Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rare Tucker Automobile Prototypes

As rare as the 1948 Tucker automobile was, Preston Tucker also had a few more rare prototypes that were even more rare. Some never went past the drawing stage, including the last concept, the Talisman sports coupe. Preston Tucker died before he was able to realize building this last unique automobile.
The actual production 1948 Tucker automobiles featured a rear mounted helicopter engine and a third headlight that turned with the steering wheel to light the road ahead. Legal problems for Preston Tucker and production delay problems eventually did in the Tucker company which really needed more money to operate. At one point, some customers had only received a set of suitcases that were meant to fit in the front trunk because the actual cars were late being produced. Although Preston Tucker was eventually cleared of any allegations of stock fraud, serious production delays, bad publicity, and a serious cash shortage really doomed this tiny upstart auto brand. Around 50 actual Tucker automobiles were produced or built from parts. Many survive in museums or private collections.
Preston Tucker was an honest man, and a mechanical genius. But perhaps his unconventional designs just weren't quite ready for a mass audience of buyers. They were cool cars, but just not what had real mass appeal.


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