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The Petersen Automotive Museum is getting ready for its grand re-opening at the end of the year, and it's running an Indiegogo campaign to put a 1948 Davis Divan on the guest list. The museum already owns the Divan, but it would like to restore the three-wheeled oddity to as-new condition and display the car in its Innovation area.

The Davis is another fruit born from post-war optimism. Custom movie-car builder Gary Davis based his little jitney on another three-wheeled custom, the Californian, a car built by Frank Kurtis. Davis set up production at the Van Nuys airport and cranked out 17 examples of his design in 1947-48, each with an aluminum body, BorgWarner three-speed transmission, disappearing headlights, built-in jacks at all corners for tire changes, and a single bench seat that could seat four across. The Petersen owns chassis number four, the last to use the 47-horsepower Hercules four-cylinder before switching to a Continental engine. The company folded when Davis didn't pay or deliver as promised and was convicted of theft.

Before the Petersen bought it, this particular Divan lived mostly in Colorado "mounted on a pole outside a body shop." Everything needs to be fixed, rebuilt, or repainted: engine, suspension, interior and body panels. It's trying to raise $30,000 to make that happen by the time of the new opening. It's offering everything from an eBook to rides in the restored car as perks. You can head over to Indiegogo to read more about the campaign and the Davis Divan story.


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