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The Chrysler and DeSoto Airflow, both designed by Chrysler, were significant achievements in US automotive design. Their innovations were decades ahead of the competition and represent an important moment in American automobile history. The Airflow was the first US automobile to truly incorporate aerodynamic streamlining as an integral part of its design. It also featured an advanced steel unibody construction at a time when many manufacturers still used wooden sub-framing.
Chrysler used its Highland Park, Michigan, wind tunnel to design the Airflow’s exterior, resulting in a streamlined shape with curving fenders inset into its wide body. It featured an angled split windshield, rear fender skirts, flush headlights, and a distinctive waterfall grille.
The 1934 DeSoto Airflow Coupe is said to be the ultimate Airflow design expression, with its wheelbase shorter than the Chrysler’s and closer to the aerodynamic ideal envisioned by designer Carl Breer. The original design was softened in later model years to appeal to a greater number of buyers, leaving the 1934 model the purest example of this revolutionary design.
This restored, collector-owned example is one of fewer than 1,600 Coupe models produced for 1934, which are even less commonly seen today than their sedan counterparts. Finished in a beautiful shade of taupe over its wonderfully simple and elegant art deco tan interior, it stands as a handsome tribute to a pioneering design.