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History 1948 Davis 3-Wheeler

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Tonight I caught an episode of CCC logo.JPG entitled "Hunt for the Davis" ... and the featured car was something that I had never seen (nor heard of) before ... a 1948 Davis "Divan" coupe ... 1 of 13 made ... all aluminum body ... removable hardtop ... 3 wheeler ... most ran a Hercules or Continental inline-four powerplant ... but this one was powered by a V8-60 Flathead!

    davis-ep7-100.JPG Such an oddball ... but I'll have to admit that (except for the purple paint) I kinda like it :eek: :eek:

    48DavisDivan-colorized.JPG

    There's a lot of cool history about the man behind the Divan (Gary Davis) and the Davis Motor Car Company of Van Nuys, California.

    You can read all about the car, the man, & his company at the Davis Registry Logo.gif website (click logo).
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  2. Here's some other photos of 1948 Davis Divan's culled from the Internet:

    Lane020.JPG

    Lane021.JPG

    Lane080.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  3. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,857

    cretin
    Member

    I read up on these recently. I got some info about them from the peterson automotive museum. Pretty intersting. That blue one is on display right now at the peterson.
     
  4. This one? ...

    davis_divan_0_01.jpg

    davis_divan_0_02.jpg

    davis_divan_0_03.jpg

    davis_divan_0_04.jpg

    davis_divan_0_05.jpg

    or this one? ...

    davis_divan_482_48.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
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  5. HemmingsDavis1.JPG

    HemmingsDavis2.JPG

    HemmingsDavis3.JPG

    HemmingsDavis4.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  6. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,857

    cretin
    Member

    This one


     
  7. Bdamfino
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 304

    Bdamfino
    Member
    from Hamlet, NC

    They featured the first Kinmont disc brakes!
     
  8. side_valve
    Joined: Sep 22, 2002
    Posts: 833

    side_valve
    Alliance Vendor

    Sorta neat looking. Reminds me of something I heard in London; "There's a reason there aren't English restaurants all over the world." There must be a reason the world is not full of 3-wheeled cars.
     
  9. oilslinger53
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,423

    oilslinger53
    Member
    from covina CA

    i like it. it looks like a really fancy, giant 1950's iron, minus the handle
     
  10. COS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2006
    Posts: 729

    COS
    Member
    from KCMO

    I saw that last night also.. Was going to do a post but you beat me to it.. That thing is so ugly it is cool!! I really like how the headlights work.. Did you notice that the orginal price was going to be $995...Thanks for the link for the info...

    -COS
     
  11. fiat128
    Joined: Jun 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,428

    fiat128
    Member
    from El Paso TX

    Seems that I saw something on those once. Wasn't it supposed to be some sort of "safety car" as well?
     
  12. Tuxedo
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 287

    Tuxedo
    Member

    Saw that episode as well. Before then, I hated ALL three wheelers... but this one is different. The long hood and short roofline are what did it for me.
     
  13. Big Dad
    Joined: Dec 20, 2005
    Posts: 4,546

    Big Dad
    Member

    He paid 55k for that ..? :rolleyes:

    , there should be a law
     
  14. [​IMG]

    1947photobyAllanGrantLIFEmagazine.JPG
    Four men driving down street in Davis Motorcar three-wheeled car
    .
    Los Angeles, CA, US
    1947 photograph by Allan Grant
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  15. <SCRIPT defer type=text/javascript>if (typeof YAHOO == "undefined") { var YAHOO = {};}YAHOO.Shortcuts = YAHOO.Shortcuts || {};YAHOO.Shortcuts.hasSensitiveText = true;YAHOO.Shortcuts.sensitivityType = ["adult"];YAHOO.Shortcuts.doUlt = false;YAHOO.Shortcuts.location = "us";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_id = 0;YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_type = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_title = "Re: 1948 Davis 3-Wheeler ON THE NET - THANX";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_publish_date = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_author = "kfnut@umich.edu";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_url = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_tags = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_language = "english";YAHOO.Shortcuts.annotationSet = {"lw_1228701906_0": {"text": "Nashville","extended": 0,"startchar": 280,"endchar": 288,"start": 280,"end": 288,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "PLACE","predictionProbability": "0.778837","weight": 0.498682,"relScore": 2.18506,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/instance/place/destination", "shortcuts:/us/instance/place/us/town"],"category": ["PLACE"],"wikiId": "Nashville,_Tennessee","relatedWikiIds": ["Detroit,_Michigan", "Key_West,_Florida", "Little_Rock,_Arkansas", "Louisville,_Kentucky", "Lubbock,_Texas", "Memphis,_Tennessee", "Miami_Beach,_Florida", "Milwaukee,_Wisconsin", "New_Orleans,_Louisiana", "Tennessee"],"relatedEntities": ["detroit", "juneau", "key west", "little rock", "lubbock", "memphis", "miami beach", "milwaukee", "new orleans", "tennessee"],"showOnClick": [],"context": "40 years, and sold to the Lane MOtor Museum in Nashville. 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The Blue car is Davis Divan #4, or serial #482E49, now on display","metaData": {"ambiguous": "true","movieCriticsReview": "B-","movieDuration": "1 hr 36 min","movieID": "1808421457","moviePosterHeight": "139","moviePosterURL": "http://l.yimg.com/img.movies.yahoo.com/ymv/us/img/hv/photo/movie_pix/miramax_films/blue_car/bluecar_poster.jpg","moviePosterWidth": "101","movieRating": "R","movieYahooReview": "B-","movieYear": "2003","visible": "false"} },"lw_1228701906_3": {"text": "Connecticut","extended": 0,"startchar": 996,"endchar": 1006,"start": 996,"end": 1006,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "PLACE","predictionProbability": "0.381595","weight": 0.206967,"relScore": 1.50412,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/tag/other/wiki"],"category": ["WIKI"],"wikiId": "Connecticut","relatedWikiIds": ["Alabama", "Arizona", "California", "Delaware", "Iowa", "Massachusetts", "Missouri", "New_Hampshire", "New_Jersey", "New_York"],"relatedEntities": ["arizona", "california", "delaware", "illinois", "massachusetts", "missouri", "new jersey", "new mexico", "new york", "tennessee"],"showOnClick": [],"context": "auctions, and was reputedly last known to be headed for Connecticut! What a Distinction!!! The only Davis in all of New","metaData": {"visible": "false"} },"lw_1228701906_4": {"text": "New England","extended": 0,"startchar": 1062,"endchar": 1072,"start": 1062,"end": 1072,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "PLACE","predictionProbability": "0.286317","weight": 0.195245,"relScore": 0.820978,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/tag/other/wiki"],"category": ["WIKI"],"wikiId": "New_England","relatedWikiIds": ["Boston,_Massachusetts", "Indianapolis,_Indiana", "Jacksonville,_Florida", "Maine", "New_England_Patriots", "New_York", "New_York_Giants", "San_Diego,_California", "Super_Bowl", "Tom_Brady"],"relatedEntities": ["baltimore", "green bay", "indianapolis", "jacksonville", "new york", "new york giants", "pittsburgh", "san diego", "super bowl", "tom brady"],"showOnClick": [],"context": "Connecticut! What a Distinction!!! The only Davis in all of New England. I have E-mailed the owner, but no response. I have","metaData": {"visible": "false"} },"lw_1228701906_5": {"text": "http://www.suarezweb.com/davis/","extended": 0,"startchar": 1411,"endchar": 1441,"start": 1411,"end": 1441,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "","predictionProbability": "0","weight": 1,"relScore": 0,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/instance/identifier/hyperlink/http"],"category": ["IDENTIFIER"],"wikiId": "","relatedWikiIds": [],"relatedEntities": [],"showOnClick": [],"context": "","metaData": {"linkHref": "http://www.suarezweb.com/davis/","linkProtocol": "http","linkRel": "nofollow","linkTarget": "_blank","visible": "true"} },"lw_1228701906_6": {"text": "Tom Wilson","extended": 0,"startchar": 1810,"endchar": 1819,"start": 1810,"end": 1819,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "PERSON","predictionProbability": "0.923376","weight": 0.51218,"relScore": 1.86436,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/instance/person/actor", "shortcuts:/us/tag/other/wiki"],"category": ["PERSON", "WIKI"],"wikiId": "Tom_Wilson_%28producer%29","relatedWikiIds": [],"relatedEntities": ["greg kinnear", "john wood", "karl marx", "kurt eichenwald", "lincoln continental", "melanie lynskey", "republican state committee", "republican state committee chairman", "scott bakula", "steven soderbergh"],"showOnClick": [],"context": "am just beginning to get into my winter energy slump! Tom Wilson, Director, Sales Dept. the Davis Registry. At 11:17 PM 12/6/2008","metaData": [ { "visible": "true"}, { "visible": "true"}] },"lw_1228701906_7": {"text": "http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=308750","extended": 0,"startchar": 2148,"endchar": 2205,"start": 2148,"end": 2205,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "","predictionProbability": "0","weight": 1,"relScore": 0,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/instance/identifier/hyperlink/http"],"category": ["IDENTIFIER"],"wikiId": "","relatedWikiIds": [],"relatedEntities": [],"showOnClick": [],"context": "","metaData": {"linkHref": "http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=308750","linkProtocol": "http","linkRel": "nofollow","linkTarget": "_blank","visible": "true"} }};YAHOO.Shortcuts.headerID = "f5e4165449b1a1ecb91e9a56c1bec249";</SCRIPT>I sent this thread to a friend of mine, Tom Wilson, Director, Sales Dept. the Davis Registry. He asked me to post this for him while he figures out how to post on the HAMB.

    Mike:

    Thanks for passing that along!! I think I was away on a trip when that stuff was posted!!

    The yellow car, #6, or 482E69 was the one I salvaged and restored, owned for almost 40 years, and sold to the Lane MOtor Museum in Nashville. It was the one that got the "Davis preservation movement" started"

    The green one, #13, or 482EA139, I boought in Colorado in 1989, restored, still own, and is on loan to The National Auto & Truck Museum in Auburn.

    The Blue car is Davis Divan #4, or serial #482E49, now on display in the Petersen Musuam, in LA. I visited the car in 1986, in Colorado, and in 1998 photographed it extensively in the LA museum. I think they have done quite a few fixups on it since.

    The purple car, is Davis #9, serial #482E99, which I visited in Oregon in 1998, which has bounced around several owners and a couple of auctions, and was reputedly last known to be headed for Connecticut! What a Distinction!!! The only Davis in all of New England. I have E-mailed the owner, but no response.

    I have viewed that web page, but cannot post a comment, because apparently I need to have some sort of membership, which I cannot seem to figure out. Here is the URL for the main Davis Registry web page: http://www.suarezweb.com/davis/

    I will try again to view the site and post the text of this message to you....but if I have no luck, would you please get back with on how I can post on that site. And/or you could post this note on it yourself, if you can.

    I hope all is going o.k. well with you! Personally, I am just beginning to get into my winter energy slump!

    Tom Wilson, Director, Sales Dept. the Davis Registry.
     
  16. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 6,839

    noboD
    Member

    link no work.
     
  17. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 6,839

    noboD
    Member

    My link didn't work, had a pic of another 3 wheeler. Sorry to confuse.
     
  18. Green Voodoo
    Joined: May 22, 2007
    Posts: 55

    Green Voodoo
    Member
    from Melbourne

    The Davis 3 wheeler was based on the concept devised Frank Kurtis in the early 40s.
     
    Dean Lowe likes this.
  19. Here's a few pics from the Petersen Automotive Museum (January 2009):

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1467098378.261614.jpg

    [​IMG]
    image by @hotrodladycrusr

    [​IMG]
    image by @hotrodladycrusr
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  20. hemiboy
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 248

    hemiboy
    Member

    There was a magazine article from way back on these....it sticks in my mind that these were able to do a 180 degree turn at about 70 mph with sliding, etc. Anyone remember that article? Seems that it was a "little book" article or a reprint, maybe Rod & Custom in the 60's or the little Poplular Mechanics.
     
  21. Those things always looked like an old bumper car to me.
     
  22. I don't know if they were built in more than one location but when I went looking for shop locations to rent around 1980 one of the buildings I looked at was in Canoga Park, CA and the realtor showing the property said it had been the Davis car assembly plant. It wasn't big but it was too big for my partner and I so we passed.
     
  23. Wayne (@StillOutThere) ... from everything that I've read, the Davis Motorcar plant was in a rural section of Van Nuys:

    Davis Motorcar Factory 1.jpg

    Davis Motorcar Factory 2.jpg

    Davis Motorcar Factory 3.jpg

    Davis Motorcar Factory 4.jpg

    ... perhaps the "Canoga Park building" you guys looked at was actually considered part of Van Nuys back in 1948 ... ???
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  24. Here's a couple (poor quality) videos of other Davis 3-wheelers:



     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  25. RancheroMan
    Joined: Mar 31, 2006
    Posts: 260

    RancheroMan
    Member

    i read about those in a book i got when i was a kid. my gramps gave it to me since i was really into cars. it's titled "cars that never were" has Tucker and some prototypes in it too.
    some cool stuff.
     
  26. Page 141 of the January 1948 issue of Popular Science magazine:

    Davis Car Popular Science January 1948.jpg

    ... and some very cool Sales Literature:

    Davis Sales Literature 1.jpg
    Davis Sales Literature 2.jpg
    Davis Sales Literature 3.jpg
    Davis Sales Literature 4.jpg
    Davis Sales Literature 5.jpg
    Davis Sales Literature 6.jpg
    Davis Sales Literature 7.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  27. Nice trike - I would love a Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion though. Flathead V8 powered so HAMB-friendly!!

    Here's a couple of my trikes - wheels are the other way round on the big one though (the way god intended them to be).

    [​IMG]
     
  28. swi66
    Joined: Jun 8, 2009
    Posts: 12,358

    swi66
    Member

    In the August 1948 issue of Mechanics Illustrated, Tom MacCahill road tested the Davis, same issue he also tested the Tucker.
     
  29. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 7,904

    sololobo
    Member

    What a blast, I had never seen one before, had heard about but not actually seen. Love all the info, thanx to everyone for the edu-ka-tion!! ~Sololobo~
     

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