Streamlined Beauty: 1934 Chrysler Airflow CY Sedan

There are many cars that have entered our minds as styling greats throughout time. Many low production coach built cars are often at the top of the list, but there are some very brilliant American made production cars that downright deserve to be acknowledged. The Airflow is one of those cars. Although having some initial issues with retooling and manufacturing processes, when you look at an Airflow now, it is a breath taking work of art. Born in the Art Deco time period with a heavy emphasis on streamline design, this beautiful machine has been well maintained having undergone a restoration in the late 1980’s. It’s condition is phenomenal, and this Chrysler was likely always well maintained. Although this is not the typical run of the mill Airflow as it was built in the Ontario, Canada plant and is one of 445 units built with a 6 cylinder engine. Considered a smooth runner and ready to drive, this fine piece of rolling history can be yours for $39,995. Check it out here on Hemmings out of Jacksonville, Florida.

Beneath the “waterfall” style hood and grill is an inline 6 cylinder engine. The Chrysler CY sedan was the only 6 cylinder equipped Airflow produced, as the standard Airflows came with an inline 8 cylinder engine. With that being said the engine, under-body, and frame all are in very nice condition. As of last year, the fuel system has been serviced, as well as the brake system. This streamline delight is ready to roll.

The interior is just as beautiful as the exterior, and definitely isn’t lacking in the style department. The lovely chrome bent seat frames, the trim work on the door panels, and the ornate dash are all exquisite details that really make this interior wonderful. Appearing flawless, this fine interior is in like new condition, and has been used very gently. The milk chocolate dash is shiny, but there are some minor condition concerns. The paint is beginning to crack on the passenger side of the dash, but it is not apparent on the remainder of the dash. The gauges are crisp and clean without oxidation or damage, other than a faulty trip odometer. The carpet kit is nicely fitted, and the seats and door panels look grand.

Clearly born from the Art Deco era, this Airflow has some Egyptian revival elements as well as the headlights almost appear as scarabs. Although showing as mint, the seller mentions the paint has aged and is a “driver” suitable finish. Studying the pictures closely there is no major damage, or imperfections spotted in the paint. The running boards have recently been restored and wear the proper rubber trim. The only visible paint issue is that one of the edges of the fender that goes under the running board has a chipped paint area. There is also caked up wax in the door hinge, and there are some odd little spots along the bottom edge of the driver door sill. There is no rust on the body, and the undercarriage is limited to some minor surface rust on the frame. The under-body and floors are excellent, as is the rest of the undercarriage. Although an older restoration, this Airflow is a beauty that in a proper storage environment can be maintained in its current state for many years. Are you a fan of these Streamlined beauties?

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Comments

  1. nessy

    I have one. A final year 37 Chrysler Airflow 8, much larger than the car featured here. The car has an overdrive knob on the dash that you pull out around 40mph and in goes the overdrive. With the overdrive engaged, I can run my car at 75mph at low rpm. The Airflow really was years ahead of it’s time. It’s a very smooth riding car. The most advanced car of the decade by far. I think they are beautiful cars. Art Deco at it’s finest.

  2. Bruce Best

    Do not every paint one the factory green color. I helped restore one in that color and when we got it outside for the first time it looked like a giant mutated pickle. The owners grandfather owned it and it stated in his family until long after we restored it. He agreed about the color but his memories of his grandfather taking him around the city and into the country were far stronger than that color.

    That was a man that loved his grandfather very very much. I was a pleasure to know him and to restore that car.

    • Ed P

      I can’t remember ever seeing a green Airflow. Maybe others thought so to.

    • jtnc

      There was a green Airflow coupe at the Amelia Island Concours this year. Beautiful. The color was stated to be factory but not “olive-ish,” more of a medium grass green.

  3. JW454

    This is a very sharp looking car but, I wouldn’t want to be in the back seat if it hit something big and solid. No seat belts and a nice chrome bar to smash your face on.
    Safety has come a long way but, I still like the looks of the old cars the best.

  4. Jeffro

    I’d much have this than the Rolls wagon! Beautiful design. And American made!

    • St. Ramone de V8

      Canadian made!

  5. DrinkinGasoline

    Simply gorgeous !

  6. Zac

    Is it just me or does the front bumper look a little off kilter?

    • Wayne

      Likewise

    • jackthemailman

      Distorted photo. Look at the driver side of the whole car; it appears closer to the viewer than does the passenger side.

  7. KO

    One of my all time favs. Watch the Airflow go through some safety tests, then off a cliff.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFl5pEe-7uo

    • GP Member

      That’s a nice little video, I never seen that. Let’s see todays cars go off a cliff and keep on going. ( It’s not even a Energizer Airflow)

  8. Brad C

    Had to save that interior photo to my hard drive. What a spectacular machine, inside and out.

  9. Quandaria

    Looks like the VW Bug’s much bigger brother

  10. Mike H. Mike H

    It’s gorgeous. Not sure where $40k lands on the value spectrum (it seems reasonable to me, but I’m not “up” on the values of these), but I could think of a lot worse things to spend that money on.

  11. PebblebeachJudge

    Consider a Cord 810 as a good alterative , but this beauty will capture any audience in it’s deign and period Deco importance. The film footage is part of the portfolio . It’s a cheap shoe in for any event, rally or show. I can tell you to make those bumpers would cost $20,000. There’s your value spectrum. There can not be many that survived.

  12. Paul B

    The first truly modern car, a little too advanced for 1934 and shot down by GM’s attack ads because GM had nothing to match it. By the end of the decade, all cars were moving in this direction. I’d love one. Unitized construction, efficient design, and far roomier and better to drive than their contemporary horseless carriage-type competition.

  13. Jim Marshall

    These cars always fascinated me and definitely were way ahead of they’re time. The styling was not well received and it’s apparent in the later model years Chrysler had squared up the nose to give it a more conventional appearance. Hard to figure why that didn’t save it from going out of production because the engineering was also way ahead of the times.

  14. Bill McCoskey

    While the Airflow is well known in north America as the original streamlined car, take a look at the Czech Tatra T-77 of the same year. The Tatra makes the Airflow look more like a brick. [See photo]

    The Tatra T-77 also had a rear mounted air cooled V8 with overhead cams, and a magnesium crankcase.

    I’ve also heard the 4-door Airflow only required 2 basic steel door assemblies to be stamped, the front door was the same as the opposite side rear door.

  15. Ed P

    The styling was controversial. No stylists were involved in the original edition. It was purely an engineers design. Stylists were brought in later to try and save the car. With GM’s smear campaign, the die was cast and the car failed

  16. SteveN

    was there a DeSoto version?

  17. ed p

    Yes.

  18. RJ

    I know I’ll be in the minority here, but the dash in that color does absolutely nothing for me. That kind of brown looks like plastic. And dash just doesn’t scream Art Deco to me. At least not as much as other cars of the same period and later.

    • ed p

      Plastic was the new wonder material. Very stylish for the 1930’s.

  19. Robert White

    Interesting find, BF.

    Bob

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