On this day in auto history - December 26th

Sat 26th Dec 2020

It was on this day in 1956 that the colourful American automobile entrepreneur Preston Tucker - subject of a Hollywood film starring Jeff Bridges - passed away from lung cancer at the age of 53.

A gifted salesman, Tucker formed an alliance with engine maker Harry Miller in the 1930’s and formed a partnership which provided him with the funds to produce his dream vehicle which he initially christened the Tucker Torpedo (later re-named Tucker 48).

The Tucker 48 was ahead of its time in the way that it introduced many cutting-edge features which have since become widely-used in modern cars such as the roll bar, shatterproof windscreens and fuel injection.

Sadly, just 51 cars were made before the company ceased production amid a heavily-publicised stock fraud trial (which led to an acquittal for Tucker).

Such are their rarity and high-acclaim, any Tucker 48 models which do reach the market are routinely worth more than $1 million today, with some fetching $2 million.