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VEHICLES BY THE WAYSIDE

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On: Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 3:29PM | By: Karen Cook


VEHICLES BY THE WAYSIDE

The shape of the automobile has changed over the years in order to better fit our lifestyles, do less damage to the environment, and sometimes just to look cooler. Most of the time these designs are meant to be useful and attractive. Sometimes, though, they just look strange. I present to you a handful of vehicles made by actual manufacturers that were just too over the top to be mass produced. Keep in mind while you peruse that even though there was no mass production, these vehicles were actually made.

The Reliant Robin was made in England from 1973-1981; it was a 3-wheeled vehicle which allowed it to have cheaper taxes and licensing. It wasn’t the safest vehicle, however, as the single wheel in the front made it all but impossible to maneuver around a corner without turning over.

Messerschmitt was a company that made fighter planes and the first jet fighter during World War II. After that demand dried up they began to make the Bubble Car which, like the Robin, was 3-wheeled. It was slightly more stable thanks to its cockpit-like tandem seating arrangement. Just perfect for couples who don’t want to talk to each other.

The 1938 Phantom Corsair boasted a top speed of 115mph and carried a V8 engine. It seated six, but not comfortably, and only one was ever built.

The first minivan ever made was built by an architect and inventor by the name of Buckminster Fuller back in 1933. It was called the Dymaxion, a word concocted from three other words—dynamic, maximum, and tension. It was another 3-wheeled design with the single wheel in the back, making it very difficult to steer. It could, however, carry 11 passengers and ran on a Ford V8 engine which could reach speeds of 90mph. Another selling point was its astounding 30mpg fuel efficiency. Ford never picked up the design and only three were ever made.

Ford did make the Gyron in 1961. It looks like George Jetson’s car and ran on just two wheels balanced with gyroscopes while in motion. When stopped, it had kickstands on both sides that would project themselves automatically.

Take a gander at the photo gallery and mourn the loss of these unique modes of transportation.


Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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