1935 Chrysler Airflow
323cid, I-8, 115 bhp

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When three veteran engineers, Zeder, Skelton and Breer, all formerly of Studebaker, sat down to create the ultimate automobile, the result was an “Art Deco” masterpiece. The Chrysler Airflow featured graceful, rolling curves, culminating with a chrome “waterfall” grille accented with oval headlamps built into the fenders.

For the first time in a production car, the all steel body was attached by a grid of steel while everyone else in the marketplace was still using wood framing-over steel-panels. Another first was placing the rear seat in front of the rear axle, producing a smoother ride for the passengers.

The engineers didn’t stop with the exterior, they equipped the car with a 323 cubic inch straight eight capable of producing 115 hp, a three speed floor shift tied to one of the fIrst over-drive transmissions, and the first Lockheed hydraulic brakes (two years before Ford).

At the Bonneville Salt Flats the Airflow ran the flying-mile at 95.7 mph and clocked 90 mph for 500 miles. The Airflow set a total of 72 new national speed records.


  • “Airflow” styling not well-accepted, used from 1934 to 1937
  • Designed by Walter Chrysler
  • Note rear suicide doors
  • Windshield opens to provide fresh air
  • Price new: $1,245