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.
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Mickey Thompson: Fastest Man on Wheels
Mickey Thompson roared out of the hot rodding world of Southern California
to become the "Fastest Man on Wheels," when his Pontiac powered Challenger
One broke the 400 mph mark at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
This didn't become an official record because of difficulties he
encountered on a second run. The speed authorities require a second run
and take the average for the record books. This promotional film captures
the drama of his attempt.
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, is the car that made its reputation as the
most reliable luxury car builder in the world. This shimmering car was
impossible to ignore. It quickly became known as The Silver Ghost, a name
that was bestowed on it because its shimmering appearance and the fact that
it moved as quietly as a ghost.
In 1907 the Silver Ghost name was born when Rolls-Royce managing director,
Claude Johnson, who was known for his promotional skills, silver plated all
the fittings of a 40/50 horsepower Rolls-Royce, and
while he was at it, painted the body silver.
The Silver Ghost name caught on and was eventually used for all the 40/50hp
cars built between 1907 and 1925.
The original car earned its place in automotive history by helping to forge
the reputation of Rolls-Royce as the builder of the most reliable cars in
the world. In May 1907 Johnson, under the watchful eye of the Royal
Automobile Club (RAC), drove the car to Scotland and back using just one
gear. A feat made possible by the high torque engine. The Silver Ghost
covered the 2000 mile route with no problems and later, Johnson and a team
of drivers motored effortlessly up and down Britain for almost 15,000 miles
virtually non-stop, without any breakdowns. This was more than twice the
existing record of 7,089 miles. The car was awarded a gold medal by the RAC
and it secured its place in history.
Volvo History pt 1
Volvo vehicles have been driving on roads around the world for 80 years. On
April 14, 1927, the very first production run of Volvos came out of the
Gothenberg, Sweden factory. More than 15 million have been produced since
that first one hit the road. Volvo initially earned a loyal following
because of their obsession with safety, durability (its logo is the Swedish
symbol for iron) and for its conservative Scandinavian design.
Have a look at the three part review of Volvos history.
Fashioned by Function - Chrysler Airflow
The development and testing of the revolutionary, streamline designed
The Chrysler Airflow is an automobile produced by the Chrysler Corporation
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 huge commercial failure.
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.
1935 Chrysler Airflow straight eight start up part 2
It´s one week since i started her the first time. Now i have restored and
mounted the carburettor. Now she runs a little better. Next is to start up
with the cooling system filled so she can idle upp to working temperature.
Chrysler Straight 8 Flathead Marine startup-idle
Chrysler Marine Flathead straight 8, starting and idling in a beautiful
triple cockpit mahogany runabout. This was shot about 20 years ago.
Sounds great! I first posted this as an Imperial, but upon further review,
I believe it is actually a Royal, 323 cid. Not sure, at any rate it was
a long time ago that I took this video....
Chrysler Airflow for 1936
This is a fauxmercial for the new line of Imperial Airflow Chryslers for
1936. You will be amazed at all of the latest features.
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.
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ICON Derelict - Jay Leno's Garage
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Kaiser -- Cars That Challenged Detroit
When auto production started up after the cessation of World War II
hostilities, major manufacturers simply picked up where they left off after
Pearl Harbor introducing 1942 lines as 46s. Nobody was fooled but it didnt
matter as demand far outstripped supply. Henry J. Kaiser, steel and ship
building magnate, entered the fray with an advantage: a clean slate.
Kaisers were truly all new when introduced as 47s and sales soared: Kaiser
(with sister marque Frazer) outsold such established names as Studebaker,
Nash, Hudson, Mercury and Chrysler.
Today, Kaisers are rarely seen and thats part of their appeal. Kaiser is a
remnant of a time when it seemed that, having vanquished that eras Axis of
Evil, Americans could do anything, including start a car company from