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Dymaxion Car, Section

A section drawing of a car in an aerodynamic bullet shape with two visible wheels, two rows of seats, and mechanical details.

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  • A section drawing of a car in an aerodynamic bullet shape with two visible wheels, two rows of seats, and mechanical details.




Richard Buckminster Fuller
American, 1895-1983

About this artwork

Trained in engineering, Buckminster Fuller made significant contributions to disciplines including architecture, industrial design, philosophy, and social science. Central to all his endeavors was a holistic understanding of the universe and a desire to use science and technology in a sustainable manner to better serve mankind and the planet. Fuller coined the term dymaxion to label his inventions that applied available technology to provide the greatest possible efficiency. In 1927 he began investigating designs that would revolutionize transportation. Fuller used existing automotive parts and boat and airplane technology to design the Dymaxion Car, which debuted to an awed public at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. The aerodynamic bullet shape and lightweight aluminum chassis enabled the car to reach speeds of 120 miles per hour, and consumed thirty miles per gallon. The three-wheeled vehicle had exceptional maneuverability due to its rear-wheel drivetrain. Fuller refined the design in the 1940s, but a prototype proved prohibitively expensive to manufacture. Although considered too radical to mass-produce at the time, Fuller’s Dymaxion Car presaged many features considered standard in today’s automobiles.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Richard Buckminster Fuller


Dymaxion Car, Section


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Ink on tracing paper


34.3 × 91 cm (13 1/2 × 35 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Through Prior Gift of Three Oaks Wrecking Company

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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