RM Auctions Motor City 2014 Preview – 1934 Chrysler Airflow Eight Sedan Is First Family Cruiser

The ‘first family cruiser’… is a nice way of re-writing my original headline: ‘first mini-van?’

So was it the first mini-van as we know them? No.

But it does have the tall shape and profile of a useful family car, particularly versus the panel trucks, Model A tourers, or the rumble seat two-doors that were most plentiful in this time period and affordable price range.

Few other non-luxury cars could fit a family inside an enclosed cabin in 1934. What was the need? Where would you all “go” together?  This was before most paved roads, let alone interstates.

RM Auctions Motor City 2014 Preview – 1934 Chrysler Airflow Eight Sedan Is First Family Cruiser


What a legacy the state of Michigan has with car-making. RM Auctions dubs this event Motor City, which makes sense when  considering the location is at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

So calling it the Detroit auction would be a big misnomer, as it is not scheduled for downtown.

But the Motor City tag is a good catch-all. This really is a tight-knit group, a collective of car business expertise that knows one another well. Good cars or bad – there are smart people up and down every company factory or office hallway.

This 1934 Chrysler Airflow Eight Sedan is a unique part of the RM Auctions event in late July 2014. It is very special and showed how Chrysler defined itself by new aerodynamic emphasis in the 1930s, when nearly all other car-markers still had huge over-fender designs and little car for the drag of wind resistance.

Sure, the Airflow’s ideas might have been more theoretical than practical, as this big goose was not likely to crest 80-mph unless going down a mountain ski slope.

But the focus of aerodynamics set in motion a wonderful period for Chrysler’s engineering advancement — and kept the company alive while fellow Michiganders at General Motors and Ford were either acquiring or devouring smaller companies from neighboring Wisconsin (Hudson), Indiana (Auburn) and maybe even some in Illinois that we cannot recall this second.

More cars new rolled from Michigan in a single year in 1940 than were on the entire continents of Asia, Africa and South America — combined.

It was a cut-throat business then as now, with market share and volume the name of the game. Now-a-days, ‘profit’ slides into that tri-fecta of must-haves for Michigan car-makers alongside market share and revenue.

And it surely did then too for Chrysler and its one-of-a-kind Airflow Eight design.

Snap this gem up for yourself this July in Plymouth at the RM Auctions event.


Motor City

26 July 2014


Friday, July 25
10:00 am – 6:00 pm preview
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm reception
Bidders, consignors, and qualified media are invited to join us for drinks. Please click here to register.
Saturday, July 26
11:00 am auction
The auction will run approx. 4-5 hours

*All times are shown in the time zone in which the auction is conducted.



The Inn at St. John’s
44045 Five Mile Road
Plymouth, Michigan
United States


Recommended Accommodations

The Inn at St. John’s
44045 Five Mile Road
Plymouth, Michigan

Hilton Garden Inn Plymouth
14600 Sheldon Road
Plymouth, Michigan


Photo Credit: Aaron Summerfield ©2014 Courtesy of RM Auctions

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.

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