1948 Tucker 48

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.


by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2018

Vehicle Profiles

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1001

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....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1034

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....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

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 with more forward-looking features - 'the first completely new car in fifty yea....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Convertible

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.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1047

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.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1017

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....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1007

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....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

In 1988 the film Tucker: The Man and His Dream was released by Lucas Films. It told the story of Preston Tucker and his car more accurately than anyone might expect of Hollywood.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

This Tucker wears an older restoration and is number 48 or 51 examples produced.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

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.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1008

This is the eighth Tucker to roll down the assembly line.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1033

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.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1013

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....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1015

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.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1036

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....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1003
Engine Num: 4

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.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1052

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.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1022

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....[continue reading]

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

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....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1026

Considered by many the most valuable production Tucker, #1026 is the only remaining complete Tucker with an automatic transmission. 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....[continue reading]

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

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 with nothing to absorb vibratio....[continue reading]

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

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....[continue reading]

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

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.....[continue reading]

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

This is prototype Tucker engine number 4.....[continue reading]

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

This is a Tucker Rubber Torsion Tube (version 2). Front suspension used on automobile #1026 and on. The unit came from automobile #1046 for V-8 conversion in the 1950s.....[continue reading]

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

This is a Tucker Rear Suspension salvaged from car #1023 that was destroyed in a fire in 1978.....[continue reading]

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

This is a Tuckermatic R-1-2 automatic transmission with Tucker engine. It was salvaged from one of four destroyed cars, #1042 was the only other Tuckermatic equipped automobile.....[continue reading]

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

This is Tucker Engine prototype #7. It is the last in the series of prototypes.....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1043

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....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1009

This Tucker 48 was sold new by Southwest Tucker of Los Angeles to a successful builder, Wilbur Haskell, who was one of the few people who ordered a new Tucker as soon as they were announced. The Haskell family owned the car until 1959. The Tucker cha....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1014

This Tucker 48 is a famous film star; it was used in the 1988 film Tucker: The Man and His Dream, directed by its owner, Francis Coppola. It was purchased for the film and was then broken down and disassembled so all the parts could be copied and re-....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1016

This particular Tucker 48 was at the center of the legal battle that ended Preston Tucker's dream. Tucker's unorthodox financing methods led to a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, which in turn resulted in reams of negative press cove....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1030

This Tucker 48 was one of the three cars that Preston Tucker attempted to keep when bankruptcy forced his company to close. At one time it was used as a daily driver by Preston's mother. It had been used by security guards at the Tucker even after Tu....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1031

This Tucker 48 was previously owned by Preston Tucker and his family. In 1950, when Preston Tucker's company was liquidated at a public auction in Chicago, Preston himself bought two cars, chassis 1029 and 1931. He quickly sold one car (1029) to Wint....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1044

Immediately following World War II, Preston Tucker secured a 475-acre plant in Cicero, Illinois, where B-29 bomber engines had been manufactured by Dodge. The War Assets Administration gave preference to those who would make it operational quickly an....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1049

This Tucker 48 is one of the final Tuckers assembled at the Chicago factory before the company's liquidation auction in 1950. It was the last example to be assembled there with the original engine. The car was exhibited in 'The Fabulous Tuckers' exhi....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 70052026013
Engine Num: 1036

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....[continue reading]

1948 Tucker 48 vehicle information

Sedan
Designer: Alex Tremulis

Chassis Num: 1046
Engine Num: 335-55

Preston Tucker built 51 cars and 47 examples survive. This particular example is chassis number 1046. The original owner is not known. It is one of 13 cars originally finished in Maroon, and one of eight late-production cars completed in the closed-d....[continue reading]

Sedan
Chassis #: 1001 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1034 
Sedan
 
Convertible
 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1047 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1017 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1007 
Sedan
 
Sedan
 
Sedan
 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1008 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1033 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1013 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1015 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1036 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1003 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1052 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1022 
Sedan
 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1026 
Sedan
 
Sedan
 
Sedan
 
Sedan
 
Sedan
 
Sedan
 
Sedan
 
Sedan
 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1043 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1009 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1014 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1016 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1030 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1031 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1044 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1049 
Sedan
Chassis #: 70052026013 
Sedan
Chassis #: 1046 


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