Jul 08 2017

Chicago Tribune: 11 Things You Didn’t Know About the Tucker ‘48

James Ryan has forwarded this February 1, 2011 Chicago Tribune article on the Tucker '48. I have added supporting images.

Come check out Tucker '48 #1044 tomorrow in Oyster Bay.


Howard Kroplick

11 things you didn't know about the Tucker '48

Chicago Tribune
February 01, 2011

1. Alex Tremulis' original design had a center driving position with swivel seats on each side, but that was changed to conventional left-hand drive.

2. The first 589-cubic-inch engine was situated crossways and intended to drive the back wheels directly through hydraulic pumps in each wheel.

3. When buyers ordered a car, they received a choice of a Tucker radio, seat covers or fitted luggage and the number of their car, so nobody could jump the line.

4. Rumors were broadcast that the Tucker could not reverse, so that was the first thing salesmen had to show that it could do.


5. Tucker hoped to get Col. Robert McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, on his side. But when the 6-foot 4-inch McCormick sat up in the car, his hat was pushed down over his ears.

6. The Tucker engine was a water-cooled adaptation of an air-cooled aircraft engine. Tucker bought Aircooled Motors for $1.8 million from Republic Aviation.


7. The Tucker engine could be removed in 30 minutes by one man. Three mechanics at the factory accomplished a complete engine swap in 18 minutes.

8. Seven Tuckers were driven around the 2 1/2-mile Indianapolis Speedway oval for two weeks at 90-95 mph average in 1948. One car blew a tire at 100 mph and rolled three times, but the driver walked away.

9. Despite charges of fraud, the company's balance sheet on Oct. 31, 1948, showed $16 million in assets ($3 million in parts and materials) and only $2 million in liabilities.

10. U.S. attorney Otto Kerner Jr., who prosecuted the Tucker Corp., was later convicted on 17 counts of bribery, conspiracy, perjury and related charges for stock fraud in 1974. Kerner was Illinois governor from 1961-68 and the first federal appellate judge ever to be jailed.

11. Tucker Corp. was located at 7401 S. Cicero Ave., Chicago, which is the corporate headquarters of Tootsie Roll Industries today.

Tucker Topics, 1948 Volume 1, Number 3


Jul 09 2017 S. Berliner, III 2:03 PM

The pump(s) would have been on the motor and the wheels (or, more properly, the stub axles) would have been on hydraulic rotary actuators, except for one little detail.  The 589 was mated to TWO torque convertors and the rest of the drive train components were mechanical, shown painted blue.  I believe the brown boxes shown were the rubber suspension units.  Sam, III

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