March 18, 2024


Davis Motor Co. (1947-1948)

Van Nuys, California

This is a Davis script (1947-1948)     mjs
Size: 98mm wide

Glen Gordon "Gary" Davis set up the Davis Motor Company in 1947 for the production of the Davis car, which was a small, aerodynamically shaped three-wheeler with an aluminum body seating four abreast. He had previously acquired the one-off "Californian" three-wheeler designed and built by Frank Kurtis in 1941. Davis named his car after himself and did not refer to Kurtis. Three prototype cars were built, the Baby, the Delta and the Divan, the latter being used as the basis for the production Davis car.

The Divan had a closed aluminum body but three open, jeep-like Model 494 personnel carrier prototype vehicles were also made for the US army. Davis launched a major advertising program for his car and many dealers paid in advance for cars. There were grand plans for production but things did not go well. The Davis Motor Car Company failed in 1948 after employees were not paid and the company was investigated for fraud. Glen Gordon "Gary" Davis was convicted of theft and fraud and was jailed briefly. Only thirteen Davis cars were actually built.


The Davis Divan had no radiator but displayed the "Davis" name on small chrome plated scripts attached to the body of the car.

The following Davis Divan brochure/advertisement shows the "Davis" script logo but the photo of, presumably, a prototype Davis has a "DAVIS" script in capital letters attached to the body just under the front windshield:

Davis brochure showing an early "DAVIS" script (1947)   petrolicious

Close-up showing script

I do not know, if this script was ever used on a production model. If you have a good photo of this Davis script. please let me know, in order to update this post. This form of the Davis script is extremely rare.

The chrome plated "Davis" script shown above at the top of this post was used on the known production Davis cars. The script was mounted on the body just under the front windshield and at the rear just above the tail light, see examples shown below. This Davis script is rare.

Davis Divan showing front script under windscreen (1948)  jaydec

This is a Davis Divan showing rear script (1948)   dave_7

Rear Davis script above tail light (1948)    conceptcarz

The military personnel carrier Davis Model 494 prototypes did have a radiator and a similar but larger, painted script was mounted above the radiator, see example shown below:

This is a Davis Model 494 showing radiator script (1948)   jaydec

Close-up showing Davis script 

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