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The Davis was originally designed in 1940 by Frank Kurtis, later to be known for his Kurtis Kraft Indy Race Cars. After World War II, Gary Davis, a builder of custom cars for the movie industry undertook to put the car into production. Claims were made that the car would weigh less than 1000 pounds, have a top speed in excess of 80 mph, and fuel economy of 35 to 50 miles per gallon. The Davis has a turing circle of only 13 feet and could be parked in a space only inches longer than the car. The first few cars used Continental engines and the later cars had Hercules engines.
A total of 15 hand-built prototypes were built before various lawsuits brought an end to further production. Mr Davis was convicted of fraud and sent to prison.