The minivan packs the greatest passenger/cargo space into the shortest possible vehicle. Although a few others such as some British manufacturers built minivans, it was Volkswagen that popularized it in the early 1950s. And while Chrysler brought it into the North American mainstream in the 1980s, a couple of Americans had tried the idea back in the 1930s.
Buckminster Fuller, brilliant designer of the geodesic dome (dubbed the Bucky Ball), created a motor vehicle he called the Dymaxion introduced in 1933. Shaped like a fat cigar on wheels, the Dymaxion looked something like a short airplane without wings. It had two regular sized wheels just ahead of the lateral centreline and driver and front passengers rode ahead of the front axle.