In this investigation, a gradient deficient beam element of the absolute nodal coordinate formulation is generalized to a curved beam for the analysis of multibody systems, and the performance of the proposed element is discussed by comparing with the fully parametrized curved beam element and the classical large displacement beam element with incremental solution procedures. Strain components are defined with respect to the initially curved configuration and described by the arc-length coordinate. The Green strain is used for the longitudinal stretch, while the material measure of curvature is used for bending. It is shown that strains of the curved beam can be expressed with respect to those defined in the element coordinate system using the gradient transformation, and the effect of strains at the initially curved configuration is eliminated using one-dimensional Almansi strain. This property can be effectively used with a nonincremental solution procedure employed for the absolute nodal coordinate formulation. Several numerical examples are presented in order to demonstrate the performance of the gradient deficient curved beam element developed in this investigation. It is shown that the use of the proposed element leads to better element convergence as compared with the fully parametrized element and the classical large displacement beam element with incremental solution procedures.