The Dymaxion was the brainchild of Buckminster Fuller, who apparently took one look at a zeppelin and decided that it should be made of metal and driven along the ground on fewer wheels than a grocery cart. Fuller's nonexistent background in engineering inexplicably made the Dymaxion all the more attractive to investors, and he was able to convince someone to put up the capital to commission a prototype model, although the inflatable wings that were a part of Fuller's original design were left off of the prototype for reasons that were immediately obvious to everyone except Fuller.
via The Old Motor
The prototype also nixed the tail fin. Who'd ever put fins on a car?
The final product was 20 feet long and capable of seating 11 passengers, enough to instantly kill two entire families when it inevitably tipped over. The front two wheels were powered by a big ass V8 engine, and at about 90 miles per hour, the Dymaxion's single rear wheel would actually lift up off of the ground, because Fuller had designed the Dymaxion to be capable of flight in anticipation of a future wherein this would make sense (hence the inflatable wings).
The first Dymaxion was completed in July of 1933 and shockingly took until October of that same year to kill someone (by tipping over). Fuller couldn't find anyone else willing to give him any more money to fund his project (a struggle that would become synonymous with the name "Buckminster Fuller"), so the design was abandoned.
The Moller International Neuera
Paul Moller, a Canadian engineer and professor, has spent the past 40 years trying to build a flying car, because The Jetsons was apparently on television the first and only time his father hugged him. After many, many iterations (including the infamous Skycar, over which he was actually sued for fraud by the SEC), he has unleashed the Moller International Neuera (pronounced "new era"), which looks every bit as exciting as deliberately misspelling common phrases to convey your ingenuity.
Paul Moller isn't just the engineer. He's an extremely indifferent client.
That is easily one of the most depressing promotional photos ever published. The driver looks like he's waiting for an iTunes update to finish installing, rather than sitting behind the wheel of a flying goddamned saucer.
The Neuera uses a bunch of vented fans for vertical takeoff and landing (instead of jet engines and a stretch of unoccupied runway like most other flying cars) and can travel at a maximum height of 10 feet, which you may recognize as not nearly high enough to make a fucking bit of difference.
However, it can evidently travel back in time, because that man is clearly from 1978.
Luckily, a version of it is technically street legal, otherwise there would be no way to use it to travel anywhere, considering it can't even clear a retaining wall, much less soar over treetops and sunbaked canyons.
Matt is still saving up for the Tron bike he wrote about here. You can tell him all the horrible ways he'll likely die riding it on his Twitter. You can follow Curtis on his Twitter here!
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Related Reading: Ready for more of the craziest street-legal cars, click here. The smallest car in the world is more wee than Hot Wheels. Oh, and in case you're in the mood for crime-fighting check out this turbine-powered batmobile. For a look at some car modifications that need to stop happening click this link.