- The only Airomobile built.
- Intended as low-cost, massed produced people’s car.
- Unusual three-wheel design with front-wheel drive.
- Performed well on a 45,000 promotional tour at up to 80 mph and averaged 43.6 mpg.
- Too unusual to attract financial backing.
Following closure of the Franklin Automobile Company in 1934, former Franklin engineers Carl Doman and Edward Marks organized their own 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-wheel-drive Airomobile and it was pronounced road-ready in April 1937.
The Airomobile prototype displayed 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 mph and averaging 43.6 mpg of fuel, it failed to attract financial backing. Although intended as a low-cost, mass-produced people’s car, this was the only Airomobile built.