The Fascination was created by Paul M. Lewis, the creator of the Airomobile, currently on display in the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV. The first Fascination was built in the late 1960s in Denver, Colorado. Three cars were built in Sidney, Nebraska; the first Sidney car, powered by a four-cylinder Renault engine, is the one here on display. True to its name, passersby and onlookers cannot help but be fascinated. It looks like a three-wheeler, but the front spindle has two tires like on an airplane.
A total of five cars were built; all have survived and are owned by two individuals.
In the 1930s, Paul M. Lewis designed a three-wheeled Airomobile vehicle which would ultimately prove to be an unsuccessful venture. Though not a production success, it did inspire future designs, include the Fascination Prototype which was created in the late 1960s. The Fascination project was undertaken by the Highway Aircraft Corp. in Sidney, NE. Five vehicles were created before the company collapsed.
The prototype car was built in Denver and originally had airplane propellers in the rear. One of the propellers failed during a demonstration resulting in the propeller idea being abandoned. A Volkswagen engine was installed in its place. The single wheel in the front was also improved with the addition of a second small wheel to aid in vehicle stability.
Three additional examples followed, each outfitted with a four-cylinder Renault powerplant. The first car completed was put on display at numerous dealerships in order to grain interest from the public. It was even put on display at the Stapleton Airport in Denver.
The second car completed had many similarities to the first non-prototype car. The third car was put on display at the Los Angeles New Car show, again to gain interest from the public.
By this point in history, Mr. Lewis had been voted out of the company by the stockholders. The individual who had manufactured the fiberglass bodies ended up with an incomplete car. A 1963 Corvette windshield was installed upside to comply with federal safety requirements. A fifth and final car was built by the fiberglass body builder. It was given an Oldsmobile Toronado transmission and a V6 Chevrolet engine. It even was given gullwing doors. The project was never completed.
All five examples have survived, with three examples being housed in the same stable.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2010