Aspen Snowmass
1935 DeSoto Airflow PHOTOGRAPHY BY Bill Pack
Estimate: $45,000 - $60,000 USD
  • 1935
  • Desoto
  • Airflow
  • 9603496
  • Brown/Cream
  • Brown/Tan
  • Landmark design
  • Recent Restoration
  • Recent upper engine rebuild

Chrysler’s Revolutionary Design

One of the first exhibits encountered at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art is a clear green resin relief of an Airflow superimposed on its printed outline. Master artist Claes Oldenburg was enchanted with the form since childhood and his Profile Airflow was a “celebration of sleek design and the Airflow’s smooth curves”; it paid “ homage to the erotic quality associated with the automobile.” Few would argue that Airflow ranks high in the pantheon of great pre-war automotive designs, easily taking its place alongside the Tatra and the Volkswagen Beetle. No collection of American greats is complete without one.

This Car’s Past

This DeSoto Airflow spent its early years in Canada but little is known since. Its presentation speaks for itself. Accompanying records include its original Canadian registration card and instruction (owner’s) manual.

History of the Model

Carl Breer headed a triumvirate of famed Chrysler engineers. His fascination with aerodynamics led to Chrysler building a wind tunnel and the development of the Airflow. Orville Wright consulted on the project. Additional advances included a space frame, which resulted in a dramatic increase in structural strength and stability. Efforts at improving balance were rewarded by a near 50/50 weight with passengers on board.

Restoration or Preservation History

This Airflow was carefully restored in 2013 and 2014. While seats were redone, it appears that the velour door covers and headliner were preserved. After the restoration , the car was the shown at the National Chrysler Products meet. A recent upper engine service was performed. Valves were adjusted; carburetor rebuilt; and intake and exhaust manifolds replaced with NOS parts. The car retains its positive ground 6 volt system. The car has been examined by a restoration professional who found door gaps to be excellent, and all gauges and window cranks functional . Brightwork is said to be fabulous and stability excellent at an effortless 65 miles per hour.

“This styling and engineering masterpiece represented Chrysler's moonshot at greatness.”Jay Leno


The collector market tends toward unique cars which function. Touring is favored over static display. The Airflow is renowned for its advanced styling, art deco touches and quiet travel at highway speeds. One would be hard pressed to find a better entry into the car hobby.Mark Moskowitz


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