Today, automakers love to brag about low drag coefficients, but that wasn’t the case when this 1934 Chrysler Airflow Imperial Eight was built. This car was one of the first designed for low aerodynamic drag, but it ultimately proved to be ahead of its time, as Jay Leno explains on this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.
The Airflow is known for its streamlined bodywork, which was designed with the aid of wind-tunnel testing, a novelty at the time. Under the skin, it had some other notable design features. The engine was pushed forward over the front axle to maximize interior space, and the floor was lower than typical cars of the period. The Airflow was also one of the first mass-produced cars with an all-steel body.
This car is powered by a 299-cubic-inch flathead V-8, which makes 122 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, according to Jay. Drive is