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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Gyronaut X-1 Goes Under Restoration

Posted May 21, 2012 9:15 AM by dstrohl

Designer Alex Tremulis maintained over his decades-long career that streamlining and aerodynamics provided the solutions to many a problem faced by automotive designers and engineers. It wasn't until after Ford gave him the boot, however, that he could focus on applying his then-radical ideas to a practical project, a streamlined motorcycle that would end up setting the world's land speed record for two-wheelers at more than 240 MPH.

More than 40 years later, that same bike, the Gyronaut X-1, remains in the hands of the man who drove it to that record and is undergoing a full restoration, with plans to return it to Bonneville, the place where it was conceived and proved.

The story of the Gyronaut project begins in one place - Detroit - but with three men pursuing two different goals. Tremulis, who had worked at Ford as a designer in various roles since 1952, had hit upon the ultimate idea in streamlining: To reduce a vehicle's front surface area, it needed two wheels instead of four. A two-wheeled automobile would need a gyroscope to remain stable and upright, he reasoned, so he began the resulting Gyron concept car to test out those ideas. While the Gyron would be built as a show car, introduced in 1961, it would use a pair of outrigger wheels rather than a gyroscope to remain upright and its development process would create plenty of friction between Tremulis and his superiors, ultimately leading to his separation from Ford in February 1963.

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