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Following closure of the Franklin Automobile Company in 1934, former Franklin engineers Carl Doman and Edward Marks organized their firm to develop a new air-cooled engine design. Paul Lewis of Denver, Colorado, conceived the idea for this futuristic automobile in the early 1930s, and in 1936 contracted with Doman and Marks to build a prototype. Working from an aerodynamically-styled model created by John Tjaarda, designer of the Lincoln Zephyr, construction began on the unusual three-wheeled front-drive Airomobile and it was pronounced road-ready in April 1937. The Airomobile prototype shown here, was driven more than 45,000 miles throughout the United States in a promotional effort to raise production capital. While the Airomobile proved itself a technical success by performing creditably at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour and averaging 43.6 miles per gallon, financial backing was not forthcoming. Although intended as a low-cost mass-produced people's car, this was the only Airomobile built.
Model Experimental Sedan
Built By: Lewis American Airways, Inc., Rochester, New York
Price: $550 (Projected)
Engine: Doman-Marks, Air-Cooled OHV, 4-Cylinder (Horizontally Opposed), 60 hp, 129.9 cid