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"One could imagine a very ascetic sort of life ... where the body is ignored. This is something I've played with in my books, where people hate to be reminded sometimes that they have bodies, they find it very slow and tedious."
- William Gibson

Gyrocar  
  A two-wheeled, self-balancing automobile.  

It would be a unique and exotic sight, wouldn't it?

Most of the cars were between sixty and seventy horse-power; the Amphibian alone being as low as forty-five; while the Capri was eighty, the Gowfer's Goer a hundred, and the huge Liebig a hundred and twenty horse-power.


And it was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self, with its two young drivers - and their dog...

Indeed, the gyrocar was a sight to make a man look twice. Its two wheels being, naturally, under the centre of the car, were largely hidden by the body; and the absence of the usual four wheels at the corners made it appear to be gliding over the ground without visible means of support.

From Two Boys in a Gyrocar the story of a New York to Paris motor race, by Kenneth Brown.
Published by Houghton Mifflin in 1911
Additional resources -

Eric Frank Russell lets his imagination go in Sinister Barriers (1939):

With a swift turn that produced a yelp of rubber from the rear wheel, the gyrocar spun off the skyway, and on to a corkscrew. It whirled around the spirals with giddying effect.

They hit ground level, and Wohl straightened out, saying, “Those whirligigs sure give me a kick!”

Graham swallowed a suitable remark, his attention caught by the long, streamlined, aluminium-bronze shape of another gyrocar. ■ It flashed along William Street toward them, passed with an audible swoosh of air, sped up the ramp to the corkscrew from which they had just descended. As it passed, Graham’s sharp eyes caught sight of a pale, haggard face staring fixedly through the machine’s flexible glass windshield...

Wohl pressed the accelerator stud, the two-wheeled speedster plunged forward, its incased gyroscope emitting a faint hum...

He held his breath while they cut round another decrepit four-wheeler whose driver gesticulated wildly.

“Every jellopy ought to be banned from the skyways,” Wohl snarled.

Compare to the Gyro-Hat from An Experiment in Gyro-Hats (1926) by Ellis Parker Butler, the tumblebug from The Roads Must Roll (1940) by Robert Heinlein, the Two-Wheeled Ground Car from First Lensman (1950) by E.E. 'Doc' Smith, the Gyro Two-Wheeled Truck from The Sign of the Tiger (1958) by Alan Nourse (w/Meyer), the Gyrocar (Gyro) from The Ring (1969) by Piers Anthony (w/R. Margroff) and the smart bike from Distraction (1998) by Bruce Sterling.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Two Boys in a Gyrocar the story of a New York to Paris motor race
  More Ideas and Technology by Kenneth Brown
  Tech news articles related to Two Boys in a Gyrocar the story of a New York to Paris motor race
  Tech news articles related to works by Kenneth Brown

Gyrocar-related news articles:
  - Gyro-X Self-Balancing Two-Wheeler Car
  - Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles

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