I thought the accident was due to another car, not Fuller’s? but by the time that came out the investors were already gone.
(I haven’t seen the documentary, but have always loved the car)
I doubt if it’s fair to call a car a “deathtrap” when there were only three prototypes and a minimum of real testing. I would venture to guess that most cars have a lineage of wrecked prototypes prior to the kinks getting worked out.
My other car is a Dynasphere!
Fun fact: the fellow responsible for the interior design was [W. Starling Burgess], Tasha Tudor’s granddad, aviation pioneer, America’s Cup-winning yacht designer, possible developer of Times New Roman, cocaine addict, womanizer, all-around bad boy, and likely candidate for most overlooked true-life character in search of a biopic…
(that’s [a squashed pic of] me on the pointy end of ONAWA, a 12-meter racing yacht designed by Burgess in 1928, still sailing today…)
Oh death trap nonsense! How many people died in Dymaxion wrecks? I’m sure it’s a reasonable tradeoff for a Fuller car.
It would be fair to compare it to other 1933 cars, which didn’t have modern suspensions or steering.
That said, it is also wise to heed the complaints of the experienced drivers behind the wheel, discussing the drift which is in particular disturbing.
Love the look of the car, loved what the visual driving experience appeared to be when looking out the front window - looked like a Millennium Falcon portal. : ) Would love to buy a non-deadly model.
I’ve loved looking at these things since first encountering sketches and photos of it back in the late 1960’s. It’s like. a Jetsons car come to life!
I remember somewhere in 1977 or so reading an Iron Man comic and seeing Tony Stark pull up in front if his factory in one of these. Even in 1977 it seemed futuristic.
Poor side and rear visibility and a severe tail wobbly at 45mph combined with 30’s brakes and passenger safety equipment and the “death trap” moniker is deserved.
Rear-wheel steering? “Dynamic” Handling? Yiikes.
Retrofit an X-29 flight control system and maybe I’ll bite.
Interesting to look at from the perspective of modern safety features.
Almost as good as the pea car:
Funny, I just saw this on a TV show. From Wikipedia:
A highly publicized accident in Prototype One on October 17, 1933 occurred “virtually at the entrance to the Chicago Century of Progress World’s Fair.” Another car, driven by a Chicago politician, had hit the Dymaxion, causing it to roll over — killing the dymaxion’s driver (race car driver Francis T. Turner) and seriously injuring its passengers: aviation pioneer (and noted spy) William Sempill — and Charles Dollfuss, Air Minister of France. The politician’s car was quickly and illegally removed from the scene of the accident before reporters arrived. Turner was wearing a seatbelt, but was killed when the canvas-covered roof framing collapsed. Dollfuss was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected and landed nearby on his feet. Sempill was severely injured and took months to recover, before he could testify at the subsequent inquest. The Dymaxion itself had rolled over and was badly damaged, but was subsequently repaired by Fuller and Burgess.
In the press, no mention was made that the Dymaxion had been involved in a two-car accident. Instead, the cause of the accident was attributed to the car’s unconventional configuration: headlines in New York and Chicago read “Freak car rolls over – killing famous driver – injuring international passengers”.
The subsequent formal investigation, a coroners inquest (because someone had died) was delayed sixty days, in order to receive Sempill’s testimony. It found the actual cause of the impact was a collision with a car driven by a Chicago South Park commissioner who wanted a closer look at the Dymaxion — and immediately left the scene after hitting the Dymaxion and causing the accident. According to the official coroners inquest, the two vehicles were traveling at 70 mph, with Turner trying to evade the politician’s car. The inquest found the design of the Dymaxion was not a factor in the accident.
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