Instead of fumbling with task of explaining the concept of aerodynamics myself, I will simply lift some copy from the Porsche 924 ad seen below. Per Porsche:
Air resists the movement of a vehicle passing through it. Resistance increases with the square of the vehicle’s speed: twice the speed produces 4 times the resistance. The engine power required to overcome this drag increases with the cube of the vehicle’s speed: twice the speed requires 8 times higher power. Thus, even a small reduction in drag can result in a large increase in fuel economy. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche was among the first to reduce drag through body design. The Porsche 924 benefits from 70 years of Porsche aerodynamic development. It’s drag coefficient is a low .36. And it requires only 15 hp to cruise at 55 mph.
Two observations about the Porsche text. First, it’s clear Porsche copywriters don’t like commas. Second, this blurb ignores the 1921 Rumpler Tropfenwagen—a vehicle largely understood to be the first intentionally aerodynamic car. And, it boasted a better coefficient of drag than the 924. You can read all about the Tropfenwagen here.
Looking back, it’s clear that long before carmakers were making effective use of aerodynamic design, they were laying claim to having harnessed the virtues of low-drag silhouettes. For your consideration, we have amassed a gallery of classic ads, each of which touts the benefits of streamlining and aero design in some fashion. Check them out, and let us know which is your favorite. For the record, the Tatra ad—which is an ad, not a brochure—is absolutely my favorite.
Market Crash Madness! A Gallery of Depression-Era Car Ads
1934 Chrysler Airflow
Amazingly Innovative Cars . . . And Why They Failed
Eclectic Collectibles: 2018 Mecum Chicago Auction Gallery
Photo Feature: 1933 Hupmobile K-321 Convertible Coupe
Designer Madness! Fashion in Classic Car Ads
Plaster Master: Salvaging a Nash Styling Model
Photo Feature: 1941 Willys 441 Station Wagon
Photo Feature: 1960 Plymouth Fury Hardtop Coupe
Forgotten Functionality: Recalling the 1994 Eagle Summit Wagon, Mitsubishi Expo, and Plymouth Colt Vista
Aichi Madness! 10 Classic Toyota Ads
Review Flashback! 1973 Porsche 911
Cheap Wheels: 1979 Buick LeSabre Palm Beach
Dynaflow Madness! A Gallery Of Classic Buick Ads
5 Most-Powerful American Cars of 1980
What Was the Mercury Cougar Bostonian Edition?
Gallery: Cool Cars at Fun Places
Review Flashback! 1984 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
Click below for enlarged images
Listen to the very entertaining Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast
Automotive Aerodynamics Gallery