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Old 02-11-2014, 08:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
jhefner
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I have seen a trio of cars sitting in a field in Grand Prairie ever since I started commuting to my new job.* But, a recent brush fire revealed them in all of their glory; and just last week, I realized the one in the middle is a 1936 Chrysler Airflow; with a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado on one side and what I think is a 1940s Chevrolet Delux on the other. The chrome strip on the side helped date it to 1936; I would have to measure the wheelbase to see if it is a CV8 or maybe an Imperial CV10.* Notice the front and back doors are the same, just turned around.* The engine sat directly over the front axle, while the rear seat was ahead of the rear axle, giving it a modern 55/45 weight distribution.* Along with leaf springs on all four wheels, it gave it an unusually smooth ride for it's time; even with the primitive solid beam front axle. The trunk helped me to date it to 1936; the 1934-1935 Airflows did not have one. You can see how it was welded in place. The Airflow dashboard had the steering wheel in the middle, a glove box on each side, and the guages in the now-empty holes on each side of where the steering column was. Cars of the 1920s-1930s had canvas roofs because they did not have stamping machines capabile of forming something as large as a roof with the compound curve to it. By 1937 they could, but Chrysler could not afford to retool the Airflow's roof, so a steel plug was inserted where the canvas roof used to be. At a time when most carmakers mounted their headlights on top of the fenders, the Airflow had it's headlights flush mounted in the nose.* The Airflow had a drag coefficient of 0.50 at a time when most cars were around 0.74 (and were more aerodynamic if driven backwards), today's cars are around 0.30. Chrysler's straight eight with an aluminum head would have been fitted; it produced 112-145HP depending on the size of the engine, which depended on trim level. Notice the remaining solid front axle, which sat directly under the engine.
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