This is an ad from about 1937 extolling the benefits of the Chrysler Airflow Automobile.
It demonstrates a great roominess in the front seat.
Can you spot the Inaccuracy??
Hmm..."century-old vehicle construction"??
If you include horse drawn vehicles it's not inaccurate........a bit of a stretch maybe.......
Should be six a breasts?
Perhaps all steel and no wood in the construction?
Seriously though. They're not leaving the horseless carriage behind at 45 mph because it will also do 45. Some makes will go even faster.
once you get past the styling the Airflow was a DAMN FINE AUTOMOBILE ...brakes ,steering and overall ride and fit/finish quality was equal to the best Packard or Cadi. or Buick ...always an optimist...gene french
I hate to, but I must agree with Gene, one Damn Fine Automobile.
Never want to forget, many people absolutely loved the styling.
I am supposing the 45 MPH refers to the speed at which overdrive shift occurred.Still looking for inconsistency. Chrysler's of this era were well built and fabulously engineered.
All I can come up with for inaccuracy is overdrive came in at a lower speed than 45.Seems like those B-W overdrives, if engaged, would go into O/D around 28-30 mph. Otherwise I'm stumped.
I believe the "miracle" is the airflow over the car caused by the aerodynamic body shape. The Airflow series was far ahead of its time, and predicted many of the post-war features used on many car lines. As has been noted, they were a very high-quality vehicle, all three lines.
One feature was the placement of the rear passenger seat in front of the rear wheels for a more comfortable ride.
And, unfortunately, were not a rousing success from a sales standpoint. For 35,Chrysler came out with the more conventionally styled Air Stream. Chrysler Corp. did not take any chances with radical styling for 20+ years after that debacle.
Very true Jim, many advanced designs were not accepted by the public initially. The best example I can think of for an advanced design is the Studebaker Avanti, which, although conceived around 1959 still looks good and modern today!
The other one was the '35 Pierce Arrow's Silver Arrow with enclosed front wheels, fenders and running boards--decades ahead of other cars. I think that was a one-off though.
I'm stumped too, but I agree with Gene and Sam - the Airflows were outstanding automobiles, and well ahead of their time.
I think Dave Wells hit the inaccuracy that was being looked for.
Dave & Mack are correct.
I am glad I am not the only one to see things "differently".
P.S. I wouldn't mind owning one of these ... even if it is a Chrysler product.
At 45 mph the automatic overdrive kicked in.
The photo is from an ad, but I believe the narrative on the left is not - it's probably from an article or book written much later.
Here is the actual ad - sorry but I can't find a larger version.
45 would have been considered very fast at that time. I remember when they opened the "Arroyo Seco Parkway" Which was later called the Pasadena Freeway. We had a 1936 Ford which was made approximately the same time the Airflow came out. My grandparents, my mom and I were in the car with dad driving. He commented,"we are going 45 MPH" I noticed the speedometer went up to 100 and I asked him, "Why don't we go 70?" If my mom had been wearing dentures, I think she would have lost them. Her mouth dropped and she said,"70 is too fast, nobody would go that fast!" A few years later we took the same car to Chico, up highway 99. We actually got up to 60 and dad said," We are going a mile a minute!"
Anyway, although those cars from the 30's would go 80 or 100 MPH, few people drove that fast due to road conditions and unfamiliarity with that speed.
Chrysler was the first to develop "Lawn Trout" styling. By 1940, all U.S. carmakers were following
suit. Things got away from that look and principle until wind tunnel testing and fuel economy regs
made it the norm again.
Old Walter was a self-taught engineering disciple, and bringing on the Zeder Bros. made Chrysler
a dominantly engineering-oriented company from the get go in 1925. The Airflow was a function-before-
form design that few today would realize (us history-based types know this), which made it pretty special
in it's day. However, the smoothed-off and rolled over shape/s were a bit of an excessive jump for many
buyer's aesthetics and sales were not so good. Five short few years later, an Airflow type design was
Personally, I don't like rounded and ovoid shapes/design, so I guess I would have been a non-buyer
back then too. Hell, I think the Improved T's are too rounded !
Walter Chrysler had been the head of a railroad's mechanical department. As Burger said, he was self-taught, and along with Henry F was a true automotive genius. He and Henry were probably the only CEOs of a major auto manufacturer who could perform almost any task on the assembly line. Chrysler had hydraulic brakes in the 20s, years before any other major manufacturer would admit that they were superior to the mechanical "press and pray" brakes of the era.
My Uncle John (1905 - 2004) had an Airflow when he was drafted in 1941. He left it in his mother's care for the duration.
When he came home in '45 he was looking forward to getting back on the road with his beloved Airflow once again. But it was gone. Grandma never fully explained the disappearance, but I suspect that (having 3 sons in the service) she donated it to the scrap drive.
Uncle John told his sad story of coming home to find his Airflow gone for the rest of his long life.
By the way, Uncle John was really concerned about having to take both a written and practical driving test when he turned 98. I called him soon after and asked how he had fared. He proudly declared that he had passed with a 100% score - in his stick shift Super Beetle - and wouldn't have to renew until he turned 103 !
Sad to say, he didn't live to see the need to renew. But you might say he died with his boots on.
The add that Eric Johnson posted has Chrysler Airflow Desoto in the bottom of the add.
So was it a Desoto made by the Chrysler Company?
I've always heard the car referred to as a Chrysler Airflow but never noticed an add until this one with Desoto in the description.
As I stated above, I figured this as was extolling the new overdrive. Things must have moved a lot slower in California than they did here in Indiana back in the day.My ancestors and relatives talked of the time they made on various trips, and the times are not that much slower than today. That is also why the late thirties traffic fatalities were about the same if not more than currently.
And somehow this got left out. Dick, that is a wonderful story about your uncle John. And you can bet that Airflow did not get scrapped. During the war you could have sold that car for what it cost new. Even that car, cars were so scarce.
Should it be six breasts instead of three?
Chrysler made Airflow cars under both the Chrysler and DeSoto labels. Both were innovative, wonderfully engineered, and (in my personal opinion) equally butt-ugly.
Daniel, I believe Dave Wells pointed that out in the third post. Since that was the first thing I,too,thought of, I had to think of something else. And, while he is no longer around for me to ask him, rumor among his friends had it my father lost his proverbial mixed drink garnishment in the back seat of an Airflow Straight Eight Coupe. Hellish storms here.
You are correct. I scanned the ad from an article about the Airflow. The narrative is by the author.
I agree that the '35 Pierce Arrow was UGLY.
The world's second ugliest car.
The Airflow was built as a Chrysler, DeSoto, AND Imperial. It did not take Walter
long to figure out he wanted to emulate GM's tiering system, so he invented Plymouth
and DeSoto in 1928. About this time, the banking interests that held ownership of
Dodge Brothers pushed forward with selling the company and Walter picked it up,
mostly for the vast sales network that came with it. This gave him one more tier than
he wanted, but he decided to keep them all going.
Originally he structured them Plymouth, DeSoto, Dodge, Chrysler, Inperial, but in
the Airflow move, DeSoto and Dodge changed places in the pricing tiers.
I cannot remember exactly how it fell out, but the Airflow idea tanked and a secondary
body line was brought in to shore up sales. If memory serves, DeSoto got stuck with
just the Airflow until the whole idea was phased out in 37 or 38.
The Pierce was built with standard freestanding headlights for sales in certain states,
and these look a lot better (to my eye) than the typical cars with the frogeye molded-into-
the-fenders cars. They are distinctive, for sure, but I like freestanding lights and gee-
The Silver Arrow didn't look anything like their regular production. The twin sidemounts were under a cover that created a "slab-side" front end with no separate fender/hood arrangement, much like the postwar cars. However, the back window was so small as to be worthless!!! The rear wheels were also covered over. No "frog eye" headlights, they were part of the front of the fender on the silver arrow--it really was about 20 years ahead of it's time (well, the war lost about 5 years of any developments!)
There is a you tube video of an Airflow, maybe a promo video? They roll it, drive off a short cllff and the car never stops running and at the end the doors open and shut perfectly.
Dave and I think alike. That is exactly what I thought, too...
: ^ )
I always thought it looked like a Divco milk truck.