Sold for $577,500 at 2006 RM Auctions. Sold for $1,017,500 at 2008 RM Auctions. Built by Preston Thomas Tucker, 51 examples were built, of which 47 survive now. The car is called the 'Tucker 48' (for its model year). It was called the 'Tucker Torpedo' as it was being designed and promoted.
Though only 51 examples were ever produced, the work of Preston Tucker has firmly cemented itself in history and a legacy that resounds with automotive enthusiasts from all corners of the world. After the close of the Second World War, Tucker began work on a new breed of automobiles that would become and engineering marvel and a masterpiece of design.
The work was done in a Dodge aircraft engine plant located in Chicago, which Tucker had purchased. Two clay mockups were created, both identical in mechanical dimensions but varying in style. A final version was crafted from the best of both clay models. The final version was then made into a metal prototype which was dubbed the 'Tin Goose'. It was first shown to the public on June 19th, 1947.
Though the design was moving along steadily, the engine was plagued with problems. Its shortcoming were its excess noise, lack of power, and requiring multiple batteries in order to start. A 6 ALV 335 Franklin helicopter engine was used as a replacement. The engine was modified to utilize liquid cooling and the adaptation of a Cord 810 transmission. When the process was complete, the engine produced 166 horsepower and 372 foot-pounds of torque.
The Tucker was a model of safety. The interior cockpit was given padded dashboard and carried instrumentation that was grouped around the steering wheel. This meant that the protruding buttons and gauges would not cause damage to its occupants during an accident. The center-mounted headlight moved with the steering wheel providing light in the direction the vehicle would be traveling.
The front and rear seats could be interchanged which aided in the reduction of wear.
Soon after the Tucker automobiles began rolling off the assembly line in spring of 1948, the Securities and exchange Commission began investigating the allegations of mail fraud and other violations. The negative publicity sent stock plummeting and the facility was forced to close. Tucker assemble a skeleton crew and were able to continue production for a few more months, lasting until March of 1949, at which time the company fell into receivership and its assets were seized.
The Moss green colored Tucker Torpedo was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction held in Monterey, CA where it was expected to sell between $700,000-$900,000. It carries chassis number 1038 and was completed on October 25th, 1948. It was constructed without a transmission. Later, a Cord transmission was installed.
Since its assembly the car was given a comprehensive professional restoration. The car had traveled only 3100 miles since new. It was equipped from the factory with an AM radio and factory luggage.
At auction the vehicle was sold, fetching $577,500.
In 2008, this 1948 Tucker Sedan was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $500,000 - $600,000. An astonishing high bid of $1,017,500, including buyer's premium, was enough to secure new ownership. This bid was well above the estimated value, but with only 51 examples ever created, that was the price needed to own this car. Needless to say, the lot was sold. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2009
This is Tucker #1001, the first car off the prototype production line. It was the current owner's second Tucker, purchased in 1973 at the urging of his brother. This car utilizes the Tucker Y-1 transmission, a Tucker-modified Cord 810/812 front-wheel drive unit.
It also features the rubber torsion tube suspension, which was plagued by sever toe-in during braking. It is painted in its original Tucker maroon 600 color scheme.
After chassis number 1003, the rear fenders were changed to allow wheel removal, while the suspension was converted to a rubber sandwich style arrangement.Source - AACA
Sold for $1,320,000 at 2012 Gooding & Company. This Tucker, #34 of only 51 produced, sold for $2,450. It was originally titled to Samuel L. Winternitz & Co. of Chicago, IL, and was used as one of ten promotional cars that traveled the U.S. It was sold to Joy Brothers Motors of St. Paul, MN, for [Read More...]
The only American car that received more publicity than the Kaiser in the post World War II years was the Tucker Torpedo. Preston Tucker was determined to build a new car wîth more forward-lòòking features - 'the first completely new car in fifty years' as the Tucker brochures stated. At his side, the flamboyant Tucker had Alex Tremulis, the renowned auto stylist who had learned his craft from E.L. Cord. The original design for the new car featured a center placed §teering wheel and front fenders that would turn wîth the wheels. In the original design, the car used a horizontally opposed engine wîth hydraulically actuated valves, and an integrated crankshaft driving an automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) This engine could not be made function in time for production, so a Franklin helicopter engine, modified from air to liquid cooling, was used to drive a redesigned Cord front wheel drive transmission replacing the Tuckermatic (which was not developed in time to be installed in the production Tuckers).
In place of the moving front fenders, Tucker installed a third headlight that turned wîth the §teering wheel. The 'Cyclops Eye' headlight was just one of the several safety features that were placed in the tucker. The dash area was padded, the windshields could be popped out, and all controls were grouped in front of the driver. The area ahead of the front seat, called the Safety Chamber, was a large carpeted box that driver and front seat occupants could drop into if a crash was imminent. Tucker had considered safety belts, but they were abandoned because designers felt that they might imply his car was unsafe. The disc brakes planned for the car were abandoned because of cost, but the car retained all-independent suspension and tubular shocks. Tough not built wîth uni-body construction like Hudson, the Tucker had a step down passenger compartment, which gave the car a very low center of gravity. This, in turn, allowed the 4200-pound car to handle surprisingly well.
Collection of Debbie HullSource - SDAM
This is the only Tucker Convertible in existence. It has zero original miles, zero owners, never titled, correct Cord sourced transmission, and unique Tucker frame. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | May 2009
The Tucker was powered by a rear-mounted helicopter engine and boasted many innovative safety features including the first pop-out safety windshield, first padded dash, and a center headlight that turned to light around corners. [Read More...]
Tucker 1017 was first restored in the early 1970s by Tucker expert Bill Hamlin in California. It then was on display for many years at the San Diego Museum. There were 51 Tuckers produced in 1948 and 47 still exist, many in museums. The rear engine i [Read More...]
Michigan native Preston Tucker had radical and futuristic ideas for what a postwar car should entail. His plan defied convention and had an unusual design for a full-size sedan. The engine was to be placed in the back, be horizontally opposed. The fl [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2011
Perhaps the greatest tribute an automobile can receive is that it would inspire someone to create a replica. That's exactly the case here - this is a replica Tucker built in recent years by a talented individual, Rob Ida of New Jersey. [Read More...]
Preston Tucker's objective in designing his namesake automobile was to create something that stood out from the crowd. In that, he succeeded. The Tucker was unlike anything the public had seen in post-war America. [Read More...]
At the conclusion of World War Two, the American public was understandably anxious to get back on the road again. The existing manufacturers were converting their factories from war time production to automobile production. The time was also ripe for [Read More...]
This is the 15th of the 51 Tuckers that were eventually built. Since it is one of the earliest Tuckers, it features a Cord pre-select transmission, which was installed in the early Tuckers. [Read More...]
The 'Tucker 48' was named for its model year. Of the 51 examples built, 47 have survived today and are mostly valued as Museum pieces worth a minimum Si million. Preston Tucker's short time in the automobile business is firmly cemented in automotive [Read More...]
Sold for $1,567,500 at 2014 RM Auctions. Eventually, just 51 examples of the Tucker 48 were assembled, which included the original 'Tin Goose' prototype and 50 pilot-production cars. This example has a factory report dated October 28, 1948, held in the Tucker archives at the Gilmore Car Mus [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
High bid of $1,475,000 at 2013 RM Auctions. (did not sell) Sold for $2,035,000 at 2014 Gooding & Company. Alex Tremulius is credited with creating the design for the sleek fastback. His resume includes work with Gordon Buehrig on the Cord 810/812; the 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt, and the Ford Gyron concept. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
Conceived by Preston Tucker, the Automobile was produced in Chicago in 1948. Only 51 cars were made before the company closed its doors. How and why the company failed is the subject of much debate. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2015
This is Tucker number 1022, the first Tucker purchased by n late David Cammack, and the car that started his obsession with the make. This car utilizes the Tucker Y-1 transmission, a Tucker-modified Cord 810/812 unit, and features the improved rubber [Read More...]
This is a 1947 Test Chassis number 2. It has a rear engine, rear-wheel drive configuration, overhead valves operated by oil pressure, direct-drivee torque converters, perimeter frame for safety, and low center of gravity. It has Elastomeric rubber fo [Read More...]
Considered by many the most valuable production Tucker, #1026 is the only remaining complete Tucker wîth an automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) This Tuckermatic R-1-2 unit is one of three different versions of the Tuckermatic made, the R-1, R-1-2, and R-3 (R for Warren Rice, its designer). The first version, the R-1, was not installed on any of the final cars. It required the engine to be off in order to select a gear. The R-1-2 was improved by adding a layshaft brake to allow gear selection while the engine was running. This version was installed on cars #1026 and 1042 only. The R-3 version had further improvements including a centrifugal clutch to help shifting between forward and reverse even further, but it was never installed in any of the final cars. Because the two torque converters on the Tuckermatic made the engine/transmission unit longer, the fuel tank in the Tucker '48 had to be moved from behind the rear seat to in front of the dashboard for all Tuckers from car #1026 forward, even though only two of them actually had the Tuckermatic installed. This had the added advantage of improving weight distribution on the car. On cars #1026-on Tucker finally settled on a suspension design wîth a modified version of the rubber torsion tube wîth the tone-in braking problem corrected. Chassis #1025 and prior used mechanical linkage for the Cyclops eye, while #1026 and beyond used a new cable operated system.Source - AACA
This engine could not be used due to flaws in the design. The oil filter tube was too close to the body, so a second one needed to be added. There were no breathers in the valve covers. The water pump was mounted solid wîth nothing to absorb vibration. The fan was mounted backwards.Source - AACA
This Tucker Engine with Cord transmission and Tucker Radiator was salvaged from Tucker automobile #1018. It was manufactured by Franklin and constructed from cast aluminum. It has a 335 cubic inch displacement and produced 166 horsepower. The bare bl [Read More...]
This Tucker prototype engine was produced for the Tucker Corporation but never installed into any of the automobiles. This air-cooled engine was manufactured by Franklin and given a Magneto. [Read More...]
Preston Tucker and his revolutionary car took the American car market by storm. It was an overnight sensation that attracted huge crowds everywhere it was shown. Potential buyers would actually purchase accessories in advance to secure a spot in line [Read More...]