Monday, October 16, 2017

The Tucker 48

The Tucker 48 was an advanced automobile conceived by Preston Tucker and briefly produced in Chicago in 1948. 51 cars were made before the company folded on March 3, 1949, due to negative publicity from an SEC investigation and a heavily publicized stock fraud trial.

Speculation exists that the Big Three automakers had a role in the Tucker Corporation's demise.
Some components and features of the car were innovative and ahead of their time. The most recognizable was a directional third headlight (known as the "Cyclops Eye"). It would activate at steering angles of greater than 10 degrees to light the car's path around corners.
Tucker initially tried to develop an innovative engine. It was a 589 cubic inches (9.65 L) flat-6 cylinder with hemispherical combustion chambers, fuel injection, and overhead valves operated by oil pressure rather than a camshaft. As engine development proceeded, problems appeared. The 589 engine was installed only in the test chassis and the first prototype.

Tucker refused to cede creative control to businessmen who could have made the Tucker ’48 commercially viable. Instead, he attempted to raise money through unconventional means, including selling dealership rights for a car that didn’t exist yet. Tucker died a few years after he went broke. Some regarded him as a scam artist, others as a tragic visionary.
At a Barrett-Jackson auction last year the final bid came in at $2,650,000 for this Tucker.

With only 47 surviving examples, each and every Tucker has its own story. None of them come cheaply