Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion Car on Display

From the June 15, 2008 New York Times:
Buckminster Fuller’s 1933 Dymaxion, a streamlined pod on three wheels, is one of the lovable oddballs in automotive history. Three were built, fawned over by the media and by celebrities, but the car pretty much disappeared after one crashed, killing the driver.

Other streamlined designs have followed the Dymaxion, including, from top, the 1936 Lincoln Zephyr, the Z.car and the Aptera.

Only one of the cars survives, and New Yorkers will get a chance to see it this summer in an exhibition opening June 26 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York called “Buckminster Fuller: Starting With the Universe.” The car, a nonrunning shell, has been lent by the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nev.

“The Dymaxion was the zenith of the first wave of semi-scientific streamlining,” said Russell Flinchum, a design historian. It showed up in newsreels and magazines, along with teardrop designs drawn by Norman Bel Geddes, the futurist. It helped lead to public acceptance of streamlined cars like the 1936 Lincoln Zephyr.

The Dymaxion appealed to the era of the Depression, when people dreamed of radical new technological solutions to solve overwhelming problems.

See also:
Dymaxion Car of the Future (1934)
Buckminster Fuller Screenprints (1981)
Fuller's Traveling Cartridge (circa 1960s)
The Most Well-Documented Lives in History


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Anonymous said...


1924; probably among the first streamlined automobiles; did not get into mass production, but the prototype supposedly could do 60Km/h and survived about 100.000 km on the road.