- It’s an innovative streamlined design, with aviation influences.
- The strong “unit body” was promoted by a famous stunt of driving it off a 100-foot cliff, where it landed on all four wheels and was driven away.
- While innovative, its design was ahead of its time and did not appeal to the public.
Big news for 1934 was the revolutionary Airflow unveiled in the Chrysler and DeSoto lines. Now considered one of the most influential cars of the 1930s, the Airflow was primarily the brain-child of Carl Breer, who put into it all of the most modern concepts of streamlined automotive and aviation designs.
All Airflow bodies were constructed around a cage-like steel girder network, to which the body panels were welded. This “unit body” was so strong that, in a publicity stunt, an Airflow was driven off a 100-foot cliff, bounced down the cliff face, landed on all four wheels and was driven off under its own power. Barney Oldfield and his “Hell Drivers” thrilled millions and demonstrated the durability of the Airflow design at the Chicago World’s Fair. As innovative as it was, the Airflow was clearly ahead of public taste and was not a dramatic sales success.