1948 Tucker comes to town

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Give yourself a Tucker treat this holiday season. Stop by and see the 1948 Tucker, Torpedo, No. 1013, four-door sedan, currently being showcased at the America On Wheels Museum in Allentown, Pa.

For the 1988 movie “TUCKER – The Man and His Dream” there were 19 existing Tuckers used with 3 more held on reserve at the set. This “waltz-gown blue” Tucker 48 (for its model year), the 13th Tucker production car, was the car featured in the movie starring Jeff Bridges. The story of Preston Tucker, the maverick car designer and his ill-fated challenge to the auto industry with his revolutionary car concept will be showing at America On Wheels on Dec. 16 at 1 p.m., Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. and Dec. 28 at 11 am and 1:30 pm.


The odometer reading is less than 6,000 miles. The Tucker 48 pioneered many technological and safety features such as Central, Cyclops Eye headlight that turns with the front wheels; a padded, “safety dashboard” with instruments and controls grouped under the steering wheel; roomy six-passenger cabin with “step down” floor; doors cut into the roof for easier entry/exit; glove boxes built into the door panels; large cushion-edged crash chamber that replaced the standard dash of that era; safety glass windshield designed to pop out on impact and V-shape front so that unless it collided head-on, the car deflects to one side; and three, welded, rollbars to protect the passengers. Of particular interest, shifting calls for preselecting a gear on the steering column and then depressing the clutch; the transmission then moves into that gear. Original cost was $2,485. The last Tucker sold at auction was sold at $1.3 million.

The Tucker is on loan from the William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum located in Huntingdon, Pa. Their primary purpose is to educate the public about the history of transportation and also features a permanent collection. Both museums have a similar mission and are delighted to work together to showcase the Tucker in Allentown, says Linda Merkel, America On Wheels executive director. “It’s the rare vehicles that keep people coming, especially the Tucker," says Pat Swigart.

America On Wheels offers numerous displays of unique and rare vehicles for our automotive enthusiasts, hands-on activities and learning areas for children. Also on display is the 100th Anniversary of Chevrolet Exhibit featuring Chevy’s Firsts along with the Holiday Train display including Penn LUG (Lego Exhibit), 0 Scale and G Scale and the Automotive Portrait Art of Bill Bravo.

For more information, go to www.americaonwheels.org.

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