Hershey

11-12 October 2012

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Lot 145

1934 DeSoto Airflow Coupe

  • Chassis no. 6078798
  • Engine no. SE8458

Sold for $55,000


100 hp, 241.5 cu. in. inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed synchromesh manual transmission with freewheeling, solid front and semi-floating rear axle with leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 115.5 in.



• A fantastic design well ahead of its time

• Beautiful Art Deco interior appointments



In 1934, the entire DeSoto lineup featured Chrysler Corporation’s new streamlined Airflow design. Walter P. Chrysler expected the streamlined and futuristic Airflow models to take the nation by storm and to reap huge profits. A design far ahead of its time, the Airflow featured built-in headlamps and wider front seats that could accommodate three adults abreast. The hood was extended past the front axle and the rear fenders had full fender skirts. There was also a rounded radiator grille and a modified vee-shaped windshield, further styling features that set this car apart from anything ever seen on North American shores.



Not just an exercise in styling, the Airflow series was also a mechanical marvel, incorporating many new concepts in an effort to improve the driving experience. For improved handling, neutral weight distribution was attempted and the body was lower to the ground, thanks to a unit body construction and extra-long leaf springs. One of the major pay-offs of the Airflow design was greatly increased fuel consumption over traditionally styled vehicles of the era. Harry Hartz managed a cross-continental road trip from New York City to San Francisco, California, with a total fuel bill of just $33.06, averaging better than 22 miles per gallon.



Though a truly unique car for the time, the Airflow wasn’t widely accepted. Coupled with the height of the Depression, only 1,520 DeSoto coupes were built in 1934. While this stylish DeSoto was restored, closer inspection reveals certain cosmetic issues. Finished in silver with a brown cloth interior, this car features a number of beautiful Art Deco appointments that DeSotos have become known for. These include the radio with a roof top antenna, elegant chrome trim, and correct upholstery designs and seat details. The stylish “waterfall” grill leads the way on this unique but short-lived modern marvel.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more