Saturday, January 3, 2015
1932 Chrysler Airflow Trifon Concept
Chrysler's experimental Trifon design was a break from the traditional automobile architecture and is often considered the first 'modern' automobile. Work began in the late 1920's, when Chrysler Corporation engineer Carl Breer began wind-tunnel testing to explore the performance-improving potential of an aerodynamic shaped automobile body. In 1932, a concept appeared that was registered as a Trifon Special instead of a Chrysler. This was done to confuse competitors.
The design concept was approved by Walter P. Chrysler who authorized development of production cars based on this design. In 1934, the Chrysler and DeSoto Airflows were introduced to a reluctant automotive community.
The 1932 Trifon is one of the earliest surviving concept cars. The car is basically original, except for repair and painting of damaged fenders. It has a 115-inch wheelbase and is 189-inches long. Power is from an L-Head six-cylinder unit that displaces 242 cubic-inches and produces 100 horsepower. There is a three-speed transmission with vacuum clutch and free-wheeling.
Along with the aerodynamic body, the Trifon introduced several innovations including seats that were moved between axles to reduce the pitch, bounce and jar. The trunk, head and taillights are integrated into the body design and the engine is moved forward, over the front axle. The body panels are fastened to trusses bolted to the frame - the forerunner to unibody construction. There is a one-piece curved glass windshield and longer, lower-adjusted spring suspension.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2010