1948 Tucker for Sale at Clars on June 7th, 2009 OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Clars Auction Gallery is pleased to offer a spectacular 1948 Tucker Sedan on Sunday, June 7th, 2009 as part of their two-day important estate and antiques sale. Several other note
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Clars Auction Gallery is pleased to offer a spectacular 1948 Tucker Sedan on Sunday, June 7th, 2009 as part of their two-day important estate and antiques sale. Several other noteworthy vintage and classic automobiles will complement this important piece of American history and engineering.
The car, serial number 1041, is one of only 51 Tucker automobiles ever made, and a prime example of what made Tuckers, according to their advertisements, “unlike anything else on the highway.”
The Tucker 48, unveiled on June 19, 1947, was the invention of car enthusiast and businessman Preston Thomas Tucker and renowned designer Alex Tremulis. Its creation symbolizes one of the last attempts by an independent car manufacturer to break into the world of high-volume automotive production.
The Tucker took the automotive world by surprise with its many modern innovations, including safety features such as a padded dashboard and a center-mounted steerable headlight referred to as “Cyclops.” Most remarkable was the Tucker’s converted Franklin helicopter engine, a 335 cubic inch, six-cylinder, horizontally opposed engine with 166 horsepower and 372 foot-pounds of torque. Thus equipped, the Tucker could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 10 seconds and travel an estimated top speed of 120 mph.
Despite the public enthusiasm for Tucker’s car, the Tucker Corporation was short lived. Preston Tucker and his company were accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of a variety of violations, including mail fraud. Although eventually cleared of all charges, the negative publicity and financial strains brought on by the SEC trials were insurmountable, and the Tucker Corporation closed its plant and fell into receivership in early 1949.
Although the early history of Tucker no. 1041 is unknown, it was acquired in 1954 by the now-defunct Sutro Museum at the Cliff House in San Francisco, where it was displayed alongside other rarities, including authentic Egyptian mummies. In 1970, the current owners purchased the Tucker at an auction of the Sutro collection. At that time, the car had traveled 90,000 miles. The current owners have put on an additional 30,000 miles. In 1988, the car was featured in the movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream.
Serial number 1041 was professionally restored in the early 1970’s to enhance both its appearance and drivability. The interior is in extraordinary original condition – only the carpet has been replaced. The body of the car has been fitted with new wide white walls and more authentic hubcaps, and has been straightened and re-sprayed yellow. The car has also been fitted with a new condenser and new revulcanized underpinnings for its rubber suspension. A non-standard electric fuel pump has been added for quicker starting, and the flat six engine has been professionally rebuilt with automotive pistons to prevent the copious oil consumption associated with aircraft-based engines. Although the car runs well, an original,