A Harrowing Test Drive of Buckminster Fuller’s 1933 Dymaxion Car: Art That Is Scary to Ride

In the 1930s, the systems theorist, designer and inventor Buckminster Fuller created the Dymaxion car -- an aerodynamic concept car that managed to get 30 miles per gallon while topping out at 90 miles per hour, and transporting 11 passengers. Like Fuller's Dymaxion house, the three-wheel Dymaxion car could be disassembled and re-assembled with ease. You can see vintage videos of both here.

The concept car didn't get much beyond the concept stage. Only three original versions were built, one of which rolled over at the 1933 World's Fair, leaving the driver dead, three passengers injured, and investors reluctant to bring the car to market. In 2010, the British architect Sir Norman Foster built a replica of the Dymaxion. You can see Dan Neil, of The Wall Street Journal, take the car on a harrowing test drive above. And if you're intrigued enough to learn more, you can hunt down the 2012 documentary called The Last Dymaxion (watch a trailer of the film here).

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Related Content:

Everything I Know: 42 Hours of Buckminster Fuller’s Visionary Lectures Free Online (1975)

Better Living Through Buckminster Fuller’s Utopian Designs: Revisit the Dymaxion Car, House, and Map

Watch an Animated Buckminster Fuller Tell Studs Terkel All About “the Geodesic Life”


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