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Airomobile

The Airomobile was a one off prototype that although stimulated great interest, never made it into production.  Plans for the Airomobile were first drawn up in 1934 by Paul Lewis in the USA. Lewis believed that the 3-wheeled configuration would meet his needs for streamlining and economy. After many technical problems were sorted out with the the vehicle it was eventually built in 1937.  The vehicle was powered by a horizontally opposed, 129-cu.in overhead valve, air cooled four cylinder unit (57hp) created by the Dorman Marks Engine Company.

The body was created from steel and was very aerodynamic with it trailing to the rear and having two large fish like fins. The Airomobile did have a very low centre of gravity and was said to take corners faster than any 4-wheeler at the time.  Lewis toured the USA on a promotional tour with the Airomobile covering over 45,000 miles.  Prospective dealers were told that they would not be able to follow the Airomobile for one mile over rough terrain without damaging their driving mechanism.  Lewis would then drive through ploughed fields and ditches without the need to slow down and return to show no damage had been sustained to the vehicle.  As a result many dealers became interested in the Airomobile and Lewis was able to establish possible dealers throughout the USA.

In 1938 the Airomobile was slightly redesigned with a new front section that included the lights being moved from the top of the wings and built into them.  Lewis again toured the USA but interest in the vehicle had diminished and plans to put the vehicle into full production were squashed with the onset of the second World War and so the vehicle never became anything more than a prototype.  .

The 1937 Airomobile. (My thanks to John Maclay for sending in this photo.) 

The Airomobile in 1938 after a redesign.. 

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Museums:

The 1937 Airomobile is at the National automobile Museum at 10 Lake Street South, Reno, Nevada. 89501. USA.

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