Description

  • One of a fleet of 2,200 ordered by a New York City taxi company.
  • It featured the first sliding roof used in the United States.
  • The Airstream series, offered from 1935-1936, featured Art Deco styling.
  • DeSoto was launched by Chrysler in 1928 to compete with Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Nash.

Story

Story

The DeSoto was launched by Chrysler Motors Corporation in 1928 as a 6-cylinder car to compete with Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Nash.  The new line sold well, with more than 90,000 DeSotos produced in the first twelve months.  Downdraft carburetion, floating power (a vacuum operated clutch) and free-wheeling were introduced within the next few years but the big news for 1935 was the introduction of the Airstream series.  Proving to be a successful seller, the DeSoto Airstream was continued for 1936, available with DeLuxe or Custom features.  The 6-cylinder L-head engine produced 93 hp. and an optional overdrive transmission gave greater fuel economy and less engine wear.

The Airstream series was replaced by the Model S-3 in 1937 when DeSoto began building its new Detroit factory, the first exclusively DeSoto manufacturing facility.  Production remained there until 1958, when DeSoto properties became the home of Chrysler Imperials.  Chrysler discontinued DeSoto production in 1960.

This 1936 DeSoto DeLuxe Airstream Taxicab was one of a fleet of 2,200 cabs ordered by a taxicab company in New York City, the largest single order in history up to that time.  Sunshine Radio System, Inc. took its name from the fact that all cabs were equipped with radios and sliding roofs for extra light and ventilation.  The sliding roof was the first used in the United States.

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