Tucker: the Man and His Dream

Topics: Automobile, 1948 Tucker Sedan, Preston Tucker Pages: 3 (1252 words) Published: February 27, 2012
The public had not seen a new car design from the automakers of Ford, General Motors, or Chrysler since 1941. This gave some other automakers an opportunity to design and manufacture new models. Preston Tucker saw that as an opportunity to provide a new car to the public. Mr. Tucker’s vision was of an automobile that included safety measures and offering a more modern style. He wanted to offer a vehicle with a water-cooled aluminum block flat-6 rear engine, disc brakes, four-wheel independent suspension, fuel injection, and the location of all instruments within reach of the steering wheel with a padded dashboard. Mr. Tucker’s vision was ahead of the times but he believed in his vision to the point of hiring a stylist, Alex Tremulis, to sketch a design of the car and named “Tucker “48”. Advertisements for the car ran in several national newspapers in 1947. Advertising prior to the actual prototypes being built is risky but innovative. Mr. Tucker hired a New York designer firm, J. Gordon Lippincott, to create a different body style for the body of the car. The design of the car was such that it provided a third headlight which came known as “Cyclops Eye”. The headlamp would light up the path for the driver if the steering angle was greater than 10 degrees. Tucker knew that some states had a law against vehicles having more than two headlamps, so he devised a cover for the center light to be used in the states outlawing more than two headlamps. Vehicle safety issues were one of the major concerns of Mr. Tucker. The steering wheel and dash board was padded for safety. The windshield was manufactured using shatterproof glass and would pop out if a collision occurred to protect the passengers. The car also featured a first which were seat belts. The premiere of the prototype was to take place in June 1947 at the Tucker factory in Chicago. Several problems surfaced that delayed the time but not the event of the unveiling of the prototype. The first...
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