Rare Chrysler restoration in full swing

27th February 2024

Transport World’s workshop team members Dallas Ryan and Chris Rawlinson continue one of their big projects – the restoration of a rare 1935 Chrysler Airflow.

Specifically, it is a 1935 Chrysler Imperial CW Airflow Custom LeBaron.

One of only eight left in the world, it is also suspected to be the only right-hand drive of its kind.

With the assistance of American Phil Putnam, who has restored two of these cars himself, the team have been sourcing some parts from around the United States where possible, with Phil packaging and sending them to the team at Transport World’s Otepuni Avenue workshop.

The team have most recently been working on the grille, bonnet, and bumpers, which have been manufactured from scratch.

They had attempted to source these parts initially, but unable to do so, have tackled the task of creating them all from scratch.

The grille was still a work in progress, being built and put together by the workshop team.

They have also made a large amount of other parts including the windscreen frame and the front guards, which were missing.

Phil shipped over the headlight cuts (the panels) for the repairs on the front guards, along with all headlight parts.

He has sent over other various items, including the timber parts for the roof, parts for the window frames for the right and left front doors, bottom and top tanks of the radiator and the gauges, which have since been completed and finished.

He even sourced a parts car, which is a 1936 Chrysler CW, which was how the workshop team got the measurements for the grille as well as other mechanical parts.

One of the biggest tasks of the restoration, which Dallas and Chris have never done before, has been to build the windscreen from scratch, which has taken a lot of time and patience.

To do this they have had to build a former to mould the glass which is the shape of the windscreen surround.

They now have two finished windscreens, after working with a local manufacturer, who did the kiln work and laminating of the windscreen.

Both are very happy with how they have turned out.

Body work is nearing completion on the vehicle with rust repairs and new panels made.

Only the front guards and bonnet remains, which will be done when the final parts are put in place including the grille, bumpers etc, so final alignment can be made to the front of the vehicle.

This piece of the restoration has been more time-consuming than first anticipated, due to previous damage to the front of the vehicle, which has meant aligning this end of the car has been very challenging.

Next up for the workshop team will be the mechanical components of the chassis, along with painting and the upholstery fit-out.