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TASCO Tuesday! The Plane-Like 1948 TASCO Prototype

Only one of these cars was ever built! The design borrowed many ideas from airplanes at the time. The car was created by a consortium of businessmen who hoped to sell replicas to wealthy sportsmen who would campaign them in European-style sports car races held in New York State. Tasco (The American Sportscar Company) shortened a 1948 Mercury chassis with a souped-up V8 engine. The Tasco featured an enclosed cockpit like that of a light aircraft. Above the heads of driver and passenger were lift-out glass panels in the first-ever rendering of the “T-bar” roof (first seen in production in the Chevrolet Corvette of 1968). The cast magnesium wheels were fully enclosed in their own fairings. The front two were made from fiberglass and turned with the wheels.

The bodywork was built by Derham, one of America’s most respected luxury car bodybuilders, through his contacts. They employed Gordon Buehrig to design it, an extremely talented stylist who had worked all over the American car industry but was most closely associated with the 1935 Auburn Speedster and 1936 Cord 810. However, Buehrig was never happy with the Tasco, saying a committee designed it. Unfortunately, he compared it to the failed Edsel as another lame duck. No doubt, car and design students today would disagree!

It can now be seen at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana!

1948 Gordon Buehrig Tasco 45

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