time, and passengers were all moved forward so that rear seat passengers were seated within the wheelbase, rather than on top of the rear axle. The weight distribution had approximately 54% of the weight over the front wheels, which evened to near 50-50 with passengers,[3] and resulted in more equal spring rates, better handling, and far superior ride quality. S158




Follow