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Lot 647
1935 Chrysler C1 Airflow Coupe


Selling on Saturday Evening

CHASSIS NO: 6602390

• Best of Show at the Chrysler Airflow Club of America’s national meet
• AACA Senior Award winner
• Incredible workmanship in restoration
• Rare and desired body style; futuristic styling and engineering
• Outstanding presence, sure to attract attention
• Landmark wind tunnel developed design with strong and proven mechanicals

323 cid L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, 115 HP, two-barrel Stromberg carburetor, three-speed manual transmission with automatic overdrive, tubular front axle, live rear axle with rear leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 122.8”

Known as “Chrysler’s Three Musketeers,” Carl Breer, Owen Skelton and Fred Zeder have been properly credited with the breakthrough and innovative engineering that went into the Chrysler fabulous Airflow automobiles. These three “wise-men” had first come to Walter P. Chrysler’s attention when he was working for Studebaker in 1920 and followed him to Willys when he took over operations. When the Chrysler Corporation was launched, again they followed and helped build a strong organization. With the Airflow, the car buying public shied away these cars when new, the but this dynamic model pioneered many new construction methods for the industry that are still in use today. The streamlined art deco-inspired styling was developed through one of the first uses of wind tunnel testing which also would become commonplace in future automotive designs. Incorporating a “Vee’d” split windscreen, which cut-down air resistance to the overall slowing lines in the Airflow’s profile, was considered revolutionary for their day and this model’s entire concept was truly ahead of its time. Using a truss bridge design adapted from contemporary aircraft designs of the day, exterior shapes were created in a “form follows function” platform. The engine was moved forward, over the front axle, and the seating compartment was placed completely between both axles which allowed for a smoother riding experience with more room and remarkable comfort from an automobile of this era. Chrysler did not build economy cars in this period, and the Airflow was well-appointed, with plush fabrics, decorative chrome and well thought out arrangement of dashboard gauges and controls. Tight fitting doors, part of the unibody construction technique, ensured a quiet, cozy ride. Despite improvements for 1935, including a revised front grille, larger more powerful engine and improved braking systems, sales lagged behind other more contemporary offerings from Chrysler. However, the Airflow design did find favor with several European car makers with similar features found in the styling of the Czech-built Tatras and the French-built Peugeot of the late 1930s. It is even rumored that Dr. Ferdinand Porsche acquired an Airflow in Germany and used its basic slip-stream design for his early Volkswagen concepts.

1 of just 309 Airflow coupes produced for the 1935 model year, it is believed that no more than a dozen of these cars exist in the world today, and this one may be the finest of the group. Treated to a complete nut and bolt restoration that took several years, no detail was overlooked, and the body was found to be solid and complete. Finished in 2005, it was presented and judged at several Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) judging events and garnered both National First Place awards in both Junior and Senior classes during the 2006 season. In 2007, it was awarded Best of Show at the Chrysler Airflow Club of America’s national meeting. With a strict eye for detail and authenticity, this beautiful coupe is presented in its original color scheme of deep rich black with red pinstriping, complemented with seats covered in fresh tan mohair upholstery. The interior is like new with the instruments functional and presented in the metal dash complete with simulated wood trim. The engine compartment is presented in like-new condition and authentically detailed. Wide whitewall tires grace the four original Chrysler wheels, also finished in black with the red striping, fitted with original chrome trim rings and proper hubcaps. The swooping rear end design is accented using full fender skirts for the rear wheel openings, which only add to the appearance of speed and motion even when standing still. This extremely rare coupe is also presented with a pair of matching outside rearview mirrors, a driver’s side operational spotlight and a chrome exhaust deflector to the rear. The inline eight-cylinder engine comes to life and slips through the gears effortlessly, providing a ride today that will astonish both the driver and passenger with its quick performance, quiet operations and silky-smooth ride thanks to the Floating Power engine mounts and optional automatic overdrive. The striking impact and allure of the Airflow, allows for many more future awards and adoration from a vast array of automotive and design enthusiasts.

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