- This “Car of Tomorrow” was the vision of Preston Thomas Tucker (1903-1956) of Ypsilanti, Michigan.
- 51 were built, of which 47 survive now (and many are on display to the public)
- This fastback sedan was styled by Alex S. Tremulis.
- The car was put together by chief mechanic John Eddie Offutt, who had worked with Tucker and Harry Miller at Indy. Offutt’s cars won twice at Indy.
- The car is called the “Tucker ’48” (for its model year). It was only called the “Tucker Torpedo” as it was being designed and promoted. Therefore no Tucker Torpedos were ever built.
- The Tucker 48 was designed in Michigan, and built in Chicago in a vast factory that is now the site of the “Ford City Mall” on Cicero Avenue.
- The Tucker 48 pioneered automotive features and ideas that became standard later.
- The Tucker story is the subject of the 1988 film “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” by Francis Ford Coppola.
- Fiberglass replica bodies are available for building Tucker replicars.
Tucker 48 Specifications and Features
- Engine: H-6 (horizontally opposed), ohv, 335 ci (4.50 x 3.50 in. bore x stroke), 7.0:1 compression ratio, 166 bhp, 372 lbs/ft torque.
- 4 wheel independent Torsilastic suspension.
- 4 speed manual, electronic pre-select transmission.
- Pop out safety glass windshield.
- Padded dash and doors.
- Upper doors are cut into the roof line.
- 6 volt positive ground electrical system.
- Dimensions: 128″ wheelbase, 219″ overall length, 60″ height, 79″ width, 4200 pounds.
- Performance: 0-60 in 10 seconds, est. top speed 120 mph
- Original (projected) price: $2450.00
- Current value: from about $500,000 on up (Tucker #1043 sold at a Barrett Jackson auction for $2,915,000.00)
Preston Tucker’s Other Work
- Preston Tucker worked with the legendary Harry Miller on Indianapolis 500 race cars during the 1930’s
- Tucker’s “Tucker Turret” gun turret was used during World War II
- Tucker’s prototype “combat car” armored personnel carrier was rejected because it went too fast.
- The Talisman: a planned sportier version of the Tucker 48
- The Carioca: a sports car to be built in Brazil. Preston Tucker was working on this when he died.