Phone: 520-207-5715   Find the Tucson Auto Museum Get Directions

1948 Kurtis-Omohundro Comet

1948 Kurtis-Omohundro Comet


Race car builder Frank Kurtis and Paul Omohundro collaborated on three projects. Comet Industries, Paul's drop-forge hammer company, produced quarter-midget bodies for Kurtis as well the fiberglass fenders, hood, and trunk for Kurtis sports cars. Their final collaboration involved two aluminum-bodied sports cars based on the Kurtis design--the 1947 and 1948 Kurtis-Omohundro Comets.

This 1948 Kurtis-Omohundro Comet debuted in the February 1949 issue of Road & Track magazine – the fifth issue of Road & Track published. The car was shown on a full-page spread and was one of the first aluminum coach-built sports cars published by Road & Track to an enthusiastic worldwide audience.

In 1949, “Autocar” magazine from Great Britain featured the Kurtis-Omohundro introducing this American sports car to an even larger audience on the continent and beyond. The Comet was also featured in the February 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics in France which further extended the reach of this car.
Period magazine articles state that the Comet debuted in metallic blue.

Each car took Comet Industries one year to complete. This 1948 Comet was built on a Mercury chassis, with a Cadillac V-8 and an automatic transmission, a larger cockpit than its predecessor, a more stylish grille and windscreen, and a slightly longer wheelbase. Other changes included the hood shape, the door size and the wheel openings. It had roll-up windows and a folding convertible top. Lost for over 50 years, both Kurtis-Omohundro Comets were found by the Undiscovered Classics team and subsequently restored.

This car is widely considered to be the first post-war American sports car and was exhibited at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Other Cars You Might Like to View