This 1935 Chrysler Imperial Airflow C2 is one of 2,398 four-door sedans produced that year, and it was acquired by the selling dealer from the estate of the late Carroll Shelby in 2018. Finished in Envoy Red over tan mohair, the car is said to have been purchased by actor Steve McQueen in the 1970s, and after his passing it was acquired by the Imperial Palace Auto Collection of Las Vegas, Nevada at the Steve McQueen Estate Auction in 1984. Mr. Shelby purchased the car in 1998. Power is supplied by a 323.5ci straight-eight paired with a three-speed manual transmission, and service in 2018 reportedly included installation of a resurfaced replacement cylinder head as well as new spark plugs and new tires. This Imperial Airflow is now offered by the selling dealer in Missouri with a Chrysler instruction book, a catalog from the McQueen estate auction, a Shelby Vehicle Authenticity Certificate, California registration and insurance cards in Carroll Shelby’s name, and a clean California title in the name of the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust.
The body is finished in Envoy Red and features nearly flush-mounted headlights in teardrop bezels, rear-hinged back doors, a continental-style spare tire, rear fender skirts, and a revised front grille compared with the waterfall grille of 1934 models. The streamlined design was one of the first to use wind-tunnel testing, as well as a split windshield, safety glass in all windows, and all-steel body construction.
Artillery-style 16″ wheels wear chrome hubcaps and 750-16 whitewall tires that were reportedly sourced from Universal Vintage Tire Company in June 2018. The chassis design focused on weight distribution and moved the passenger compartment farther forward between the axles as compared with contemporary models. Equipment includes power-assisted drum brakes and progressive-rate leaf springs front and rear.
The cabin is trimmed in tan mohair cloth with matching carpets, burl wood interior window moldings, and a burl wood dash. The shifter is topped with a Shelby Cobra emblem, and wear can be seen at the bottom of the door panels and on the rear armrests.
Center-mounted factory instruments consist of a 120-mph speedometer and gauges for fuel level, oil pressure, water temperature, and amperage. The selling dealer notes that the speedometer is currently inoperable, but the five-digit odometer is working and shows 59k miles.
The 323.5ci L-head straight-eight was factory rated at 130 horsepower at 3,400 rpm. According to the selling dealer, the cylinder head was replaced in August 2018, and the replacement component was resurfaced and installed along with new spark plugs.
Power is sent to the rear wheels through a three-speed manual transmission. Additional photos presented in the gallery below show the underbody, suspension, brakes, and exhaust.
Accompanying documentation includes a catalog from the 1984 McQueen estate auction, a book about Steve McQueen’s collection of vehicles, documentation from the Imperial Palace Auto Collection, an authenticity certificate from the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust, registration and insurance cards from Shelby’s ownership, and an owner’s manual.