Streamliners have been covered extensively on The Old Motor in the past and the oldest enclosed version so far has been a 1914 Alfa Romeo Aerodinamica with coachwork by Carrozzeria Castagna. Thanks to Paul Jaray, an earlier one has been uncovered that was constructed by Karl Czerny & Co. in Vienna, Austria in 1913.
The uncommon Ganz gefchoffen is covered in a 1913 issue of the Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung along with these photos. The aerodynamic coachwork was built on and around a high-quality French Charron (C.G.V.) 75 h.p. chassis that shares the same arrangement of the radiator mounted behind the engine as did the early Renault.
We are left with two thoughts – is the Czerny creation the first streamliner ever built with an enclosed body and if not can our readers can point us to an earlier example? More photos of it can be viewed at the Gläser-Karosserien-Forum. If you can read German and have the time, send us a comment with an overview of the text in the Allgemeine Automobil- Zeitung article. Thanks to Ivan Pozega for his help with this article.
- Note the radiator above just forward of the front door and the center driving position.
- The hood and radiator are visible on the inside of the body, note the curved side glass.
- L&R – Rear passenger compartment – Front compartment with division window and speaking tube.
Even though it is a little over to twenty years newer than the Ganz gefchoffen, the video Streamlines below by Chevrolet is a well-worth watching. In it you will learn about wind tunnel testing and also view an interesting demonstration of a device that uses a liquid and aluminum powder to show the effect different shapes have on streamlining.