Cars of the future — A look forward from 1948

(July 26, 2015) Popular Science produced some short films in the ’40s and ’50s that looked into the future. This two-minute film highlights the Davis three-wheeler that employed a "tri-cycle landing gear principle." As shown in the film, it also featured built-in jacks to make tire changing an "exhilarating experience."

The Davis Motorcar Company was an American automobile manufacturer based in Van Nuys, in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, which produced three-wheeled automobiles from 1947 to 1948. In total the company produced 15 to 17 vehicles.

According to Wikipedia, Davis operated in a 57,000 square foot former aircraft assembly plant in Van Nuys, where a prototype three-wheeler named "Baby" was built. Baby was powered by a 47 horsepower Hercules 4-cylinder engine coupled to a Borg-Warner 3-speed transmission and Spicer rear end. Baby was unique in that it featured four-across seating.

The second car is identified only as, “If you’re looking for a 1960 model, this may well be it!” Or not. In the third car featured you get to go for a ride with Gordon Beurig in his Tasco prototype. Tasco is an acronym that stands for “The American Sportscar Company.” It was based on a design by Gordon Buehrig, built of post-World War II aluminum. The model shown was the only one ever built and is now owned by the Cord Auburn Dusenberg Museum in Auburn, Ind..

Video: Popular Science Historic Film Series