What is the Tucker? Oh, only one of the hidden gems of the automotive industry, surprisingly eclipsed equally by its subsequent failure. You can’t blame the man, though, behind the myth and the machine, Mr. Preston Tucker, for his drive and desire to put his own footprint and skidmark in the auto market with tenacity and fervor. If only he had thought things through just a bit more, he might’ve had a real goldmine there….
The Tragedy That Was the Tucker
Enter: the “honeymoon stage” of a birth of a new innovation in the auto industry, as the Tucker was launched back in 1948 to the imagination of the public of a new era. Think bold. Think streamlined and styled to herald a new future in the commute of a brave American empire like General Motors. Preston Tucker really did have something in his dream, honestly, given how successful he was as a designed of a gun turret for the United States Navy.
With the advanced safety features and a charismatic fundraising campaign, Tucker took his, well, Tucker and did a bit of a grassroots initiative, traveling in his car, selling stock and dealership franchises to make that name for himself. He even took down payments on cars to put into production. Ambitious. But risky.
It was risky given the fact that Tucker’s company really started with no capital at all — something any normal businessman would’ve even think of doing, no matter how successful the idea might be predicted to be. So you can’t blame Mr. Tucker for doing his best to at least keep the lights on for his auto factory by selling options and accessories to customers who had purchased vehicles that weren’t even built, yet!
You can see the big ending here: delays in production occurred. Pretty much par for the course. But because customers got antsy, the government got involved and indicted Tucker and his board of directors for fraud, effectively shutting his company down. You honestly can’t sell cars to people that haven’t been manufactured, yet! How’s that for an auto scandal, Volkswagen?
The Tucker: an Inherent Tragedy, But Not Because of the Car Itself
There’s no doubt that the Tucker would’ve been a tremendous standard in the auto industry. But after just 51 of those Tuckers built and the factory closing shortly after, it’s a sad fact that you may never see a Tucker even sitting in a garage today. You might see it in a museum, though.