Spirit of America Bookstore

Preston Tucker
[1903-1956]

Preston Tucker outside his automobile factory with two brand-new 1948 Torpedo cars              short profile

racecars, 1935

Torpedo, 1948

works about Preston Tucker

movies & TV, other media

image gallery

family & friends

links

             1948 Tucker Automobile herald/logo


Serial entrepreneur Preston Tucker invented and produced a better automobile than Detroit was selling in 1948, and a combination of the big
manufacturers and their politician cronies and government bureaucrats brought Tucker's innovative competition to a standstill.


          B I O
          t e x t
          h e r e
          Inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1999.

Preston Tucker entry at Wikipedia
search books on keywords 'Preston Tucker' at Amazon
incomplete credits at Internet Movie Database


Miller-Tucker-Ford Indy racecar #23, built in 1935

Miller-Tucker-Ford  racecars,  1935
In 1935, Preston Tucker formed a venture with famed racecar and engine builder Harry Miller, calling the Dearborn, Michigan company Miller-Tucker. The plan was to convince an automaker to underwrite cars for the annual Indianapolis 500 race. Tucker talked Henry Ford into sponsoring a fleet of ten Miller-Tucker cars built using engines and parts furnished by Ford, along with committing $25,000 to the project. Tucker and Miller would keep any prize money and retain the cars after the event; Ford would obtain bragging rights.

Henry Ford provided start-up funding of $25,000; costs skyrocketed and he was asked for $50,000 more. The ten cars were built, using standard Ford V-8 flathead engines, albeit turned around to accomodate front-wheel drive (an innovation). But Miller-Tucker was forced to hurry in order to enter the race in May, and little testing was done; 5 cars were ready, only four qualified, none of the cars finished the race. This made Henry Ford unhappy; the situation got worse when Tucker billed Ford for the full $117,000 spent for the construction of the ten cars. Ford grudgingly agreed to pay the debt, but demanded possession of all ten cars, which accidentaly survived his order for destruction.
8/2017 Road & Track magazine article on the Miller-Tucker-Ford 1935 Indy 500 racing team

All ten of the original Miller-Tucker-Ford racecars survive to this day.
An unnumbered car (blue on white) is on static display at The Henry Ford Museum  click here for photograph (in a new window)
Number 23 (red on white) shows up at vintage race rallies {photo above}
The blue #33 Gilmore Special racecar seemed to belong here, but turned out to be a 1933 racecar by another maker  click here for photograph (in a new window)
{the final clue was the vents on the engine compartment}
Number 35 (white on red) shows up at vintage race rallies  click here for photograph (in a new window)
Number 42 (navy on silver) is on static display at the American Museum of Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska  click here for photograph (in a new window)
Ted Horn’s Number 43 (white on black) shows up at vintage race rallies  click here for photograph (in a new window)
Number 46 was driven by Bob Sall in the 1935 Indy race  click here for photograph (in a new window)
Number 54 Bowes Seal Fast Special (white over black) shows up at vintage race rallies  click here for photograph (in a new window)
Number 59 (all black) was shown in unrestored condition at the 2004 Harry A. Miller Club’s annual rally  click here for photograph (in a new window)
another is on indoor display at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
. . . and there is still one vehicle whose info is not found (2017).

John Hollinsworth commissioned Vintage Fabrication in Independence, Missouri to build a replica based on Ted Horn’s 1935 Miller Ford
(white on black); that white-on-red replica was completed in early 2016 and is numbered 43  click here for photograph (in a new window)

The Miller/Offenhauser Historical Society [est. 1999 - last update 2014]

Miller book by Griffith Borgeson  "Miller: Cars & Biography" [1993]
by Griffith Borgeson, with the Smithsonian Institution

MotorBooks Intl. (MBI) 10½x10½ hardcover [8/93] out of print/used
MotorBooks Intl. (MBI) 10½x10½ hardcover [8/93] out of print/used
Marvelous Mechanical Designs of Harry A. Miller book by Gordon Eliot White  "The Marvelous Mechanical Designs of Harry A. Miller" [2004]
by Gordon Eliot White

Enthusiast Books 8½x10½ pb [10/2004] for $27.91


Tucker  Torpedo,  1948
Preston Tucker tried to bring an innovative new car design to the American public in the late 1940s, with an emphasis on safety and performance features. But Preston Tucker's dream was never to reach fruition. Plagued by production problems and, more importantly, investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tucker's car never made it to the consumer market. There is speculation that Preston Tucker was the victim of sabotage, possibly by the large automobile manufacturers who did not want to see Tucker's innovative new car on the market. Although Tucker was found innocent of any wrongdoing and cleared by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the delays and negative publicity forced his company to fold.

Tucker Torpedo entry at Wikipedia

Only 51 Tucker 48 vehicles were officially built; four are considered lost. Those on public display include: Swigart Antique Auto Museum owns #1000 & #1013; A.A.C.A. Museum in Hershey, PA owns #1001 & #1022 & #1026; Toyota Automobile Museum in Japan owns #1004; George Lucas owns #1009; Francis Ford Coppola of Geyserville, CA owns #1013 & #1037; The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI owns #1016; Tupelo Automobile Museum in Mississippi owns #1028; Petersen Automotive Museum In Los Angeles, CA owns #1030; National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada owns #1032; and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC owns #1039.

¨            ¨

Indomitable Tin Goose book by Charles T. Pearson  "The Indomitable Tin Goose: The True Story of Preston Tucker & His Car"
[Abelard-Schuman 1960] by Charles T. Pearson

Pocket mass pb [8/88] out of print/used
Pocket mass pb [8/88] out of print/used
Motorbooks Intl hardcover [6/74] out of print/used
The Making of The Tucker Automobile book by Philip S. Egan  "Design and Destiny: The Making of The Tucker Automobile" [1989]
by Philip S. Egan, Illustrations by Alex Tremulis

On The Mark Publns 9x6 pb [4/89] out of print/used
On The Mark Publns 9x6 pb [4/89] out of print/used
On The Mark Publns 9½x6½ hardcover [6/2003] out of print/used


Movies & Television,  OtherMedia
incomplete credits at Internet Movie Database

"Tucker: The Man and His Dream"
[Lucasfilm Aug 1988]
Tucker / Man and Dream 1988 movie  Tucker / Man and Dream 1988 poster  Directed by Francis Ford Coppola; starring Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Martin Landau, Frederic Forrest, Mako, Elias Koteas & Christian Slater; nominated for 3 Oscars
Paramount widescreen color DVD [10/2000] for $64.73 {sic}
Paramount color VHS [4/91] out of prodn/used
Alex/A&M soundtrack CD [8/95] 18 tracks - out of prodn/used
A&M Records soundtrack MP-3 album [3/2013] 18 tracks for $9.49
full credits from IMDb
'Teach With Movies ®' page
movie tie-in novel by Robert Tine
Pocket mass pb [8/88] out of print/used

"Under The Hood: Making Tucker" 10-minute documentary [2000]
credits from IMDb

"Automobiles - Tucker"  [History Channel 1995]
History Channel Tucker Automobile  Exec producer Philip Osborn; producer-writer Michael Rose; historical consultant Walter J. Boyne; narrated by Marv Henry
50-minute A&E Home Video color DVD+R [5/2006] for $13.50
no info at IMDb; no info at A&E
watch full TV show [5/2015 low-res upload; 46:50] online at YouTube

"A Look At The 1948 Tucker (Torpedo)"  [2012]
watch tribute video [10/2012 upload; 43:16] online at YouTube
amateur video tribute to the 1948 Tucker by David Allen Rivera, which includes an inventory slide show of the 51 vehicles produced.


1:18 scale diecast model of the 1948 Tucker Torpedo
1:18 scale model car die cast by Yat Ming, burgundy color [wt: 3.2 pounds] - SOLD OUT!
1:18 scale model car die cast by Yat Ming, 'waltz blue' color [wt: 3 pounds] for $38.99


Works  About  Preston  Tucker
search books on keywords 'Preston Tucker' at Amazon

Tales of Brilliant Automotive Innovations book by Arvid Linde  "Preston Tucker & Others: Tales of Brilliant Automotive Innovators & Innovations" [2011]
by Arvid Linde

subjects include Preston Tucker, Carl F.W. Borgward (Germany), and John DeLorean; over 150 illustrations
Kindle Edition from Veloce Publng [9/2011] for $19.99 {sic}
Veloce Publng 9x6 pb [4/2011] for $11.00
Veloce Publng 9x6 pb [4/2011] out of print/used
Preston Tucker / Car of Tomorrow book by Steve Lehto  "Preston Tucker and His Battle To Build The Car of Tomorrow" [2016]
by Steve Lehto, Foreword by Jay Leno

Kindle Edition from Chicago Review Press [7/2016] for $14.99
Chicago Review Press 9x6 hardcover [7/2016] for $19.03


Image  Gallery

                          Al Miller at the wheel of the rear-engine Tucker Special racecar at Indy in 1947


Family & Friends
Preston Thomas Tucker was born in Capac, Michigan in 1903; he died of lung cancer & pneumonia at home in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1956.

wife Vera A. Fuqua Tucker [1903-95] - married 1923, widowed 1956
daughter Shirley Hozier Tucker
son Preston Thomas Tucker, Jr.
daughter Mary Lee McAndrew Tucker
son Noble Tucker
son John Richard Tucker [b. 1930]

great-grandsons Sean and Mike Tucker
formed Preston Tucker, LLC [est. 2012] in Lancaster, PA
and are partnered with Rob Ida Concepts, LLC [est. 1959] of Morganville, NJ


L i n k s
Preston Tucker entry at Wikipedia

Tucker Automobile Club of America [est. 1973]
'Tucker 48' redirect to T.A.C.A. website
Tucker Torpedo entry at Wikipedia
RC's Tucker fansite
essay by Gregory Rehmke
1948 Open Letter from Preston Tucker
Tucker Torpedo page at About.com
Tucker photographs
Smithsonian's Tucker article
Automotive History Online's Tucker fanpage
weblog article on Tucker with tons of personal & auto-related photos


here on the Preston Tucker [1903-56] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

top of page • short profile • racecars, 1935 • Torpedo, 1948 • works about Preston Tucker •

movies & TV, other media • image gallery • family & friends • links

Online sales in association with  search books on keywords 'Preston Tucker' at Amazon

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