1937 Chrysler Airflow C-17
The Chrysler Airflow was supposed to be Chrysler's forward-thinking
hit that would re-write the book on automotive styling and, in the
process, teach people that an aerodynamic car is the way to go.
Only it didn't. All that the Airflow did do was to buck the trend
and almost tanked Chrysler. With its steel body and fountain-esque
grille, it shocked customers rather than appeal to them but now, 86
years since its release, it's universally accepted that the Airflow
is among the very first mass-produced aerodynamic cars in the
For consignment, an example of the first use of a wind tunnel to
design the shape of a car. With consultation from Orville Wright,
this car was designed with the slip stream in mind and was very
forward thinking for its day. This car presents very nicely, with
lots of curvaceous chrome, beautiful paint, and a wonderful mohair
interior. Mostly poo pooed in its day, the production numbers were
low, however looking back on this design, they really did know what
they were doing, even if the public was not ready for it!
Aerodynamics did definitely play a part in this design. A waterfall
grille, rounded hood and front bay panels that use the teardrop
curved front headlights to highlight them. A curved front bumper
complete with a trio of horizontal ribs frames the bottom of this
car and extends to curve around and protect the front fenders which
emulate the curve of the front bay panels. All steel which is rust
free, is bathed in metallic green which contrasts nicely with the
chrome trimmings. A split front windscreen slightly sloped
rearwards, near perfect glass all around including the split rear
window are seen. Doors share a common latch on the B pillars making
the rear doors suicide. Beautiful fender skirts complete with a
large winged badge frame wide whites which reside on all 4 corners,
and are covered with chromed Chrysler badged moon caps. On back
wider stalks have a rocket styled taillight attached to either end
with a beautiful bezel covering the red glass. Forming a rounded
trunk which opens from the back, (earlier versions were only
accessible from the passenger compartment), and another shiny
bumper below and we have the exterior of this forward thinking
A swing of all 4 doors and we see wonderful tan and brown tweed
coverings for the door panels. These have shiny knobs and levers,
and a brown carpet strip on the bottoms. As we move inside a like
new bench seat within its own stylized tub, is all covered in the
tan and brown tweed with a slight tuck and roll pattern in the mid
sections of the seat and back. There is also some horizontal
smaller tuck and roll stretching across the seats in the mod
section of the backs. The rear bench is sculpted and covered in the
same manner as the front, although nice armrests are on this bench
as well as a fold down center. Faux painted metal wood graining is
surrounding all the windows and sills and highlights the edges of
the seat mounts. Showroom condition carpeting in a warm gray floods
the floors and a nice light headliner is above. Lest we forget the
highlight of the interior which is art art deco styled dash. More
painted in metal faux wood grain, square white faced gauges with
gold type and numbering. In the very center of this dash is a gauge
cluster, more art deco styling and in square format. An original
large black bakelite steering wheel fronts this beautiful dash.
Under this not very wide hood is a fully restored 324ci L head
inline 8-cylinder engine. There is a single 2-barrel carburetor
feeding it, and oil back is a 3-speed manual transmission with
overdrive and a 4.30 gear rear axle.
As with a restoration of such quality, the undercarriage is not to
be outdone by the topside. Here we see nicely painted in black,
rust free surfaces and structure. A new fuel tank is now in, and
leaf springs provide the ride on all 4 corners. Power hydraulic
drum brakes, (another innovation), are also installed. Just a
nicely done job under here.
A quick starter, and it ran like a champ on the test track. Smooth
acceleration, bias free hydraulic braking, and all functions were
doing well during my test drive.
It runs great and looks great with just a beautiful painstakingly
detail oriented restoration for this rare Airflow from Chrysler. I
don't know which I love more...the interior or the exterior! I'll
take the entire package.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle
barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown,
Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia
on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is
www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914.
Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the
vehicle in person.