HM Vehicles Free-way

The H-M-Vehicles Free-Way was a three-wheel microcar manufactured in Burnsville, Minnesota, from 1979 to 1982.

These small commuter cars had a single seat and were powered by a 12 or 16 horsepower gasoline engine or a 4 hp electric motor. A diesel engine was offered, but none were ordered with it.

The 12 HP version was guaranteed to get 100 mpg (2.4 L/100 km; 120 mpg) when driven at a steady 40 mph (64 km/h). The 12 HP version averaged 80 mpg (2.9 L/100 km; 96 mpg), and the larger 16 hp averaged 60 mpg (3.9 L/100 km; 72 mpg) to 70 mpg (3.4 L/100 km; 84 mpg). The standard fuel tank had a capacity of 3 US gallons (11 L) while a 9 US gallons (34 L) tank was optional.

The motor was mounted behind the driver and was coupled to a snowmobile-style CVT belt drive transmission. Final drive to the rear wheel was by chain. The gasoline-powered Free-Way did not have a reverse gear in its transmission. An electrically powered reverse drive was offered as an option, but was never made available.

The Free-Way had a welded tubular steel frame, with a secondary perimeter frame at bumper height to protect the driver from impacts. Suspension was fully independent, with two wheels in front and a single wheel in the rear. The fully enclosed two-piece fiberglass body was approximately 0.125 inches (3.2 mm) thick and had the colour molded into the material and was available in high-visibility red, yellow, or orange. The lower body included a full undertray to reduce the drag coefficient of the vehicle.

The Free-Way had a single headlight and per federal standards were intended to be licensed as motorcycles but in some states they were titled as cars.

About 700 Free-Ways were sold before the company closed in June 1982.

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