Prototype for the Future

The Ford Gyron

The Ford Gyron concept car of 1961 was envisioned as a car of the future. Its sleek, aerodynamic body had only two wheels and was balanced by a gyroscope. Looking ahead to a world with controlled freeway systems, the tires of the Gyron were designed to deflate and inflate for travel at varying speeds. Its ultramodern interior featured ergonomic seats, state-of-the-art instrument panel including a car phone, automated guidance and an infrared radar-screen along with foot pedals for both driver and passenger to share in the operation of the vehicle.

Conceived by Alex Tremulis, the Gyron was created in Ford’s Advance Studio; Elwood Engel, Syd Meadmore, Bill Dayton, John Najjar, Gale Halderman and Phil Payne all contributed to the final design. The Gyron debuted at the New York International Auto Show in 1961; a year later, the full-size model was destroyed in a fire at the Ford Rotunda. Though the concept car never came to fruition (the cost of the gyroscope was prohibitive), the Gyron is among the best-known and most publicized cars of its era. It captures the sleek and forward-thinking vision of the designers at Ford and it anticipates the future of automotive design where aesthetics and aerodynamic technologies converge.

This studio-made production model Gyron is a significant piece of American automotive history. It belonged to Joe Oros, the designer responsible for one of America’s most iconic cars: The Ford Mustang. Few studio-made examples of the Gyron were produced.

An outstanding example of the visioneering that is at the heart of progressive automotive styling....Its shape and theory of stabilization severt another link between automobiles and the carriages that preceded them.

—Ford brochure