We wish things had turned out differently for Preston Tucker and the good-looking Tucker 48 sedan he introduced to the public in the late 1940s.
But with the company folding after building just 51 examples of the car, the ones that are left are worth serious coin, and don’t trade hands often.
That’s why one collector had a “new” Tucker 48 built, Road & Track magazine reports, from what was left of two crashed production models and a test chassis once used to evaluate a prototype automatic transmission.
Tucker’s creation was notable for features like a third, central headlight that turned with the steering to better illuminate the car’s path in corners—a feature that only later made it into production on Euro-market Citroens, and much later in all kinds of upscale cars sold here in North America.
But his company’s prototypes were plagued with problems that, along with accusations of stock fraud against the car’s creator, killed the car’s reputation and put Tucker out of business in 1949.
None of that negates the fact the Tucker 48 is a lovely car we wish could have enjoyed a proper production run. Nonetheless, we’re happy to see the remains of the two crashed cars – specifically the front clip from one crashed at Indy Motor Speedway; and parts from a car wrapped around a tree in New York State – and the chassis from that automatic tester have been fused into one complete car, with the help of some custom fabrication.
The result is this red stunner, which Tucker experts seem to agree is an excellent example of the breed. Not only does it look good, its US$1.1 million asking price is roughly less than half of what an all-original, factory Tucker 48 is worth.
Indeed its seller, Nostalgic Motors in Michigan, has an original Tucker up for sale as well for a cool $2.1 million.