A Tucker 48 sedan is one of the rarest classic cars you’ll find, being so sought after that people are willing to pay. stupid money just for a fake. This unique Tucker convertible for sale complaints be the rarest of all, but its legitimacy as an authentic design is hotly contested.
The car is sold by Accelerate Auto Group of Texas, which ranked it among the number of times for mind-blowing numbers, apparently without finding a new home. His last attempt has him goes for $ 2,495,000.
While the car is certainly a Tucker and looks like a phenomenal convertible, the debate over how the car came to be this convertible remains.
Preston Tucker and his Tucker Corporation tried to attack each other Detroit’s Big Three with a car full of innovations.
The Tucker 48 sedan was known for its new safety glass, padded interior, integrated roll bar and third rotating headlight. The engine, a flat six originally intended for a helicopter, was placed in the rear, giving the car an incredible packaging.
The company even thought of an easy entry and exit with doors cut into the roof.
The Securities and Exchange Commission constantly kept Tucker under a microscope, and in 1949 Tucker and six executives of Tucker Corporation were charged with mail fraud, violations of SEC regulations, and conspiracy to defraud. Tucker ultimately won the battle, but lost everything in the process.
Tucker produced 58 chassis with 36 sedans completed before the plant closed in 1948. 15 more vehicles were subsequently completed and only 47 completed cars survive to this day. According to the story that comes with the car, Preston Tucker started a secret project using a 57 sedan chassis to build a convertible known as the “Vera” before the plant closed.
A Tucker Corporation design engineer has been asked about the prototype years after the plant closed. One of the questions he was asked was “Has a Tucker convertible project already started at the Tucker plant?” He replied: “Yes, but I thought the project was abandoned when the plant closed. It should be noted that he was working on Tucker number 57 when the plant closed.
Work on this prototype is said to have started at the Tucker factory, but then transferred to Lencki Engineering, the company Tucker hired to build its first prototype, the “Tin Goose”. The removal of the sedan’s roof weakened the structure. Lencki therefore reinforced the chassis of the car with a thicker steel frame and a tubular steel insert for even more strength.
The car advertising says the last work done on the convertible before Tucker’s folding was to adapt a 1940s General Motors convertible roof frame to fit. Al Reinert of Wisconsin then got the car back in 1981, intending to do what Tucker couldn’t. But the car had to wait to be finished.
Benchmark Classics in Middleton, Wisconsin completed a restoration of the vehicle in 2010. She sold the completed car to a private collector after several failed attempts to sell it for over $ 1.4 million.
Some documentations comes with the car which seems to prove the story.
There are a letter Tucker Corporation accountant Mel Koeppen asking Reinert if the convertible is finished. There is also in it a notarized declaration the owner of a Harley-Davidson dealership hired by Reinert to work on the restoration. Car restorer Al Prueitt has a notarized declaration in there, stating that he saw the convertible in 1966. Finally, there’s a final notarized declaration by someone who says they saw the convertible and its mechanical drawings in 1972.
It looks like an open and closed case, doesn’t it?
I spoke with Mark Lieberman, Tucker’s representative for the AACA Museum and the director of the Club Tucker Archives. Lieberman confirms that the Tucker Convertible is built with real Tucker parts on a real Tucker chassis. The question is, was the 57 chassis meant to be a convertible, or did someone just cut the roof off a sedan?
Lieberman told me that the documentation does not definitively prove the secret history of the project. He explained that Preston Tucker absolutely loved documenting all, so it would not be normal for him to start something and not leave a written record.
Likewise, Lieberman points out that Koeppen’s letter shows the convertible existed in 2000, but says nothing about who originally created it. He also notes that a notarized statement does not mean that what is said is true. Indeed, notaries do not check the documents they stamp.
Lieberman specifies that he would love the Tucker Automobile Club of America to accept the Tucker Convertible as an official Tucker design. After all, having a convertible unique in Tucker’s history would be great. But TACA is looking for something more substantial than statements.
The club’s position is that there is not enough evidence to prove that the convertible was planned or started at the factory. Lieberman believes Chassis 57 was originally a prototype for a 1949 Tucker sedan that featured a wrap-around rear window, a claim disputed by the selling dealer.
Whether original or modified, the Tucker Cabriolet is definitely a cool classic car. A collector will have to decide whether his mysterious story is worth $ 2,495,000.