1948 Tucker 48 at RM Sotheby’s Arizona Auction | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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1948 Tucker 48 at RM Sotheby’s Arizona Auction

1948 Tucker 48 at RM Sotheby’s Arizona Auction
1948 Tucker 48
(RM Sotheby's)

RM Sotheby’s will present the 1948 Tucker 48 at its 20th annual Arizona sale, to be held at Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 17 and 18, 2019.


According to RM Sotheby’s: “Preston Tucker had automobiles in his blood. First employed as an office boy in Cadillac Engineering, he later worked on the Ford assembly line. It was in auto sales, however, that he finally made his mark, eventually appointing a regional sales manager for Pierce-Arrow. Tucker befriended race car engineer-designer Harry Miller, and teamed with him as Miller and Tucker, Inc., to build the front-wheel drive Indianapolis cars for Ford Motor Company in 1935.”

“As war loomed in Europe in the late 1930s, Tucker envisaged a light, maneuverable scout car for the services, with a swiveling gun turret. He built a prototype and had talks with the Dutch, but before he could complete the deal their country was overrun by the Germans. He marketed the vehicle to the U.S. forces, unsuccessfully, although the turret was eventually used on PT boats, landing craft, and bombers. It was during the war, however, that Tucker resolved to build his own automobile.”


Major highlights of the Tucker 48, to be offered at the Arizona auction are that it is an icon of American film and culture and it has a revolutionary built design. It is one among the only 51 produced in total. It was researched and documented by Tucker historian Jay Follis. This car is counted as the freshest restored Tucker extant and is considered as an exceptional piece of American automotive history.


While describing the details of this car, the auction house said: “The concept was revolutionary. He intended to use a Miller-designed engine, mounted in the rear. Suspension was to be all-independent, with disc brakes behind each wheel. A wide, one-piece windshield would be designed to pop out in case of accident. Sketches appearing in Science Digest in 1946 were titled ‘Torpedo on Wheels,’ and the name ‘Torpedo’ was briefly allocated to the car. Tucker soon changed it to simply ‘Tucker 48’ to escape any military connotations. His genius was hiring Alex Tremulis to complete the design. Tremulis, who had come from Auburn and Cord, finished the drawings in five days, and a full-page ad was running in March 1947.”


The pre-auction value of this 1948 Tucker 48 is estimated around $1,500,000 - $1,700,000.


Founder: Louise Blouin