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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rare Tucker 48 Prototype Goes to Auction


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

The Tucker 48 is probably one of my favorite cars of all time. Not just because of its timeless style, or its unique rear-mounted aircraft engine, or the number of innovations that is brought to the car industry years before the competition. This car is a vehicular manifestation of bucking the status quo…and one is headed to auction.
Only 51 examples of the Tucker 48 were produced, and they were rife with innovations. In addition to the engine, which could be removed with only six bolts for easy removal and maintenance, it also featured a center headlight that turned with the steering wheel.


The car was the brain-child of Preston Tucker, who posed a threat to the status quo of the American Big Three automakers. It is widely believed that the Big Three was behind the SEC investigation that prevented the upstart company from being a success.

Any time you see a Tucker, it is cause for occasion, but this Tucker is more special than most. It was actually the test chassis for Tucker’s automatic transmission. According to Silodrome, it was only a partially completed vehicle at the time of Tucker’s bankruptcy. Through the decades, it changed hands multiple times before finally being completed by Martin Donaldson, a Tucker Expert.


The car was later restored Troy, MI-based Classic & Exotic Service. It is now part of an upcoming Auctions America event, and is crossing the auction block on Saturday, April 2, 2016. It’s been estimated that it could go for anywhere between $950,000 and $1,250,000. Given the historical provenance of this car, that could be a steal.