Zephyr/Airflow Comparo - Hemmings
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Thread: Zephyr/Airflow Comparo - Hemmings

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    Zephyr/Airflow Comparo - Hemmings

    via Stéphane Dumas @ GMI

    SIA Flashback – Battle of the Streamliners: Chrysler Airflow vs. Lincoln Zephyr - blog.Hemmings.com

    At first blush it’s not the most apparent comparison, pairing the Chrysler Airflow with the Lincoln Zephyr. The latter seems far more conventional and geared for success than the former, but both were huge departures from the mainstream for their day, employing body structures that deviated from the standard body-on-frame along with avante-garde streamline styling. Key differences separate the two, however, as Arch Brown pointed out in SIA #120, December 1990, for better and worse for both cars...


    much More...

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    Re: Zephyr/Airflow Comparo - Hemmings

    a few things I found particularly of note:

    "...the Pierce "Silver Arrow", a gorgeous machine built for display at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. But only five examples were produced, and they sold for $10,000 a pop - at a time when a Ford V-8 sedan cost as little as $560. ..."

    and
    "...the big Lincoln, whose 1935 prices began at $4,200 - about $1,800 higher than Cadillac's..."

    a super-simplified conversion to today's prices based on a $35k SHO (guessing) for the 1930's V8 Ford,
    - the Silver Arrow would price out at $650,000 - certainly not the highest price today for a 'supercar'
    - the pre-Zephyr Big Lincoln would come to $262,500!!!
    - compared to the original Zephyr's approx. $81,000
    (assuming I got the math correct )

    also,
    if anyone has time to find & post photos of the original Zephyr Concept:
    "...Meanwhile...John Tjaarda, with the encouragement of his employers, had designed a streamlined, rear-engined automobile, powered by an aluminum V-8 and employing an automatic transmission. This car was shown at the 1934 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, where it drew rave reviews..."

    I'd greatly appreciate that.
    Not at all sure if I've seen that or not.

    &
    a recurring theme in the article that MAY apply to several present-day trends as well (imho):
    "...was just too different, too controversial for the public's tastes..."



    direct link to the page on which the above quotes can be found
    Last edited by 2b2; 05-06-2012 at 03:35 PM.

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    Re: Zephyr/Airflow Comparo - Hemmings

    2b2, The original Zephyr concept was built by Briggs for the show. The developement of this vehicle used a rear engine and one had a front engine layout. There was also a convertible design somehere along the way which could be directly related to the first Continental convertible.

    I searched for a pic and it's within the site below. The vehicle looks like a 4-door VW Beetle. hmmmm... who had the design first??

    http://www.idsa.org/briggs-dream-car-1933
    Last edited by 2b2; 05-07-2012 at 05:10 PM.

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    Re: Zephyr/Airflow Comparo - Hemmings

    THANKS, TurboS40

    it does look a lot like a Beetle ... or maybe more like the Airflow? - could be just the state of the aerodynamic-art in the early 1930's - or maybe a bit of zeit-geist


    ps fixed your link

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    Re: Zephyr/Airflow Comparo - Hemmings

    Quote Originally Posted by TurboS40 View Post
    ...The vehicle looks like a 4-door VW Beetle. hmmmm... who had the design first??
    found this:
    John Tjaarda van Sterkenburg article - Coachbuilt.com

    ...Tjaarda's concept car, the Zephyr Sternberg, was conceived as a rear engine four door zedan. The rear mounted engine permitted the hood to slope downward at a radically steep degreee of curvature. This design would have afforded the driver of the car to have an excellent view of the road ahead of the car. Marketing research done by Ford revealed that a rear engine car would encounter buyer resistance, so the production Lincoln Zephyr of 1936 and 1937 were fitted with front engine V12s. But the curved front end of the Sternberg was retained on the first two years of production of the Zephyr. The 1936 and 1937 models had their bodies built by Briggs for Ford.

    The Zephyr Sternberg served not only as the inspiration for the Lincoln Zephyr, but the style was literally lifted intact by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and was employed in the original "People's Car," the Volkswagen Beetle. I have seen VW Beetles with a 1940 Ford grille and modified "hood" that look very much like a 1936-1937 Zephyr coupe-sedan...

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    just a feeling that it wouldn't be too hard find contrary opinions

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