St. John's

28 July 2012

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Lot 170

1935 DeSoto Airflow Sedan

  • Chassis no. 5088307

Sold for $22,000

Series SG. 100 hp, 241.5 cu. in. L-head inline six-cylinder engine, Ball & Ball single-barrel carburetor, three-speed synchromesh manual transmission, solid front axle with leaf springs and anti-sway bar, semi-floating rear axle with leaf springs, and Lockheed four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115.5"

• Advanced mechanicals; Art Deco-inspired design; historical significance

• Restored by a former DeSoto Club president; well cared-for ever since

• Now offered from 10 years of single ownership; well-maintained and shows well

In 1934, the entire DeSoto lineup featured Chrysler Corporation’s all-new and radically streamlined Airflow design. Walter P. Chrysler expected the streamlined and futuristic Airflow models to take the nation by storm, and five body styles were offered for the introductory year. A design far ahead of its time, the Airflow featured built-in headlamps and wider front seats accommodating up to three adults. The hood was extended past the front axle, and the rear fenders were fully-skirted. More advanced styling features included a rounded radiator grille and a modified vee’d windshield.

No mere design exercise, the Airflow series was a technological marvel with its low-drag body, advanced unit-body construction, and Lockheed hydraulic brakes. Passenger comfort and ease of entry/exit were greatly improved from the outset, aided by the positioning of all passengers within the wheelbase, low ground clearance, and extra-long front and rear leaf springs. Despite the quantum leap represented by the Airflow, wary Depression-era buyers failed to respond in the numbers Chrysler anticipated. For 1935, the more conventionally-styled SF-Series Airflows debuted, outselling the more radical SG-Series cars by a factor of over three to one.

This late-production SG-Series 1935 DeSoto Airflow Sedan was restored by Mr. Randy Rutherford, of Pennsylvania, a former DeSoto Club president. Acquired by the current owner in 2002, the Airflow clearly benefits from proper maintenance and storage, as well as limited use. It presents well and was recently fitted with a new battery. It is also stated to run smoothly. The Airflow models represent a welcome break in convention from their more common, less advanced, prewar competitors. While vastly underappreciated when new, Chrysler Corporation’s “true” Airflow models of 1934–1935 are highly prized by collectors today for their aerodynamic Art Deco lines, advanced engineering, robust driving dynamics, and relative rarity.


Please note that this car was not restored by Mr. Randy Rutherford, nor was he the DeSoto Club President. Rather, it was restored prior to his ownership by Mr. Ellis Claar, the DeSoto Club Chief Judge Emeritus.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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

Michael Squire

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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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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