Paul Jaray 1889-1974


The Streamline Corporation (1931-1938) of New York was an American firm formed by Paul Jaray to monitor and license his aerodynamic patents in the United States. Chrysler used Jaray patents on their Chrysler and DeSoto Airflows of 1934-1936.

Paul Jaray (1889-1974) - not an American, however his designs and patents were used by Chrysler on the Chrysler and DeSoto Airflows of 1934-1936. Both Ford and Briggs also produced bodies that were obviously influenced by the Jaray patents (Zephyr) although I don't know if they ever licensed them legally.

Hungarian, born in Vienna, he pioneered aerodynamism in the first part of the twentieth century. He designed the new generation of Zeppelins with a tear drop shape instead of the long narrow cylinder of the first dirigibles.

With Zeppelin he experimented on automobiles bodies in a wind tunnel and, later on, designed special bodies for Benz, Adler, Hanomag, Maybach, Audi....   The Tatras 77 and 87 were his only automobiles with a success story and apparently he was not involved with the Volkswagen or Mercedes 170 H which followed his patents. 

Anyhow, Chrysler for the Airflow and Peugeot for the 402 were obliged to pay royalties to Paul Jaray.  In the late twenties he left for Switzerland et created his own consulting Company STROMLINEN KAROSSERIE GES. In Zurich Switzerland.


Jaray, Paul, * 11. 3. 1889 Vienna, † 22. 9. 1974 St. Gallen (Switzerland), technicians. Went soon to his study into Vienna and Prague to Germany, where he was 1913/14 airplane technical designer and 1914-23 the Zeppelin airships LZ sketched 38 to LZ 126. he built a wind tunnel for 1919 for zeppelin and concerned themselves then for many decades with questions in this connection, in particular regarding streamlined automobiles. From 1923 to his death lived Jaray in Switzerland. Substantial one It had influence also on the development of the bicycle in the 20's.


Airships as model for streamline automobiles

The Ley T6 from a Thueringer engine works

By Alfred Waldis *

". . . On the conditions of the Dixi works we find one of the most remarkable and most interesting objectobject objects of the exhibition: a streamline car in light-blue lacquer, on 6/24-PS-Dixi chassis. The streamline car, an invention of the Friedrichshafener of engineer Jaray, is to reduce air resistance to a minimum and prevent at the same time the annoying Staubaufquirlen behind the vehicle. Provisionally we still regard the vehicle as a kind Unikum - perhaps soon it will belong to the everyday features in the road life. . was to be read in the "citizens of Berlin stock exchange newspaper" from 29 September 1923. Introduced the development of streamline automobiles two years before, as Paul Jaray (1889-1974) was drafts for an aerodynamically arranged small car prepared and it Rudolf Ley of engine works Arnstadt in Thuringia submitted. Ley, admits one of its models for the Loreley car built by its work, recognized the economic advantages and provided 1922 with the body sketched by Jaray. This first streamline automobile, the Ley T6, equipped with a four-cylinder engine of 1530 cm3 capacity and 20 HP of achievement, reached the speed of 100 km/h, while it brought a conventional car motorized equivalent on 70 to 75 km/h. With retardation tests in the no-load operation the advantages were particularly descriptive: The streamline car came after 1029 m to standing, the normal model already to 763 m. the fuel economy amounted to approximately 30 per cent. Ley built racing car, which obtained a top speed of 130 km/h on a same chassis still another.

Improves economy as a goal

At the same time - 1923 - the Dixi of automobile works in iron oh their four-cylinder cars of the type 6/24 disguised, the AUDI works in Zwickau their k-model with a streamline body of Jaray. Despite the propaganda travels and the obvious advantages the streamline automobile was not able itself to intersperse yet, because it did not correspond to aesthetic feeling of the autobuyers at that time and in addition as one-off production was too expensive.

a "eliminating or arrange streamlined" read the demand of Paul Jaray, who since 1912 at the aircraft construction had been concerned AG in Friedrichshafen with the aerodynamic shaping of aircraft. With the outbreak of the First World War he came to the Zeppelin works, where he was responsible for all airships as an upper engineer up to its way course in the year 1923 for the projects and design documents. The increase of economy formed one of its principal purposes; he saw the most important means in addition in the reduction of air resistance. Its computations as well as the results of windkanalversuchen led to more favorable aerodynamic solutions and thus to larger efficiency of the airships.

After end of war the wind tunnel built by him became free with the Zeppelin works for other purposes. Jaray turned now to the automobile. It continued its investigations, for the time being with wind current measurements for an airship hangar, then at automobile models. In the autumn 1920 the first sketches for an economical small car developed: these formed the basis for its streamline car, for that, like it in the patent application are called, "by it displaced air essentially upward, over its backs away divert and them in the back again as troublefree as possible down-led to the soil". However still another one decade passed, until considerable automobile companies began to be interested in the streamline form. To it changed conditions with the construction of vehicles - the earlier chassis were too high and therefore for an aerodynamically clean form little suitably - as well as the motorways in Germany under construction, which permitted larger speeds, contributed. Beginning of the thirties increase streamline cars emerged, from the simple two-seater to the luxurioesen eight-cylinder as, in order to call some examples, eagles triumph, BMW, DKW, Fiat, Hanomag, Hansa, OPEL, Steyr, Mercedes and Maybach as well as racing car and buses. It mostly concerned only few copies; Streamline cars in series with bodies of Jaray placed only the act RA works in Prague ago 1934 appeared the type 77, an eight-cylinder with a maximum speed of 150 km/h, briefly thereafter until 1950 the type 87 built in 3000 pieces; both types as well as the successor 97 rank among the remarkable objects of the automobile collection of the traffic exhibition in Luzern.

Many patents - little yield

Jaray had submitted patent during years for to be on 8 September 1921 in Berlin to fight. Objections as well as additions had the consequence that the request attained validity in law only on 25 January 1927. In the meantime it received besides numerous patents of amendment for subsections. 1933 were created in Luzern the "corporation for traffic patents AVP". Paul Jaray, who had established itself ten years before in Switzerland, led the management. The AVP took over all Jaray patents; the keeping of the rights in the USA and Canada had been already transferred 1931 the "Jaray Streamline corporation" into New York. The royalties furnished only small yield; 1937 were dissolved the AG for traffic patents. Jaray turned to other activity areas, among other things the aircraft construction; it died 1974 in pc. Gallen. Jaray had set up, beside the fundamental work with the building of airships, as the first a theory for the fluid engineering of ground-based vehicles and with the construction of the first streamline car an important contribution for the development of the automobile had carried out.

* The author is joint founder and first director of the traffic exhibition in Luzern.



For more information please read:

Hanspeter Bröhl - Paul Jaray, Stromlinienpionier

Jaray Collection at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Library, Zurich CH 

Biographies of Prominent Carriage Draftsmen - Carriage Monthly, April 1904

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - A History of Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - Cars and Coachbuilding: One Hundred Years of Road Vehicle Development

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

Brooks T. Brierley - Auburn, Reo, Franklin and Pierce-Arrow Versus Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln and Packard

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

James J. Schild - Fleetwood: the Company and the Coachcraft

John R. Velliky - Dodge Brothers/Budd Co. Historical Photo Album

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 1

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 2

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 3

Dennis Adler - The Art of the Sports Car: The Greatest Designs of the 20th Century

C. Edson Armi - The Art of American Car Design: The Profession and Personalities

C. Edson Armi - American Car Design Now

Penny Sparke - A Century of Car Design

John Tipler - The World's Great Automobile Stylists

Ivan Margolius - Automobiles by Architects

Jonathan Bell - Concept Car Design

Erminie Shaeffer Hafer - A century of vehicle craftsmanship

Ronald Barker & Anthony Harding - Automobile Design: Twelve Great Designers and Their Work

John McLelland - Bodies beautiful: A history of car styling and craftsmanship

Frederic A. Sharf - Future Retro: Drawings From The Great Age Of American Automobiles

Paul Carroll Wilson - Chrome Dreams: Automobile Styling Since 1893

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Nick Georgano - Art of the American Automobile: The Greatest Stylists and Their Work

Matt Delorenzo - Modern Chrysler Concept Cars: The Designs That Saved the Company

Thom Taylor - How to Draw Cars Like a Pro

Tony Lewin & Ryan Borroff - How To Design Cars Like a Pro

Frederick E. Hoadley - Automobile Design Techniques and Design Modeling: the Men, the Methods, the Materials

Doug DuBosque - Draw Cars

Jonathan Wood - Concept Cars

D. Nesbitt - 50 Years Of American Auto Design

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Lennart W. Haajanen & Karl Ludvigsen - Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles

L. J. K Setright - The designers: Great automobiles and the men who made them

Goro Tamai - The Leading Edge: Aerodynamic Design of Ultra-Streamlined Land Vehicles

Brian Peacock & Waldemar Karwowski - Automotive Ergonomics

Bob Thomas - Confessions of an Automotive Stylist

Brooke Hodge & C. Edson Armi - Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays

Gordon M. Buehrig - Rolling sculpture: A designer and his work

Henry L. Dominguez - Edsel Ford and E.T. Gregorie: The Remarkable Design Team...

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl (Design Heroes Series)

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl and the Dream Machine

Serge Bellu - 500 Fantastic Cars: A Century of the World Concept Cars

Raymond Loewy - Industrial Design

Raymond Loewy - Never Leave Well Enough Alone

Philippe Tretiack - Raymond Loewy and Streamlined Design

Angela Schoenberger - Raymond Loewy: Pioneer of American Industrial Design

Laura Cordin - Raymond Loewy


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