The Dymaxion

The Dymaxion (dynamic and maximum efficiency) prototype car was designed by American inventor and architect Buckminster Fuller in the thirties. This amazing futuristic vehicle was believed to have been an influence on the design of the Multipla. Only 3 of the three wheeled, streamlined, omnidirectional concept cars were made. Powered by a Ford V-8, Fuller is reported to have driven at 120 mph with a 90 hp engine.  A conventional 1933 car would have required, Fuller estimated, at least a 300 hp engine.  Fuller also claimed that fuel consumption of the Dymaxion car Number One was 30% less than a conventional car at 30mph and 50% less at 50mph. One of the prototypes was badly damaged in a crash at the Chicago World Fair in 1933 which caused Fuller’s investors to pull out so the Dymaxion was never manufactured.  Only one of the prototypes survived and is in a museum in Reno.

Recently British architect Sir Norman Foster who had worked with Buckminster Fuller and who had always been facinated by the design of the Dymaxion, commissioned Crosthwaite and Gardiner to recreate one. We were lucky enough to see ‘number 4’ at Salon Privé in the summer.

Here’s a wonderful video showing the original prototype in action – awesome!

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