In his search for energy and engineering efficiency, it’s fitting Bucky would take on one of the ultimate symbols of consumer excess, the American automobile. Developed in 1993, the Dymaxion Car was a floor model for Fuller’s singular vision. Its long, teardrop exterior was designed with the assistance of Isamu Noguchi, and it accommodated 11 passengers while hitting top speeds of 90 mph on three wheels. But the most audacious fact about this oddball auto was its fuel efficiency, a stunning 30 mpg, decades before even the flimsiest two-seater could make a similar claim. After a test-version crashed at the 1933 World’s Fair, killing the driver, many were apprehensive about the safety of a rear-wheel driven car, and Fuller was never able to finance mass production.
Photo by Alden Jewell via Creative Commons