Alexander Sarantos Tremulis
Alexander Sarantos Tremulis (1914 – 1991) was the chief stylist at the Tucker corporation from 1947 to 1949, where he played a crucial role in making Preston Tucker’s dream into automotive reality: the legendary Tucker 48 (also known as the Tucker Torpedo), a sleek fastback sedan with a rear engine and unique 3-headlight array in the front. In addition to his work for Tucker (including the design of the concept Talisman), Alex Tremulis’ 60 year long career from 1933 to his death put him in the front lines of envisioning transportation from some of the most celebrated automobiles of all time, to advanced concepts in trains and space flight…. and even flying saucers.
Some highlights (in addition to the Tucker) of the remarkable career of this Automotive Hall of Famemember include:
- Several years in the 1930’s as chief stylist for Auburn-Cord-Dusenberg, including working on the famous Cord 812 with master stylist Gordon M. Buehring.
(Also see CordNet for more information on the Cord automobiles).
- The 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt
- The Flying Saucer. Tremulis made the first speculative drawings of flying saucers during his work in the early 1940’s for the Air Force at Wright Field. This conception generated much controversy, during which the ever more famous Roswell “UFO incident” occurred. Freelance writer Deke Houlgate speculated at a 1990 SAE tribute to Tremulis: “Do we have Alex Tremulis to thank for 40 years of speculation over space visitors?”
- The Space Shuttle. The “Tremulis Zero Fighter”, later renamed “Operation Dyna-Soar” was the first exercise of the current Space Shuttle concept of a vehicle that was launched vertically like a rocket but landed like an airplane. The current shuttle even contains some of Tremulis’ original influence in its appearance. This also came out of Tremulis’ work for the military in the early 1940’s.
- Design consulting for Subaru, including creating the Subaru X- 100.
- Styling for the Kaiser-Frazer automotive company from 1950-1952.
- Designing Bantams for the American Bantam Car Co.
- Chief “advance” stylist at Ford Motor Company from 1952 to 1963, including creating the Ford Mexico concept.
The Gyronaut X-1 streamlined motorcycle, which won the land speed record at Bonneville in 1966.