Some say the Chrysler and DeSoto Airflow, introduced in 1934, was ahead of its time, which is why sales sunk. Others blame production line faults for being unable to fulfill a large number of initial orders. Whatever the case, only 13,940 DeSoto Airflow models in four different series left the factory. This was about 9,000 less cars than what DeSoto made the previous year. Chrysler didn’t fare much better, with 10,833 Airflows leaving the factory. Had Chrysler not retained its more traditional CA and CB models, 1934 sales would likely have been a third of 1933’s. Point being, this 1934 DeSoto Airflow for sale on LA Craigslist is a rare car. Rare isn’t always a good thing. Especially for a car that needs absolutely everything to get back on the road in any form. This aerodynamic ride is listed for at $2,950. Does that price make you dream or scream?
The seller of this Airflow doesn’t offer much about it. Judging by the pictures, not much needs to be said. The one bit of info they do provide is that what appear to be its last usable parts, the dash gauges, will be salvaged for another Airflow. That means this poor streamlined beauty is a parts car.
Perhaps the best part about this car, or what’s left of it, is its impressive waterfall grille. While it was a heavy point of contempt for many critics of the era, it has since become one of the most recognizable front ends ever made. There are many other interesting tidbits to note when it comes to Airflows. These cars were among the earliest examples of mass produced streamlining. They also incorporated a variety of safety features not normally found at the time. Safety glass was apparently not a huge selling point in the 1930s.
This Airflow is likely destined to become a rod of one sort or another, be it hot, street or rat. While I hate to see rare models cut up, a restoration would likely never justify the means. Saving the body and, as the seller recommends too, placing it on a modern chassis, could be the best way to go. There is hope for cars of this nature, as there are plenty of skilled builders out there.
For a hair under three grand, this Airflow is asking to be saved. With running and driving restored options going for $20,000 to $30,000, margins are thin for anyone looking to flip. Unless you’re the cut, weld, plop and run type, that is. So what say you? Does this Airflow make you want to take off on your next project or are you saying Air-no.