Mark Murphy Light Vehicle Project. Finished model of a light vehicle designed by Mark Murphy (PROD 1983).

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31-RG 31.02-2004.22.4317

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Mark Murphy Light Vehicle Project. Finished model of a light vehicle designed by Mark Murphy (PROD 1983).


  • circa 1981 (Creation)


Print, Photographic, b&w, 8" x 10"

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Copyright held by Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, Calif.)

Digital materials and catalog records are made available for educational and research purposes only and cannot be reproduced, distributed, or published without written permission from Art Center College of Design.

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At Art Center, October 1981: You never saw anything like it, but it fits a logical niche in the transportation system. It's the aerocoupe, a three-wheel "minimum vehicle" designed and fabricated in his free time by sixth-semester product design student Mark Murphy with aid from Art Center, an $800 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and spare parts from Pasadena Putt-Putt. Murphy's mentors included Dr. Peter Lissaman and Dr. Paul MacCready, experts on human-powered vehicles who worked on the Gossamer Condor. Weighing in at 270 pounds, the vehicle is lighter than most motorcycles, so it is terrific on fuel economy. And consider these amenities... After entering through a sliding canopy hatch on top, the rider sits upright, protected from the weather, in a completely enclosed shell formed of wood and heat-molded sheets of foam. Equipped with a moped motor, Murphy's aerocoupe is designed to take advantage of human muscle power as well as horsepower. The rider must pedal to start the engine and to give it an assist when accelerating and climbing hills. Manpower alone can move the vehicle about 10 mph, while the rider and engine together can push the car to speeds of 37-40 mph on level ground.

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620.8 KiB

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