Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948)

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Message  Predicta le Jeu 1 Jan - 19:57

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 14326_10

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948)
Tasco is an acronym for The American Sportscar Company, and the car pictured here shows the only example it ever managed to produce. The basis of the machine was a shortened 1948 Mercury chassis with a souped-up V8 engine. The design borrowed many ideas from airplanes at the time.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 castmagnesium wheels were fully enclosed in their own fairings. The front two were made from fiberglass and turned with the wheels. The car was created by a consortium of businessmen who hoped to sell replicas to wealthy sportsmen who would then campaign them in European-style sports car races held in New York State. 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. Through his contacts, the bodywork was built by Derham, one of America’s most respected luxury car body builders. However, Buehrig was never happy with the Tasco, saying it was designed by a committee (the investors). He compared it to the failed Edsel as another lame duck. No doubt, car and design students today would disagree. Happily it can now be seen at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana.


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Message  Predicta le Jeu 1 Jan - 19:59

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Message  Predicta le Jeu 1 Jan - 20:04

It’s no coincidence that so many new car designs came within a few years of the end of World War II.  The U.S. had endured a crippling depression, followed by a global struggle, and emerged triumphant. The period from 1945 to the early 1960s was one of unprecedented optimism and unbridled dreams. It seemed that nothing was impossible, given enough willpower and innovation. That shown through in the cars of the day.

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A person who exemplified this attitude was Gordon Buehrig. Born in 1904, he is considered one of the greatest auto designers of the 20th century. Prior to the war he worked with the legendary Harley Earl at GM, before taking on the position of chief designer for Duesenberg in 1929. During his time with them, he designed such immortal classics as the Beverly Sedan, the Torpedo Phaeton, and the Derham Tourster. He lent his skills to the aircraft industry when the war began, working from 1941-45 as a designer of aircraft components.


After the war, Buehrig, inflicted with a severe case of wanderlust, spent a few years wandering from one project to the next. In 1948, he joined with the American Sports Car company, a short-lived venture which sought to enter the automotive market with innovative new vehicles.  At the time, the nation was obsessed with aviation, and Buehrig was inspired to build a concept car that would draw heavily from design of fighter planes. Thus was born the 1948 TASCO prototype.

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 66378310

The resemblance to an aircraft is obvious upon first inspection. The canopy has a sloped-back windshield and streamlined appearance. The four wheels are sheathed in aluminum, like the ones used as landing gear.  The front grille has marks on it that resemble air intakes for early jets.  The two-person seating  is more akin to that built for a plane than for a land-based conveyance.  Perhaps most significantly, the prototype was the first automobile of any kind with a T-top roof, for which Buehrig earned a patent.


But it’s when one looks at the interior that the similarities to an aircraft become profound.  The controls and gauges are unlike those of any vehicle ever meant to be used on land.  A driver might get the impression that they could sail away into the wild blue yonder, simply by taxiing down a long, straight length of highway.

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The prototype was presented to managers at the Beech Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas, along with a proposal for them to manufacture it for the general public.  They passed on the opportunity however, and the vehicle was eventually donated to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana, where it sits on display to this day.

Buehrig was offered a position with Ford’s design department in 1949, a job he kept until 1965.  In his later years, he taught at the Art Center College of Design in California and worked on several freelance projects.

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In 1968, he initiated a lawsuit against Chevrolet, which added a T-top to that year’s Corvette without giving him recognition or compensation.  He was successful in the effort, and was awarded a judgment that allowed him to live the rest of his life in comfort. The great designer passed away in 1990, leaving behind a legacy that few could ever hope to match.

http://news.boldride.com/2013/12/the-1948-tasco-prototype-is-part-plane-part-car/11639/

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Message  Predicta le Jeu 1 Jan - 20:10

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 48-tas10

This is a Derham-bodied prototype for a post-WWII American sports car and featured airplane inspired controls. It is a one-off vehicle designed by Gordon Buehrig. it is the first car in the world with a T-top roof. Buehrig patented the idea and sued GM when they used it on the 1968 Corvette. He received very little for his patent. This unique car includes fiberglass steerable front fenders. Mr. Richie Clyne donated this car to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.
Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 48-tas11
The company name 'Tasco' is an abbreviation for 'The American Sportscar Company.' This mostly-aluminum prototype was created to inspire a contract with the Beech Aircraft Company for production of an aviation-styled automobile.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2008

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 48-tas12

http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z15182/Tasco-Prototype.aspx

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Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 48-tas15

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Message  Predicta le Jeu 1 Jan - 20:12

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 48-tas16

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Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 48-tas20

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Message  Predicta le Jeu 1 Jan - 20:16

A second look at the 1948 Tasco
Posted on December 18, 2012 by MCG

In the recent feature on the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum here at Mac’s Motor City Garage, we included a shot of this unusual car: the 1948 Tasco. Here’s more.
Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 1948-t13


The ACD Museum is an appropriate home for the Tasco. The vehicle was the work of famed stylist Gordon M. Buehrig, who was responsible for many Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg  designs, including the stunning coffin-nosed Cord 810/812 and the Auburn 851 Speedster. The Tasco wasn’t nearly as pleasing in its aesthetics, which Buehrig readily acknowledged, calling the awkward machine “my Edsel.”


Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 1948-t12
The Tasco prototype in one of its original outings.



TASCO was an abbreviation for The American Sports Car Company, but the ambitiously named project never progressed beyond this single running prototype. Buehrig and a handful of stylist friends, including Virgil Exner and Bob Bourke, then working for Studebaker, hauled a 1939 Mercury out of a South Bend junkyard to supply the Tasco’s chassis and drivetrain. Derham in Pennsylvania fabricated the body, which employs extensive aluminum construction with fiberglass front wheel enclosures.


Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) Tasco-11
Fully detailed 1948 Tasco quarter-scale model at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum


European sports cars of the era reportedly supplied the inspiration for the Tasco’s basic footprint, and a ton of aircraft construction and design influences can also be seen, for example in the dash and center control console. In the years immediately following WWII, airplanes were obviously on designers’ minds.


Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 1948-t11
1948 Tasco dash and control console

One unusual feature at the time was the pair of lift-out plexiglass roof panels, which today we would immediately recognize as “T-Tops.” When the 1968 Corvette was introduced, Buehrig pursued a legal case against General Motors, apparently without much success. The prototype eventually found its way into the possession of Nevada car collector Richie Clyne, who donated it to the museum. While the car can’t be called a success in any real sense, that doesn’t make it any less fascinating, and it makes a great addition to the collection.



Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 1948-t10
1948 Tasco Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum right front view


Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) Tasco-10
Gordon M. Buehrig U.S. Patent drawing no. 152,320

http://www.macsmotorcitygarage.com/2012/12/18/a-second-look-at-the-1948-tasco/

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Message  Predicta le Jeu 1 Jan - 20:20

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 1948-t14

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 1948-t15

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 1948-t16

Tasco Prototype by Gordon Buehrig (1948) 1948-t17

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