Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Tucker 48

Speculation exists that the Big Three automakers had a role in the Tucker Corporation's demise.
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.
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.
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 refused to cede control to those who might have made the Tucker ’48 commercially viable. Instead, he attempted to raise money unconventionally, 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.
Today the Tucker 48 is rare, collectible and extremely expensive. At the January 2015 Barrett-Jackson auction the final bid came in at $2,650,000 for this Tucker.

That means the new owner paid $2,915,000 to drive it home.

1948 Tucker Automobile Number 10. Found hidden away in a damp, musty old garage in Auburn, WA, it was sold for $300,000 to a flipper who a few weeks later sold it at auction for $720,000.