Thomas cars started production in 1902 in Buffalo, New York. This 1909 Flyabout was so named because of its very light weight. Because it boasts an all-aluminum body, hood, and fenders, the car weighs just twice its six-passenger capacity at 2,500 pounds. When new, the car cost $3,000 - quite a lot of money in 1909. There are only two (possibly three) such cars known to exist in the world.
The L 6-40 Flyabout was powered by an L-head six-cylinder engine. The lightweight four-seat 'Flyabout' coachwork riding on the short 122-inch wheelbase was sporty, low, and ideally suited for the 267 cubic-inch engine rated at 40 horsepower. There was dual braking on the rear wheels with expanding shoes and contracting bands.
This particular L 6-40 Flyabout was given a restoration that was completed in 2007, and immediately shown at the Pebble Beach Concours, followed by concours at Ocean Reef and Bay Harbor, and took first place awards at both. This car is one of only two 1909 Thomas Model L 6-40 Flyabouts known.
The car is painted in red with black leather interior and well equipped with an array of brass trim, lighting and accessories, from the acetylene headlights and kerosene sidelights to the intake manifold, steering column, bulb horn, radiator shell and eagle mascot.
In 2009, this Model L 6-40 Flyabout was offered for sale at the Sports & Classics of Monterey auction in Monterey, California presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $350,000-$450,000. The lot failed to sell after achieving a high bid of $200,000.Also photographed at :