Preston Tucker’s Tucker 48 offered in Arizona

The Tucker 48 is one of the most intriguing cars ever produced in America.

Designed by Michigan born engineer Preston Tucker with stunning art deco styling, it was intended as the ultimate car of the future.

It would sadly end up on the scrapheap of history.

Tucker 48 RM

The Tucker 48 was billed as the "Car of Tomorrow"

America’s “Big Three” automobile manufacturers were concerned about the amount of positive press surrounding Tucker’s project and decided to put a stop to it.

They collaborated to starve Tucker of raw materials and ran a smear campaign suggesting the design was ill thought out and dangerous.

Tucker couldn’t afford to fight back. A lawsuit in 1950 effectively wiped the company out.

Still, we have the 51 Tucker 48s produced in that brief period the company was operational.

On January 18-19, Tucker’s own personal Tucker 48 will head to auction at RM Sotheby’s in Arizona.

This model (chassis 1029) appeared in a 1948 promotional film titled The Tucker: The Man and the Car.

In the intervening years it’s belonged to some seriously high profile collectors, including the industrialist and governor of Arkansas, Winthrop Rockefeller.

The car is valued at $1.2m-1.5m, a sum that looks on the low side when you consider its centrality to the Preston Tucker story.

Another Tucker 48, in similar condition and without the personal connection to Tucker, made $1.3m last year.

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