1948 Tucker

Today’s car is a 1948 Tucker Model 48, that was conceived by Preston Tucker. It was known as the Tucker Torpedo prior to production. I saw this car at the San Marino Motor Classic in Pasadena, CA. It is owned by Central Coasting Auto Stable in Creston, CA. According to their Instagram account they have an automotive collection comprised of some of the best sports cars and touring automobiles from across the world. It is finished in Waltz Blue and the interior is finished Blue. It is powered by a 166 hp, 334.1 cu in, 5.47 Liter, OHV Boxer-6 cylinder (boxer = cylinders moved horizontally in opposite directions) with a single Stromberg 2-bbl carburetor. It transferred that 166 hp to the rear wheels through a Y-1 modified Cord 4-speed Manual transaxle, with the Bendix “Electric Hand” electro-vacuum shifting mechanism and transfers that power to the rear wheels with a 4.70:1 gear ratio. To slow this baby down Tucker intended to have disc braked, but due to manufacturing problems opted for the 11 inch hydraulic drum brakes all the way around. The car’s parking brake had a separate key so it could be locked as a theft deterrent. The suspension was independent and springless using rubber torsion tubes with shock absorbers. Another notable feature of the Tucker 48 was the third directional headlight known as the “Cyclops Eye”. It was centrally located and was mounted flush with the front end of the car. 17 states had laws against cars having more than two headlights. Tucker manufactered a cover for the center light for use in these states.

The original MSRP was original proposed price to be $1,000, but the actual selling price was closer to $4,000. Today one in this condition sold for just over $2,000,000.00 in 2020. The published top speed was 120 mph with a 0-60 mph time of 9.9 seconds. There were only 51 cars built in 1948 when the company was forced to declare bankruptcy and cease all operations on March 3, 1949. This was due to negative publicity initiated by the news media that heavily publicized stock fraud trial initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and Michigan Senator Homer S. Ferguson. All the allegations were proven baseless and led to a full acquittal. Tucker also suspected that the Big Three automakers had the hands in this.

This Tucker was used as one of ten promotional cars that traveled the United States. It was sold to Joy Brothers Motors of St. Paul MN for $1800 on November 14, 1950 with 339 miles on it. The Tucker was stored in the basement of the Joy Bros (Packard) dealership for 18 years, while tied up in an estate dispute over ownership. Allen Korbel became the first owner of the car on July 3, 1968. He bought the car for $6,500 with a little over 400 miles on it

The Tucker 48 was a revolutionary car and was touted as the “First new car in 50 years” and the car of the future. In 1948 it was one of most innovative cars America. This Could have been one of the best classic cars of its time but, failed as some say “the car that wasn’t meant to be”. This a beautifully restored car that will draw enthusiast at any car gathering because of its beauty rarity and uniquness. Thanks for riding along. Frank

Photo Credit goes to RM Auctions.