One of 230 Final-Year Coupes: 1937 Chrysler C-17 Airflow


Unveiling the 1937 Chrysler C-17 Airflow Eight coupe (chassis 7023522), a remarkable specimen from the final year of production. Only 4,600 of these groundbreaking models were manufactured, with a mere 230 of them being two-door versions. We find earlier models more appealing due to their captivating waterfall grille and seamlessly integrated headlights. However, the demand for a conventional setup forced Chrysler to modify the design, as the American public was not quite prepared for the concept of a mass-produced Detroit Art Deco streamliner. Nonetheless, this coupe still possesses elegantly flowing lines when observed from the side or rear. Its overall condition appears remarkably pristine, considering it is claimed to be “highly original.” The lustrous dark paint exudes a deep shine, complementing the car’s contours perfectly, while the seller assures us that there is no trace of rust. Beneath the hood lies a 323.5ci L-head straight-eight engine, coupled with a 3-speed manual transmission featuring overdrive. According to the seller, this vehicle glides down the road with tremendous speed. Classified as Full Classics by the CCCA, surviving coupes are exceedingly scarce, making this particular example one of the finest remaining specimens. Discover this automotive gem on eBay in Verona, Wisconsin, with an asking price of $119k or best offer. We extend our gratitude to BaT reader Kyle K. for submitting this exceptional find.

One of 230 Final-Year Coupes: 1937 Chrysler C-17 Airflow

Was it the graceful flight of geese in a V-formation, the synchronized maneuvers of military aircraft, or the fascination of Chrysler designer Carl Breer with lighter-than-air craft that influenced the form-follows-function shape of the Airflow? The origins of this aerodynamic marvel may forever remain a mystery. However, after subjecting approximately 50 scale models to rigorous wind tunnel tests, Breer, alongside engineers Fred Zeder, Owen Skelton, and consultant Orville Wright, introduced the Airflow in 1934. Available from both DeSoto and Chrysler, these cars boasted advanced unibody construction, an impressive 50/50 weight distribution, and a higher power-to-weight ratio compared to their competitors. It is worth noting that Tatra and their aerodynamicist Paul Jaray alleged that Chrysler infringed upon some of their patents with the Airflow, resulting in an eventual out-of-court settlement—an intriguing footnote in its history.

One of 230 Final-Year Coupes: 1937 Chrysler C-17 Airflow

The Airflow gracefully tapers from its front to the rear, with its lines harmoniously converging at the back of the vehicle. The newly added chrome and stainless elements are of concours-quality, while the wide whitewall tires are reportedly fresh. The running boards remain in their original condition, maintaining the car’s authentic appeal.

One of 230 Final-Year Coupes: 1937 Chrysler C-17 Airflow

Upon entering the interior, one is greeted by a highly original ambiance. The headliner, carpet, and quite possibly the seats, have been preserved exactly as they were when delivered by the factory. The upholstery exhibits the correct wool Bedford Cord material, exuding a sense of authenticity. The painted wood-grained dash, adorned with square Art Deco gauges (all functioning perfectly), adds a touch of visual splendor. Notably, each Airflow was equipped with a safety instrument panel devoid of protruding knobs. The car also boasts dual gloveboxes, dual cowl ventilators, and dual windshields that can be opened with a concealed crank, optimizing the airflow experience. The factory heater and windshield wipers are reported to be in excellent working order.

One of 230 Final-Year Coupes: 1937 Chrysler C-17 Airflow

Beneath the hood lies a 323.5ci L-head straight-eight engine, delivering a factory-rated 130 horsepower. While the air cleaner has been repainted, the rest of the engine bay remains untouched, maintaining its originality. Remarkably quiet, the engine purrs almost silently, a testament to its exceptional condition. Thanks to the column-shifted 3-speed transmission with a fully operational factory overdrive, the Airflow effortlessly achieves speeds well beyond 85 mph.






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