A 1934 CU Chrysler Story

May 12, 2018

I discovered this CU sedan for sale by a city fireman in Healdsburg, north of Santa Rosa, CA in 1959. It was dark blue at the time. Bob Hansell and I both worked for Peterbilt Motors in Oakland. Bob was hired not long after I started in 1959 after arriving from Ardmore, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia, where his late father had been a Chrysler-Plymouth dealer. He had bought a nice ’33 Chrysler sedan as his daily driver commuting from the legendary Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. When I told Bob about the Airflow, he immediately bought it and sold the ‘33. Bob's wife was named Zelda after the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Her parents were English professors as I recall who lived in a great old aging mansion in Ardmore or thereabouts where I once spent a night. The Airflow was identical to the one my mother drove when I was a boy. Bob and Zelda were unhappy with their lives in California and soon after returned to PA driving the Airflow with a U-Haul trailer hooked on. Bob and Zelda moved in with her parents. I stayed in touch with Bob, and I moved with Karel to Ohio in 1962. I told Bob if he ever decided to sell the Airflow I might be interested in buying it. In 1968 Bob called me and said that he and Zelda were moving into a commune in New Hampshire and wanted us to join them. Of course, nothing would have been more to our dislike than to do so. Bob then offerred me the Airflow (which I had not seen in almost 10 years) for a nominal price, delivered to me in Marion, OH. I agreed and Bob, with a small child of his, arrived at our house in the car, which now was in wretched condition -- having been driven as Bob’s daily driver for the last 10 years with no evidence of any maintenance. It had low compression, low oil pressure, lots of smoke and a howling rear end. The front seat was worn out, but worst of all it had almost no brakes — so bad I would not drive it until I rebuilt them. I couldn’t imagine that Bob could drive it that way —let alone from Philadelphia to Marion.

 

I rebuilt the brakes and rear end myself, pulled the engine at home and took it for a rebuild. The body had little rust or damage and I had a real nice paint job in Moonglow Poly done on it (like my mother’s car). I then installed nice seat covers. By then I owned 8 collector cars and was transferred by Eaton from Marion, OH to Southfield, MI, outside Detroit. I had one car at my mother’s and two at my grandmother’s and 5 in a rented carriage house in Marion that was full of bats. To store one car in the Detroit area was going to cost more than 5 in Marion. So I promptly sold three cars, including the Airflow. 

 

Bill now drives a 1935 C2 sedan that was recently shown at the CCCA 2017 Grand Classic in Sequim, Washington. Except for the front fenders, the car is in original paint. See the Moonglow CU with Ohio plates and Bill's C2 at the CCCA below. (Ed.) 

 

 

 

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