A BUNCH OF YOU responded to last week’s Whatzit. It’s a 1948 Tucker Torpedo, a car that was ahead of its time, with such innovations as four-wheel independent suspension, a rear-mounted flat six aluminum engine, a hydraulic drive system and four-wheel disc brakes. And, yes, the middle headlight turned with the steering wheel.
Here’s what you said:
FROM RANDY MANKIN:
It’s a ’48 Tucker.
FROM MELANIE SKILLMAN:
Tucker… unless there was another car made with a headlight in the center.
FROM MARILYN HOLMAN:
The car is a Studebaker. (Nope…it’s a Tucker).
FROM NATE ABRAHAM:
FROM PAUL COATES:
It’s a 1948 Tucker Torpedo. There were only 51 of them manufactured and 48 are in collections around the world. One of them fetched $2.9 million at auction recently. The Torpedo had a rear engine, disc brakes and a center headlight that swivelled as you turned the steering wheel more than ten degrees. During WWII Preston Tucker built the Tucker Turret for machine guns.
FROM STAN SCHWARTZ:
Looks a lot like the front end of a 1948 Tucker Torpedo.
FROM JON WHITNEY:
It’s Tucker automobile; not sure what year, but about 1948, I think. That was the year I stood on the front seat of a 1946 Chevrolet between my dad’s legs as he let me drive for the first time at age four. Fun.
FROM WALT HAASE:
Looks like a Tucker to me. I think it’s a 1948. Only made 1 year. Saw one in the showroom (factory?) near Chicago when I was nine years old. Left an impression. It was maroon.
FRM LYNNE HUMMELL:
This is the ill-fated Tucker 48, one of only 51 that were made before the company went under in its first year. Its creator, Preston Tucker, took on the Big 3 car manufacturers in the 1940s and lost. Francis Ford Coppola made a movie about him, “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” in 1988. Coppola’s father, Carmine, was an early investor in the Tucker business. Fascinating story.
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