Sunday YouTube Cinema: The Dymaxion Struts Its Stuff
The news that Norman Foster has finished building a Dymaxion replica had me checking to see if there are any good films of the Dymaxion in action. The pickings are slim, but this clip, without voice over but well chosen music, is pretty much it. One doesn’t really need that typical pedantic news reel voice over from the thirties anyway, to appreciate the Dymaxion’s qualities, including picking up a speeding ticket.
Here’s the newly built replica Dymaxion. Since the frame is an old ’33 Ford frame turned front to back, that probably wasn’t too hard to come up with, including the ford flathead V8 that drove the front wheels. The single steering rear wheel was a no-starter, as far as eventual public acceptance since in various situations, like a cross-wind, it required counter-intuitive inputs. But the Dymaxion was very efficient for the times, although it didn’t achieve many of designer Buckminster Fuller’s original claims, including a 120 mph top speed (90 actually), and a $200 price. A crash injured Bucky’s daughter, and he pulled away from the project, which quickly collapsed in bankruptcy.
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