In 1933, the Dymaxion Corporation of the city of Bridgeport, in Connecticut, built a three-wheeled minibus long six meters.
The car, called the Dymaxion, was able to carry up to 11 passengers and the oddities don’t end there.
Judge for yourself, the car was rear-engined, equipped with engine Ford flathead V8, set in motion by the front wheels. But managed it, just, the rear is the only wheel turned it at an angle of 90°.
Creating a non-trivial design, the owner of The Dymaxion Corporation, the inventor and designer Buckminster fuller’s task was to create a highly maneuverable, ultra-low-cost and inexpensive car. And everything would be fine if not for one thing: safety.
Presented at the Chicago exhibition 1933 the car was highly maneuverable, extremely economical and inexpensive, especially in its class. Well it was almost everything, except one little thing – security.
Because of the peculiar aerodynamics with a raised front part in the recruitment of high speed gradually unloaded rear-wheel driven, until its complete separation from the road.
But even if the rear wheel had contact with the road, a sharp turn, considering the weight of the V8 and transmission, could lead to rollover. It happened with the first prototype of it at the exhibition in Detroit broke.
Later the car was repaired, and then sold to the Director of the automotive division of the Bureau of standards of the United States. However, this mishap the first Dymaxion was not over, shortly after purchase it was completely destroyed by fire in the garage.
But failures did not stop the Buckminster fuller and he built two more similar machines. One of them worked in advertising and was later acquired by the national automobile Museum in Reno, and the second exploited the fuller, having more than 300,000 miles (about half a million kilometres), and gradually perfecting his brainchild.
The designer has set the task – to pass 30 mpg, with a top speed of 120 mph, which would correspond to a consumption of 7.8 litres / 100 km. to Achieve such performance and failed, but managed to achieve a fuel consumption in the range of 11 liters 100 km, which, given the size and weight of the car is also very good even now, not to mention about the 30-ies of the last century.
However, problems with stability and controllability at high speeds to overcome and failed, and gradually the topic came to naught.