1935 DESOTO AIRFLOW SG COUPE W/ "ENCLOSED RUMBLE SEAT"
~WE ARE PROUD TO OFFER A GREAT 'DREAMCAR' FROM OUR PRIVATE MUSEUM COLLECTION~ LISTED FOR RECOGNITION UNDER "CHRYSLER" AS WELL
You are looking at One of the Most Important Automobiles of Our Time! Introduced at the 1934 New York Auto Show, it was So Advanced for it's time it took 2 Centuries for consumers to catch-up to it's Concept and Design. This car almost broke Walter Chrysler's company and the resulting reaction turned out to make this car a victim of "American Pop Culture Infamy". It broke the American Tradition of 'boxy. bulky looking' cars with a radical new design. The Airflow is The Very First Car to be "Streamline Designed" in a Wind Tunnel , Built with Uni-body Construction, carry 50/50 Weight Distribution, Position Passengers between Both Axles (instead of over), Offer 'Flow-Thru' Ventilation, and the First Car to carry Lockheed Hydraulic Brakes (4 years before Ford). The whole project was spearheaded by Engineer; Carl Greer, Oliver Clark (Chief Stylist of Exterior Design) and help from Orville Wright (ie: 1st Flight of an Airplane). Perhaps, if Chrysler's introduction of the Airflow was better timed it would have been a raging success but, when this car was introduced in 1934, America had just suffered through the The Great Depression. Designers had met this challenge by testing and analyzing this body style for 5 years before introduction...daring to bet on a 'Bold, New Design Concept' over the dated, "Two-Box" Auto Design that covered the streets of America at the time. Chrysler Engineer, Carl Breer designed the engine to be mounted OVER the front axle with the back seat moved forward of the rear axle while offering a unitized, hugely roomy cabin. A concept that is still used today. The result was a Rolling Work of Art Deco designed with future aerodynamics of an Automobile Age yet to come. They mastered flow-thru air by being the First Car with 2 - Split Windshields that pivoted out , complimented by not one, but 2 Cowl Air Vents, Side Drop Windows and enough under-seat space to allow air to pass through the cockpit. Chrysler was considered a genius at the time....not a stupid man, he hedged his bet by offering a second, conservative model and called it the "Airstream". That model held to the 'Old-fashioned' Design Convention. We should also mention however, he was so convinced this new model would sell well, much to his undoing, he not only offered it in the Desoto line but, a full line of Chrysler's & Imperial's, as well. All carried the new "Airflow" body-style. It's worth mentioning, Ferdinand Porsche also purchased a new Airflow, and it is said by some, he followed the design when he built "The People's Car" under Hitler's direction...the German Volkswagen (note; the similarities, are striking).
Today, the Airflow is considered an Art Deco Masterpiece. It's a car that testifies to progressive design and engineering blending into one Perfect Form. In this model, only 418 SG Coupe's were ever built and according to our research with several Auto Clubs, only SIX restored Desoto Airflow SG's still survive today. Part of the 'Low Drag' Design was attention to 'Fuel Economy" and the Airflow's Aerodynamically, Futuristic Body delivered in Spades (especially, if you compare it to the other conservatively styled automobiles of the time, which got better mileage driving backwards). The mileage and performance of the Airflow were stellar. Race Driver: Harry Haartz drove cross country from New York to the San Francisco (3,114miles) on a total fuel bill of $33.08 and average 21.4 mpg (remember, there were no Super Highways at that time!). Then, under the scrutiny of the AAA (American Automobile Club) a 1934 Chrysler Imperial Airflow Coupe shattered over 70 records at the Bonneville Flats and 104 at Daytona Beach: a few of those records were:
86.2 mph for One Mile
60.9 mph in 100 continuous Miles
76.2 mph for 500 miles
74.7 mph for 2,000 miles.
Bonneville Salt Flats saw this car do the flying mile at 95.7 mph (most production cars of that era did well to do 55mph)
Clocked at 90 mph for 500 consecutive Miles, plus: it set 72 other 'new' National Speed Records.
Airflow's used an all-steel body and tube frame developed by Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Co. Thus, it's components could be shared with the rest of the Chrysler line-up. Yet, another hallmark idea in Auto History. The Cage-like substructure supported the body panels. The body was responsible for 90% of the stiffness while the frame only 10%. This was another very avante garde attitude as almost ALL cars of the time were built with a wooden substructure and then bolted to a ladder-type steel frame. The unitized body was so revolutionary in the 1930's the car quickly earned a "questionable' reputation. Hence, General Motors seized the opportunity to leak information the car was 'unstable' and 'unsafe'. So, Chrysler felt obliged to prove it's worth by pushing an Airflow off a 110 ft. cliff in Pennsylvania. The car miraculously survived, landed on it's wheels, and was simply driven off the staging area. Since ALL of the other cars were constructed of wood sub-framing over a steel skin, any other car of the time would have been demolished!
By 1935, the well criticized grille was dropped and the '35 offered what the brochure claimed was an "ever more beautiful grille, than it's predecessor. "With a Front-end brilliantly re-styled and given a feeling of added speed and movement". This Desoto Airflow SG model carries 90,802 miles (@79 years young: 1,164 miles per year) and hails from Kentucky and Florida. It is a remarkably rust-free vehicle with original-style Mohair Headliner and Seating, Factory described "Enclosed Rumble Seat" (actually rear pass. seat), Faux Wood Dash & Window Surrounds, loaded with : Bumper Guards Front & Rear, Wide Whitewall Bias-Ply Tires, Fender Skirts with Chrome Embellishments, Cigar Lighter (yet, ashtrays look never used), 3-Speed Transmission with Standard Automatic Overdrive, Chrome Wheel Trim Rings, Right-hand Tail Light, Signal Lights (added), Cream Color Pinstripe, Art Deco Dash Clock (added), Trumpet Horn, Right-hand Sun Visor, Special Paint Color: [according to orig. paint chips] "Burgundy Wine"( one brochure Duco states "Envoy Red") and more. Shown with* Zenith Steering Column Radio head, Trippe Foglights, (some options are not included in this sale but, are available at extra cost). Based on recent Auction & Private Sales ($82,500-$524,000), the popularity on these rare cars has increased 10 fold. Even, Jay Leno, owns one in his collection. Despite the fact, the restoration is over 15+ years old, this car is in remarkable condition. Body number is "1417" out of 418 built (2nd to last made?) The 1935 Desoto Airflow SG Coupe sold for $1015 new...today it is priceless! Offered from our Museum Collection. $62,500