ATLAS OBSCURA

Dymaxion Car at the National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada
One of innovator and creator Buckminster Fuller’s ideas to use design to improve humanity was the Dymaxion Car.
Part of his “dymaxion” line of inventions, its name a mix of dynamic, maximum, and tension, the car was designed in a teardrop shape with three wheels and space for 11 passengers. It also had incredible gas mileage for its size at 30 miles per hour, and it could reach up to 90 miles per hour. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi was involved in its futuristic aerodynamic design.
Three prototypes were built between 1933 and 1934. Unfortunately, the car got some incredibly bad PR when it was involved in a fatal wreck at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. While it would turn out that another car was at fault, people became suspicious of the car’s stability and its funders backed out.
Prototype #1 was eventually destroyed, and prototype #3 is presumed lost to a scrap pile. Yet prototype #2 is on display at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. It went through several owners and suffered significant deterioration, but the hope is the restore it enough that it can ride again as Buckminster Fuller dreamed. There is one Dymaxion Car in working order, however, which was built in 2010 by architect Sir Norman Foster, a devout follower of Fuller, who recreated the car for prototype #4.
Visit the Dymaxion Car at the National Automobile Museum on Atlas Obscura…

Dymaxion Car at the National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada

One of innovator and creator Buckminster Fuller’s ideas to use design to improve humanity was the Dymaxion Car.

Part of his “dymaxion” line of inventions, its name a mix of dynamic, maximum, and tension, the car was designed in a teardrop shape with three wheels and space for 11 passengers. It also had incredible gas mileage for its size at 30 miles per hour, and it could reach up to 90 miles per hour. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi was involved in its futuristic aerodynamic design.

Three prototypes were built between 1933 and 1934. Unfortunately, the car got some incredibly bad PR when it was involved in a fatal wreck at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. While it would turn out that another car was at fault, people became suspicious of the car’s stability and its funders backed out.

Prototype #1 was eventually destroyed, and prototype #3 is presumed lost to a scrap pile. Yet prototype #2 is on display at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. It went through several owners and suffered significant deterioration, but the hope is the restore it enough that it can ride again as Buckminster Fuller dreamed. There is one Dymaxion Car in working order, however, which was built in 2010 by architect Sir Norman Foster, a devout follower of Fuller, who recreated the car for prototype #4.

Visit the Dymaxion Car at the National Automobile Museum on Atlas Obscura…