Bliss from the Depression-Era - Greater Cincinnati Automobile Dealers Association
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Bliss from the Depression-Era

chandler smith

For those who were around in the 1930’s, it was a time of instability.  The Depression, which took place from 1929-39, left the economy in a rough state.  Though many things at the time weren’t dependable, one thing came to be!  The Chrysler Imperial Airflow, appearing in 1934, was an extremely revolutionary vehicle at the time; so says Chandler Smith, a 51 year-old finance rep from Fort Worth, TX, when interviewed by A.J. Baime of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Smith says he was 10 years-old on a family vacation, when his father first pointed out an Airflow to him.  Apparently, they were only built for 4 years, and there are very few of them left.  The Airflow was the first American car designed using a wind tunnel, and Orville Wright of the Wright brothers was one of its consultants.  The car proved its strength and dependability through multiple stunts.  “Chrysler engineers filmed it being pushed off a 110-foot cliff.  A man then jumps in at the bottom and drives away.  They also filmed the car getting shot in the tire with a shotgun to prove it would be safe in the event of a blowout.”

Smith purchased his 1936 Airflow from an expert in Seattle who’d restored it in 1983 with absolute authenticity.  Since owning it, Smith has driven the car to Reno, Nev., St. Joseph, Mich., Lexington, Ky., Durango, Colo., and to Phoenix in 116-degree heat.  “I’m just a caretaker,” he says.  “My job is to maintain it, use it, and share it with people.”

If you have an awesome antique, or otherwise rare or unique vehicle that you’d love to share with others, enter it into the Cincinnati Auto Expo 2015 Forum Car Contest!  Simply go to for your chance to win, and have your vehicle on display for the thousands of Auto Expo attendees to see and admire!