Historical Photos of the Bizarre Two-Wheeled, Self-Balancing 1967 Gyro-X Vehicle

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In 1967 Alex Tremules, contracted by California-based Gyro Transport Systems, built the single-seated Gyro-X. The automobile had just two wheels, one in front and one in the back and, as the car’s name implies, it utilized a built-in gyroscope to remain upright when moving.

The Gyro-X was displayed for the first time at “The Wonderful World of Wheels”, an exhibit at the 1967 New York International Auto Show. Of the vehicles presented, the Gyro-X was included, offering a sneak peek into the possible future of the automobile.

According to an article in the September 1967 issue of Science & Mechanics, the car could reach a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h), and could swoop through 40-degree banked turns without tipping. It weighed in at 1,850 pounds (839 kg), measured 47 inches (119 cm) in height, just 42 inches (107 cm) in width, and 15 feet, 5 inches (4.7 meters) in length. It rolled on two 15-inch wheels, and was powered by a small 80-horsepower engine. For parking purposes it had two small side-wheels on the right.

The company went bankrupt, and the one-and-only specimen of the car became an orphan. That car passed from owner to owner, its condition deteriorating along the way. Now, it’s about to be restored by a Nasville museum to its former (weird) glory.

Designer Alex Tremulis with the Gyro-X.

Tremulis and Summers stand next to the Gyro-X.

Tremulis and Summers demonstrate that the Gyro-X can seat two.

With its auxiliary wheels down, Tremulis sits inside while Summers stands beside the Gyro-X.

Alex Tremulis working on a clay model of the Gyro-X.

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