Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Sign on the Back Said "You've Just Been Passed By A Tucker"

The Tucker 1948 automobile, brainchild of Preston Thomas Tucker and designed by renowned stylist Alex Tremulis, represents one of the last attempts by an independent car maker to break into the high-volume car business. Ultimately, the big three would continue to dominate for the next forty years. Preston Tucker was one of the most recognized figures of the late 1940s, as controversial and enigmatic as his namesake automobile. His car was hailed as "the first completely new car in fifty years. " Indeed, the advertising promised that it was "the car you have been waiting for." Yet many less complimentary critics saw the car as a fraud and a pipe dream. The Tucker's many innovations were and continue to be surrounded by controversy. Failing before it had a chance to succeed, it died amid bad press and financial scandal after only fifty-one units were assembled.

In 1948 I was a young schoolboy fortunate enough to have the opportunity to tour the Tucker plant in Chicago on a school field trip. I marvelled at this automobile, and still do today.

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