Ford Seattle-ite XXI


The Ford Seattle-ite XXI was a 3/8 scale concept car designed by Alex Tremulis and displayed on 20 April 1962 on the Ford stand at the Seattle World's Fair.[1][2]


The car contained novel ideas that have since become reality: interchangeable fuel cell power units; interchangeable bodies; interactive computer navigation, mapping, and auto information systems; and four driving and steering wheels.[3] The concept of some form of compact nuclear propulsion device was included as a possible power source on the assumption that radiation issues could be overcome without the need for prohibitively bulky shielding.[4][5]

The car had six wheels, with four steerable ones at the front and two fixed ones at the rear – similar to the fictional six-wheel 1965 FAB1 and the real Tyrrell P34 racing car of the mid-1970s. The designers determined the six-wheel concept would enhance tracking, traction, and braking. It had an interchangeable front-powered section that enabled the car to be turned into either an economical city runabout or, when needed, a powerful transcontinental cruiser. All control mechanisms were through flexible couplings. Steering was by way of a fingertip-controlled dial.[6]

See alsoEdit

Twin front axleEdit

Twin rear axleEdit


  1. ^ Lamm, Michael; Holls, Dave (1996). A century of automotive style: 100 years of American car design. Lamm-Morada Publishing Co. ISBN 0-932128-07-6.
  2. ^ "The Motor". 121. Temple Press. 1962: 492. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Six wheels - count 'em - six". Popular Mechanics. No. May. 1968. p. 119.
  4. ^ Janicki, Edward; Janicki, Gregory (1995). "Ford Seattle-ite XXI". Cars Detroit never built: fifty years of American experimental cars. Sterling Publications Company. p. 108.
  5. ^ Henry Bolles Lent (1971). "X Cars of the Future". The X cars: Detroit's one-of-a-kind autos. Putnam. p. 90.
  6. ^ Callahan, Joe (1966). "Automobiles". Boys' Life. Boy Scouts Association of America (March): 5.

External linksEdit

  • Copy of Ford Seattle-ite brochure
  • Seattle World Fair cyber tour link showing the Ford Seattle-ite
  • Link to photoset of the Ford Seattle-ite