Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Dymaxion - Goodwood FoS 2011

R. Buckminster Fuller was an interesting chap; an engineer, designer and futurist, his most famous works were his huge geodesic domes. He was a prolific inventor and gave the name Dymaxion to quite a few different things (in an attempt to cohesively bundle his inventions as a sort of holistic lifestyle improvement package), but the one of most interest to SuckSqueezeBangBlow is the Dymaxion three-wheeler you see here on the Goodwood lawn.
Designed in 1933, it could achieve 30mpg while carrying eleven passengers and had a theoretical top speed of 120mph, or so Fuller claimed.
The three-wheeler steers by the single rear wheel, and can perform a U-turn in its own length... although the combination of a dinky castor in the stern and a rear-mounted Ford V8 made for some, er, dramatic handling. Indeed, the original prototype wobbled onto its roof at the 1933 World's Fair and killed the driver; this naturally put investors off and the project faltered. However, you can see echoes of the dramatic Dymaxion in early people carriers, from the rear-engined layout of the Fiat Multipla to the big-eyed face of the Type 2 VW Transporter.
A fascinating slice of history.

1 comment:

Heberly said...

i like your funny looking camper.