1948 Tucker
Preston Tucker was an ebullient 200 pound, 6 foot man who dreamed big. In 1948 Tucker surprised everyone with "The most completely new car in 50 years." A torpedo-shaped fastback 4 door sedan, the Tucker "48" looked like the "car of the future." Engineering was far ahead of Detroit at the time boasting all independent suspension, a rear mounted flat 6 derived from a wartime helicopter engine and the first fully sealed water cooling system. Lack of time and money precluded a curved windshield, disc brakes, torsilastic rubber springs and other innovations proposed by Tucker. Nevertheless the car had novelties aplenty, central Cyclops-eye headlight that turned with the front wheels, and doors cut into the roof to ease entry and exit. Despite its 4200 pound weight the Tucker could manage 0 to 60 MPH in about 10 seconds. Top speed was at least 120 MPH thanks to aerodynamic styling with an estimated drag factor of 0.30, good even today.


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