Old Cars

1948 Gatso, Unusual Dutch Sports Car with Three Headlights

The Gatso “4000” Sport, an intriguing sports automobile from Holland, was one of numerous competitive vehicles powered by Ford V-8s in the previous century. The V-8 was an obvious choice for a power plant for small production, custom-built, and sports automobiles like the Gatso due to its huge advantage of having worldwide servicing and spare parts availability.

1948 Gatso, Unusual Dutch Sports Car with Three Headlights

Maurice Gatsonides, a Dutch rally racer, is credited with creating both the Gatso vehicle and the roadside speed camera. He created the speed camera as a way to record his speed through specific areas so he could practice moving more quickly. However, his creation was later modified into a tool for measuring speed that is now employed by numerous police departments to detain speeding motorists.

1948 Gatso, Unusual Dutch Sports Car with Three Headlights

The Ford Mercury 4 liter V8 engine came equipped as standard with an American-built dual manifold and aluminum high-compression cylinder heads, which produced an estimated 125 HP at 4000 RPM. The use of cylinder liners that had been chrome hardened allowed for an extension of the time between engine overhauls.

1948 Gatso, Unusual Dutch Sports Car with Three Headlights

The Ford Roadster’s standard three-speed gearbox and a Columbia two-speed rear-axle assembly were used to send power to the rear wheels. The Gatford hence had the advantage of six forward speeds.

The addition of a third headlight in the center provided more illumination for nighttime driving, which is crucial for sporting events like the 24-hour races at Le Mans and Spa. The carburetors, which would otherwise protrude from the low hood, are conveniently covered by the faring for this light.

The entire body construction, with the exception of the doors and bonnet, is welded together as one solid piece, which is a unique feature.

Prior to ceasing, production hardly reached double digits. Actually, it is unknown exactly how many cars were produced. There are 11 parts listed, compared to only 8 in other sources (the Roadster, Aero Coupé, Coupé, and Luxe Convertible versions).

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