Only 36 examples of the Tucker 48 were completed before the factory shut it’s doors, amid the SEC trial and questionable at best accusations levied against Preston Tucker. Fifty-one cars total were built, after a team of employees went back and assembled a few more cars. What should have been a footnote in automotive history has instead become one of it’s highlights. The Tucker 48 was Preston Tucker’s dream machine, an advancement on automotive safety and performance that had the potential to leapfrog the competition had the whole operation not been driven into the dirt by everything from the charges that the SEC hit Tucker and six of his executives with (25 counts of mail fraud, five counts of violations of SEC regulations and one count of conspiracy to defraud) to the former Tucker chairman of the board of directors, who quit the company and wrote a letter to the SEC claiming that the original prototype was an absolute pile that probably didn’t have reverse gear.
History has shown that the SEC’s charges agains Tucker were some of the most baseless accusations possible, and that Tucker was completely in the clear, but character assassination happened and the company was bust. Fifty-one of the forward-thinking machines made it out of the factory and now trade in the millions. Imagine what would’ve happened if Tucker had been able to make another foray into the world of automobiles before his death in 1956.