The 1948 Tucker 48 formerly owned by film maker George Lucas will be offered during RM Auctions' annual sale as the official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, to be held this year in Amelia Island, Fla., on March 9. To much of the world, Lucas is known for the Star Wars films, but in the hobby, he's known for producing the film "Tucker: The Man and His Dream." Lucas' interest in the Tucker automobile apparently went beyond the film making process and all the way to Tucker ownership. His car, No. 1003, is the third of 51 Tuckers built. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $1.5-1.9 million.
Delivered new on August 11, 1948, the Tucker 48 on offer, serial number 1003, was the third of just 51 examples built and the first to feature the valance panel between the body and front bumper. Its rarity is further elevated by its desirable color; of the six factory colors available, 1003 is one of only 12 originally painted Maroon. Well-documented from new, it boasts a superb provenance and ownership history, having passed through the hands of numerous respected collectors, including the late Bill Pettit. In the late-1980s, it was purchased by none other than prominent filmmaker George Lucas, the visionary imagination behind Star Wars and other box office hits. Lucas took a special interest in Tuckers and was executive producer of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1988 film Tucker: The Man and His Dream. The film revived modern interest in the Tucker and has become something of a cult classic among automobile enthusiasts. Since coming into the care of its current owners, 1003 has been extensively and authentically restored by marque experts, with special attention paid to its drivability and reliability. It is estimated to fetch between $1,500,000 and $1,900,000 when it crosses RM’s Amelia Island auction podium next month.
“The Tucker Torpedo, as it was often called, was a paragon of advanced engineering and safety features with radical, futuristic styling. Arguably, the most important post-war American collectible automobile, Tuckers consistently attract strong interest whenever they come to market,” says Don Rose, Car Specialist, RM Auctions. “The example on offer at our Amelia Island sale, 1003, is truly among the best of the best—not only is it a beautiful automobile in terms of its presentation, but it is fully and robustly functional, ready to take to the road. It’s a perfect fit for our Amelia Island auction, which, along with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, is dedicated to celebrating great and iconic automotive styling.”
Read all about Tucker automobile in The Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975