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1948 Tucker automobile

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1948 Tucker automobile
Smithsonian Institution


This object appears in the following sections:

Making Sense of "Failed" Car Technology — Experiments in a “mature” industry

Smithsonian Automobile Collection — Car collection, 1930–1949

1948 Tucker automobile
1948 Tucker automobile

Tucker automobile
Catalog #: 1993.0484.01, Accession #: 1993.0484
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection

This 1948 Tucker was promoted as an entirely new type of car. It has a rear-mounted, aluminum alloy engine (a modified helicopter engine) and an electrically-operated manual transmission. Safety features include a windshield designed to pop out in a crash, a padded dashboard, and a center headlight that turns with the front wheels. It had padded disc brakes, independent four-wheel suspension, and an area where the front passenger could crouch in the event of a collision. Still, the most striking feature of the Tucker is its avant-garde styling, which provides an impression of futuristic speed and power.

Only 51 of these sedans were ever built. This one is number thirty nine. It had a top speed of 120 mph and its Odometer reads 11,721 miles. The car shown here passed through numerous owners and had been repainted and reupholstered. It was seized in 1992 by the U.S. Marshals Service following a narcotics investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and transferred to NMAH the next year.

Physical Description
This automobile has a 165-horsepower, six-cylinder engine mounted in the rear.
Date Made:

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