Monday 19th April 1937
The unique Airmobile conceived by Paul M. Lewis and designed with the assistance of former Franklin engineers Carl Doman and Ed Marks, was given its first road test in Syracuse, New York. 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 . This unit was later to find great success in light aeroplanes. 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 set off on a cross-country promotional tour with the Airomobile, logging some 45,000 miles in only a few short months. Along the way, he managed to convince numerous interested parties in his vision of an affordable, safe automobile for all Americans. In the Jan./Feb. 1971 issue of Special Interest Automobiles magazine, Lewis is quoted as stating that “the Airomobile was carefully engineered to turn corners very fast. Even faster than possible with a 4-wheel car, rear-wheel driven. To accomplish this, we needed to build the Airomobile with a very low center of gravity. The engine was mounted forward of the front wheels and the passengers rode, therefore, on the long end of the teeter-totter. This made for a very easy ride”. 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.