Art Deco Survivor: 1937 Chrysler Airflow

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The 1930’s brought about beautiful styling and design to the automobile. 1937 was the last year for the Chrysler Airflow with only 4,600 cars being built that year. Airflows are not the most common car to see, much less in good original condition. In running and driving condition with some needs, it is obvious that this Airflow is in good company from the back ground of the photographs. Listed as being owned by a little old lady, we are very intrigued by this Chrysler and its $12,000 price tag. Find it here on craigslist out of Los Angeles, California.

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At the heart of this Art Deco automobile is a straight 8 engine that runs. Inspecting the 323 cubic inch engine a little closer reveals a lack of coolant and coolant hoses. The water pump has failed and either needs to be rebuilt, or replaced. Although a water pump is not too big of a hurtle to overcome, when talking about a running 79 year old car. The straight 8 is mated to a 3 speed manual transmission. Rust, corrosion, dirt, and dust are at a minimum in the bay. In fact, the engine and bay have a pleasant original appearance.

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As we examined this Airflow further we became excited by what we saw. This Chrysler appears to be in very reasonable condition after 79 years. The interior is in nice shape overall, with some flaws showing this cars age. The bench seat has a few rips, but is in nice enough shape. The faux painted dash is very nice, appearing to not have any chipping, or rust. The lovely Art Deco steering wheel is in great shape appearing crack free. The door panels and headliner, are in great original shape, as is the back seat having some minor flaws. Studying the lovely Art Deco exterior is a joy. The paint still covers most, if not all, of the body work, and the paint still has a lovely shimmer. The bright work is lovely and flaw free other than some minor surface rust. The running boards are nice, though there looks to be some chipped paint here and there revealing some minor surface rust. The only thing lacking from this Airflow are the taillight lenses. The underbody is very solid with what appears to be one concentrated area that has rot. Aside from that this is an extremely nice Airflow survivor. Mileage is listed at 11,000 miles, but is not confirmed to be actual.

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Easily one of the most iconic and recognized Art Deco automobiles produced, this Airflow is a rare and awesome opportunity. We think this Airflows current condition is still nice enough to be maintained as is, in true survivor fashion. There is certainly room for tidying up and making the car even better without undertaking a full on restoration. We always imagine how great one of these Airflows would look towing an Airstream camper. Would you pick up this Art Deco Survivor?

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Comments

  1. Moe G

    first thing I noticed was the 356’s

    • DrinkinGasoline

      What’s a 356 ??

    • Adam Wright

      Good luck trying to buy anything off those racks, Ben is hard to buy from, as was his dad Rudy before him. Their normal answer if you ask about the racks is “what is for sale is what is listed as for sale.”

      • Dave Wright

        I was in that yard years ago and it was that way then too. Adam, did you buy tha Ahse yard in Anaheim? I used to know those guys well.

  2. Steven

    Ben Klein’s Junkyard and a massive stash of cars that have never been seen.

  3. Joe M

    I remember watching a documentary of the history of Chrysler. They said that these were technology advanced for their day but buyers didn’t like the styling. It’s interesting to see the front nose clip from the 34 in the other pictures to this on in 37. It’s a more traditional design from the 34 water fall nose. Also, they showed the car rolling down a hill sideways for a safety demonstration, the roof did not cave in and it landed upright, and I thought to myself, ok without seat belts what a wild ride that would be.

    Like 1
  4. roselandpete

    It’s interesting how some things (cars/movies) are not very well received when they first come out but become more popular as the years go by.

  5. Brad C

    Brian, here’s a ’36 Airstream trailer (their sole model was the Clipper) with a ’36 Zephyr. Not hard to imagine the Airflow in this post – or even more apropos, its cousin the Desoto Airstream – winding past Depression-era shanties on a dirt road, on its way to some secluded campground.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Beautiful…..

  6. Rick

    Looking at this Airflow and the previous Cord, I would love to have a 1930s version of today’s car magazine’s typical comparison article.

    Something about seeing two over the top Art Deco designs side by side is intriguing to me.

  7. Wayne

    Check image #7, that headlining is certainly not in “great original shape”. It has a great big rip and is sagging in its entirety.

    • Mark S Member

      Wayne I built my own headliner about two years ago. I very carefully removed the old one and layed it out on the floor of my family room, I made a pattern from it while it was stretched out. I bought a heavy polycotten fabric and layed out my pattern pc’s on top of the fabric a cut out the headliner. It took about two and a half hours to sew it together, first using a serger on the edges of each section and then a coventional sewing machine to assemble. It took me about another three hours to install and glue the new headliner back into the car. The point I’m making is these headliners are hung on wires and are not that hard to redo. This was my first attempt at doing this and even though I made a few minor mistakes it turn out quit good. If you have a family member that sews you can team up and DIY your headliner. These are the kind of things that I have resorted to in order to get work done on my car on on a budget.

      Like 1
  8. Barney

    Would love to have the car but one big concern would be the water to be that runs the length of the block. If the remainder of the cooling system needs work, you can bet that tube is rusted through. They are a bare to get out and then you just about have to make your own replacement

  9. guggie

    Mr Bean ( real name ) had one of these in the 50s , I remember thinking how neat this car was . He pampered it and drove it till he passed , Don’t know what happened to it , guess his wife sold it she didn’t drive !

  10. Dickie F

    I really enjoy these reviews and comments so much, as I love cars, all cars, from all ages.
    But when someone describes a car as “nice” with “nice” interior and “nice”paint on “nice” wheels etc 6 times in one write up – I move to another review. None of the 60 cars I owned ever was nice, they were artistic creations sent to feed my senses and the love of my life then, period.
    But my ex-wife was nice.

    • moosie Craig

      so were all 3 of mine

  11. Bruce Best

    I my past I helped restore one of these and for gods sake do not paint it the factory green color. The thing looks like a giant pickle. I have see a number of them and the green is by far the worst color I have see on one.

    It was the owners fathers first new car and it has stayed in the family three generations and even they think it looks like a pickle because that is what they called it when they brought it into the shop to be restored and that is the name it is called still.

    Not the most beautiful but really charming now and I can see how it could become loved.

  12. Tre Deuce

    There was a time when you could go spend time in a wrecking yard and just look at all the cars. I remember sitting in an old Airstream at a wrecking yard near Spanaway, Washington, back in the early sixties. Loved the dash/instruments and detailing. I later went back and bought the bumpers for a split bumper VW project.

  13. dave

    1935 DeSoto

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