One of the pleasures of visiting a rare car museum is the chance to see one-of-a-kind cars. Such is the case with this 1937 Airomobile, which to me looks as much like a mutated lobster or fish as a car.
This futuristic car was conceived by Paul Lewis of Denver in the early 1930s. A model of the car was created by John Tjaarda, and construction on the unusual three-wheeled front-drive vehicle was by Carl Doman and Ed Marks, two former Franklin Automobile Co. engineers. The car was completed in 1937. It features an air-cooled 4 cylinder 60 hp, 129.9 cid engine. The car weighs only 2200 pounds.
This Airomobile prototype was driven more than 45,000 miles throughout the United States in a promotional effort to raise production capital. While the car achieved speeds of up to 80 miles per hour and averaged 43.6 miles per gallon, financial backing was not forthcoming as investors thought it too unusual for mass buying appeal. So dreams of mass-production died and this turned out to be the only Airomobile built.
The car is part of the Harrah Collection and can be found in the National Automobile Museum in Reno.