1948 Tucker 48
Above Images ©IMAGE CREDITS - Supercars.net @ Christies' 2002 Motor Car Auction
In the 1940s Preston Tucker set out to make an entirely new vehicle. His goals were to build a safe car free from traditional design. Initially known as the Torpedo and later the Model 48, this car is an icon of American film and culture.
Tuckers were immediately recognizable with their triple headlight arrangement a sloping fastback design. Along with unusual details, Tuckers offered a host of safety features and industry firsts.
One of the most interesting parts of the Tucker is its opposed, six-cylinder power unit. The engine was made mostly with Tucker designs and was loosely based off a helicopter engine. Large venture capital funds enabled Tucker to develop this distinct power plant.
An impressive 372 ft lbs of torque come from the engine which was placed at the rear of car. Having the engine rearward helped maximize interior space, especially taken that there was no driveshaft or transmission tunnel to intrude.
Safety was a large concern for Preston Tucker. As such seatbelts were standard and most surfaces were padded. Interestingly enough, the windshield was actually designed to pop out during any impact.
Passenger space in the Tucker was easily accessible. All four doors reached toward the roofline, aiding in entry and exit. Such doors were necessary as the Tucker was a very low car. The floorboards run just nine inches from the ground for a total height measuring just 60 inches.
Sadly, the Tucker program was somewhat of a financial failure. Tucker spent over 20 million dollars to develop his dream and in the end, only 51 cars were produced. Although the company did fold, these 51 examples offered a host of revolutionary concepts for the owner at the reasonable price of $2450 USD.
Auction Sales History
1948 Tucker 48 - sold for $2,035,000
One of Just 51 Factory-Built Examples Including “Tin Goose” Prototype. The Third “Pilot-Production” Car. Numerous Early-Production Features. Recent Extensive Mechanical furbishment. Overseen by Tucker Expert Martyn Donaldson. Undisputed Landmark of Postwar American Automotive History.
Auction Source: 2014 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company
1948 Tucker 48 1003 - sold for $1,475,000
An American legend. One of 51 built. The third Tucker pilot-production car. Formerly owned by Bill Pettit and film legend George Lucas. Extensively and authentically restored, with notable attention to drivability.
Auction Source: 2013 Amelia Island by Rm Auctions
1948 Tucker 48 1034 - sold for $1,320,000
One of the Finest Examples of the Hallowed Tucker. One of 12 Originally Finished in Waltz Blue Metallic. Approximately 5,200 Miles and Just Four Owners from New. Believed to Have Been a Promotional Car for the Tucker Company. Maintained in a Family Collection for 27 Years. An Important Example of Automotive History. Featured in the Film Tucker: The Man and His Dream.
Auction Source: The Amelia Island Auction 2012 by Gooding & Company
1948 Tucker Torpedo 33550 - sold for $2,915,000
The 1948 Tucker sedan was an advanced automobile conceived by Preston Tucker and briefly produced in Chicago in 1948. Only 51 examples were made before the company folded on March 3, 1949. Studebaker was first with an all-new post-war model. But Tucker took a different tack, designing a safety car with innovative features and modern styling. His specifications called for a rear engine like Porsche, disc brakes, fuel injection and a padded dash... read more
Auction Source: 2012 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction
1948 Tucker 48 - sold for $797,500
An Astonishing “Barn Find”. Single Ownership for over 50 Years. The Only Known Tucker with Special High-Speed Rear End. Considered to Be the Famous Bonneville Tucker. Intriguing Southern California History. Very Solid, Complete Example.
The car is offered here largely as it left the Wright’s property. Tucker 1010 remains very complete and quite solid. The odometer reads under 10,000 miles and many of the tell-tale signs of a low-mileage car... read more
Auction Source: 2011 Scottsdale Auction by Gooding & Company
1948 Tucker Sedan 1038 - sold for $1,017,500
According to historical records, S/N 1038 was completed on Oct. 25, 1948, finished in #300, Moss Green. The car was in inventory when the company entered receivership, and was without a transmission. At some point, a correctly modified Cord transmission was installed.
Although the early ownership is not known, by 1971 S/N 1038 was in the hands of Bill Goodwin of Frankfort, Indiana, who had the car restored by Tucker expert Bill Hamlin in On... read more
Auction Source: 2008 Monterey Preview
1948 Tucker 48 4Dr Sedan 1045 - sold for $1,127,500
Purchased in 2006 from Robert Pass, founder of Passport Transport, this Tucker 48 has a long heritage within the Tucker community. In the 1950s, it was owned by Nick Jenin, a Florida entrepreneur who amassed a collection of ten or more cars and various memorabilia. Jenin created a traveling Tucker show, which appeared at fairs and car shows. After about ten years, he dispersed his collection, and Tucker #1045 was sold to Walter Bellm, who put ... read more
Auction Source: RM Auctions' 2010 Sports & Classics of Monterey