Automotive writers are often obliged to report guilelessly on concept cars, relaying the manufacturer’s future visions at face value and seeking to maintain the industry’s credibility.
Ford Gyron 1961
- YEAR REVEALED 1961
- PLACE OF ORIGIN Detroit, Michigan
- HISTORICAL STATUS prototype
- ENGINE none fitted
- MAXIMUM POWER unknown
- LAYOUT not stated
- BODYWORK single-canopy, two-seater coupé
- TOP SPEED unknown
- NUMBER BUILT one
For once in 1961, though, Ford was not asking the world to believe it would be marketing a two-seater, two-wheeler gyroscope car any time soon. In fact, the US heavyweight was explicit: the Gyron was for show purposes only, where cunning anchoring on its display stand would ensure it stood upright in all its cartoonish glory.
Nonetheless, Ford couldn’t put its pomposity entirely to one side. It insisted this self-balancing, aerodynamic, covered motorcycle just might be the sort of car we’d be driving in the 21st century. The Ford Gyron was the most ridiculous of a string of concepts to sally forth from Ford’s Advanced Styling Studio, the product of Alex Tremulis.
His other wacky creations included the six-wheeled Seattle-ite XXI and the sleek lines of the Ford Mexico coupé, as well as work on the Chrysler Thunderbolt and the Tucker Torpedo. While the Gyron did not work, empty of both engine and gyroscopes, the public was asked to believe it would also incorporate computer-controlled navigation and cruise control functions. It was also supposed to have pop-out legs either side to support it at traffic lights. Boys of the time must have absolutely loved the Gyron; perhaps their dads simply suppressed a wry chuckle.