And here you'll see someone brave enough to drive it.
Back in 1967, the automotive stylist and Automobile Hall of Fame inductee, Alex Tremulis, got together with a gyroscope expert called Thomas Summers and built an experimental vehicle that still brings a sense of wonder and beauty today. Until recently it's been on display at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, but it's currently taking a vacation in Europe. What caught our eye on Fishki.net though was the fact that somebody took the two-wheeled car, currently valued at $5.6 million, for a drive during the 2019 Concorso d'Eleganza of Villa d'Este at Lake Como in Italy.
Tremulis and Summers were operating on the concept of efficiency when they came up with the idea for the Gyro-X. Having just two wheels cuts down on a lot of weight and that means it can use a smaller engine and a more aerodynamic body style. Back in the day, it was reported that the Gyro-X could reach up to 125 mph using just an 80-horsepower engine lifted from a Mini Cooper S. With some actual predictive futuristic thinking from the middle of last century, it was suggested that the kinetic energy stored by the gyroscope that's keeping the vehicle upright could later be recovered and used for additional power.
Despite the claims made on the cover of Science and Mechanics magazine when the Gyro-X was featured that it's "impossible to skid or flip," "can bank at 40 degrees!” and that it would actually do 125 mph, the reality was the real thing started to get unstable as it got to 70 mph and needed further development (that it never got) for it to be safe at normal car speeds.
However, just seeing it now and being driven at low speeds is amazing and particularly when you consider the life the Gyro-X has had since it was built. It was left out in the elements at the beginning of the 1970s, then the new owner added a third wheel in the mid-1970s so it could be licensed to drive in California. A few people tried to get it into production, and then it disappeared until the mid-1990s only to appear with a Volkswagen engine along with its third wheel and the gyroscope completely missing. It was picked up by a Texan collector who then sold it to the Lane Motor Museum who gave it a full restoration and now display it and send it out to high-end motor shows.