Gatford Becomes Gatso – A 1948 American-Based “Dutch-Built” Special

Hi Gang…

In our last story on this Dutch-built, American-based special, we reviewed their 1947 brochure when the company was called “Gatford.”  Click here to review this story on the 1947 Gatford / Gatso Sports Car: An American Based Special Built in Holland.

By July of 1948, the date of today’s brochure, the company’s name had changed their name from Gatford to Gatso and a host of new models were proposed.  Within a span of just a year, Maurice Gatsonides had expanded his offering from two models (sports roadster and aero coupe) to five models as follows:

  • Roadster
  • Touring
  • Coupe
  • Cabriolet
  • Aero Coupe

Each of these is either shown or illustrated in the ’48 Gatso brochure, below.   What an exciting time this must have been for the folks at Gatso Motorworks!

Gatso Review By Floyd Clymer

In the past few years, I’ve had the chance to beg, borrow, and review many different literature collections of special cars across America.  One of the pieces I came across was from a collector who had many items from the archives of Floyd Clymer which included a short typed review of the “Gatso” automobile which may have been used in one of his books.  Let’s review what Clymer (assumed author until research complete) had to say about Gatso in the late 40’s.

Here we go:

An unusual car made in very limited quantities is the Dutch Gatso.  This car, designed and built by the widely-known Dutch Rally driver Gatsonides, uses a pre-1949 Ford V8 chassis as basis.  Many practical features are included as a result of his extensive rally experience.

The most striking part of the car is the specially-built streamlined body which is carried on a tubular frame.  The chassis is basically Ford with the non-independent transverse spring suspension and torque tube drive.  The three-speed gearbox is equipped with an overdrive unit.

The power unit is a modified Ford Mercury engine which develops 120-150 horsepower according to the state of tune.  Some models have been equipped with Ardun overhead valve cylinder head placed on a stock Mercury block.  This feature boosts the power output to 175 horsepower.

Long range fuel tanks fitted on each side of the chassis frame are optional.  The Gatso is an open two-seater of very clean contours.  As an alternative, a plastic top may be had.

The frontal appearance is unusual because of the three headlights fitted.  Wheelbase is 109” and weight approximately 2500 pounds.

1948 Gatso Brochure

There are 4 pages to this booklet-sized brochure.  Let’s take a look at each of the pages below

Close Up Look At Each Design:

I’ve scanned each of the 5 models shown in the brochure in higher resolution.  Each of these images appear below.


In a future stories on Gatso, we’ll review their 1949 brochure and other articles about their cars too.  Thanks again to Ben Uijtenhaak for his assistance in understanding these cars and history in greater detail and for making his Gatford / Gatso web page for all to enjoy.  Click here to visit Ben’s website for additional information about these cars.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures


Gatford Becomes Gatso – A 1948 American-Based “Dutch-Built” Special — 3 Comments

  1. If I recall correctly, the term ‘Gatso’ is now forever connected to the infernal speed camera, which I believe he also invented!

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