• Jan 12, 2010
Allow us to clarify: the Tucker Torpedo Convertible we wrote about recently should herewith be referred to as the purported Tucker Torpedo Convertible. The droptop claiming to be a Torpedo will be up for auction in Scottsdale soon, offered by Russo and Steele. A note from the Tucker Automotive Club of America, however, states that it knows of no such car ever having been made by the Tucker Corporation. The statement says, in part:
"The Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc. (TACA) has never been presented with-nor have been able to find-any credible evidence to prove the authenticity of this or any other vehicle as being a Tucker Corporation intended convertible and therefore we can not certify it as such."
The club does not say that the convertible in question is definitely not a genuine Torpedo. The club's position is that it has never been able to successfully prove the provenance of said car, "nor has the seller responded to [the club's] request seeking the engine serial number and data plate information." Without a single piece of documentation to support the car among the library of papers detailing Tucker's rise and fall, about the only thing to say for it is: buyer beware. Hat tip to Jeff.

[Source: Tucker Automobile Club of America]


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  • 61 Comments
      Calvin Rutledge
      • 5 Years Ago
      OK, I can understand it if the Tucker Club says that the convertible doesn't exist..... But, then, again, isn't the why "The Big Three" killed the Tucker in the first place, because it "didn't exist"?
      • 4 Years Ago


      Let me preface this article by stating the following:
      I am greatful for the constitution and freedom of speech to summerize the following of my opinion and my opinion only. What prompted this interview was done for two reasons, one being my love for Tucker automobiles, the quality and standards he had for his vehicles and the other reason is because I am grossly appauled at the deciet of this 1948 Tucker convertible and taking Mr. Tuckers name and putting it on this vehicle.
      Everything that is about to be stated can be proven by carefully inspecting the car along with the signed drawing of artist Pete Driese and other pictures and construction I have personally seen on this automobile.
      The person I interviewed was at Bench Mark, not an employee, and saw the following in person: He
      The car as it was bought from the person in Milwaukee, Wisconsin he looked over the car with enthusiasim and looked over and over at it again. He was at Bench Mark different times through out the restoration and build project, and brought to my attention the following items that concerned him and his his exact words, " Really pissed him off because Mr. Tucker would never restore and assemble a car in this way, shape, or form."He was there, looking, inspecting, and watching the build up to the point when nobody was allowed in the shop to see this restoration continue. There was never a reason given why as far as I know. I can only speculate after you read this I think you will at the very least have the same questions I do.
      The following was told to me as I asked questions and intensilly listened to the gentleman whom has 25 plus years of restoring, rebuilding, and taking much pride in his work much like Mr. Tucker did in his time era. But again the following is his own opinion and is not nor has ever been an employee of Bench Mark.
      He stated this car should have a torsion bar or sort of front suspension, not coil over shocks, as all Tuckers I have researched none of which having coil over shocks, and springs in the front, but utilized the torsion bar front suspension.type or of the like.
      The following was seen by the person whom I interviewed with a quantity of pictures to back up what he told me.
      The car has 1948 Buick inner door structures as well as the top bows and windshield posts. The doors are welded together as photos show and do not appear to be one piece stamped doors as Bench Mark states. Looks like they may have taken a 4 door car and cut and lengthened them and welded to fit the door opening. If you take off the door panels and look at the inner door structure, this can be seen by the naked eye. The floors are patched and made of a thin material which not only Mr. Tucker would do, but any restoration facility would also know that on the convertibles the floors are made of a thicker metal for structural reasons. There are other flaws with the car as well, but I realize that the car is 50 plus years old and parts are nearly impossible to come by and with that stated again, in my opinion and others as we chatted in the garage, the conclusion was made while this is a nice 1948 Tucker Convertible, I believe it is a unique piece of both a 1948 Tucker, and a 1940's era donor car.
      I am not sure of how cars are authenticated to be true and not misrepresented, but I did notice the company who looked at the car, (name can be found at Bench Mark website) and gave it there mark of authenticity and there authentication was a very vague piece of paper with writing on it. I would assume that for this caliber of car, not to mention any restored to original car, there would be alot more research done then there apprears to have been done.
      It is furthermore my belief that the car started as a true 1948 convertible? and then came a 1940's era sedan 4 door and with the help of that car and the work and parts combined, it made a 1948 Tucker Convertible.
      In conclusion I am very angry and inferirated that any restoration shop would mis represent there restoration. Not to mention how they took the fabulous Tucker name whom was way ahead of his time and they would Jepordize his quality and standards of a great automobile maker, producing cars hand crafted one car at a time.
      Lastly, why is Bench Mark so concerned about these pictures that are in the hands of the person i interviewed . If the car meets the standards and structures of Mr. Tucker, these pictures should be of no bearing on this build and car.
      Interesting side note: Mr. Tucker and his quality of work was even feared by the big 3 auto makers of america. I brought this to light again because of his quality of workmanship, and I want to do my part to keep this spirit alive and going and am doing my part to do so by agreeing to the this interview.
      Lastly, keep an eye on ebay, as a signed sketch in color by the artist Pete Driese, and possibly other pictures may be goin
      • 5 Years Ago
      It appears that the Tucker Club has not been totally truthful in saying they have not been allowed to see the car. It has been publicly shown all over the country. Why didn't they just go to the car show. It was at the Hershey Fall Meet!

      Looks like Benchmark Classics has a response.

      http://autorestoration101.com/2010/01/13/justin-cole-of-benchmark-classics-responds-back-about-the-tucker-convertible/

      Jay Follis has some explaining to do. How can the President of such a rare automobile club not take the time to go at least see the convertible?
      hello asca
      • 5 Years Ago
      if the car is legit why not let the experts look it over it can only help the value of the car
        Josh K.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @hello asca
        If you're implying that the experts at the Tucker club should look at it, I would let's look into the credibility of the Tucker first, so we can opine about their so called credibility. Mr. Tucker Club, where did all the schlolorship funds disappear to that members had donated for years,, that suddenly disappeared. And where did all the member donated Tucker artifacts that were in the archive room or suppose to to be, disappear to. I think the Tucker club has some explaining to do. I certainly wouldn't let the fox into the hen house and I wouldn't let Tucker club look at the Tucker club look at the Tucker convertible until they can see more clearly from their tarnished past.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Tucker had made a convertable, they may have stayed in business as long as Studibaker or Rambler did?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This debate brings to mind the Auto Union Type D racer that failed to sell at auction last year:

      http://www.autoblog.com/2007/03/12/so-lonely-auto-union-d-type-fails-to-sell-at-auction/

      When there are millions of dollars at stake, verified authenticity matters.



      • 5 Years Ago
      Me & Mr. Tucker have a lot in common. The difference is I hide any of the "specials " I build except for the pieces I give to my girl friends....Alfred-
      BERT U.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thank you my riend, for doing your best to bring a final resolution in trying "to get the club members to lock down the other topic area which i started". You have done well, when you have done your best!.The rest reflects only on those who as respondents, dont't respond. It only says more than I can. say. Seems maybe the objective never was to come to a real resolution, but only to fulfill a agenda. other than supposedly stated or "the intended. purpose". Those true to a real purpose, will stay with their fellow collegues to the end of it, if it was real from the beginning. I'm truly sorry you had to go through that. May the sun shine before you on your path and the wind behind you at your back, in all you do in the future. My friend. I bid you well. '
      BERT U.
      • 3 Years Ago
      With all due regards, nobody has visited and then blogged the club site since Oct. 1, 2011 with good reason according the eye opening claims by some of their own well known members. The vitriol is more than most can stomach. Alot of people are now distanting themselves from the site. But if you have some saving grace, please feel free to express it. I am very open to hear candid and open discussion on the subject of any Tucker and of course the convertible, that is presented in a reasonable and objective manner, minus any drama. To read in the manner of the presentation of the club site is like trying to walk on coals of fire (which is a distraction) to get to the other side to get a descent and gainful answer. I do thank you for a goodly and timely answer back. The best to you and your family in the utmost descent respect in this Merry Christmas season.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have grown up all my life hearing about the prototype Tucker Convertible that was never finished being built due to Tucker closing it's doors. The last I heard was in 2001 just before my Dad died. My Dad worked for Tucker, I have a photo of him with one (I believe it was #31) and I have a hubcap emblem for a Tucker.
      My Dad knew who had all the parts and was putting the car together. Sadly, I do not remember the man's name. I have some paper work and a Old Cars weekly article that my Dad wrote about the Tucker many years ago. I am going to get it out and look thru it to see if I can find anything about the convertible.
      My Dad had no reason to lie to me about the existence of a Tucker convertible that was never assembled at the factory.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey, just because there seems to be a small block chevy in the engine bay does NOT mean this is a "put-together"..............er......still looks like a Tucker......'eh?
      • 5 Years Ago
      My Dad's article was in the July 13, 1989 Old Cars Weekly on page 29. No, he does not mention the convertible in this article, but he does talk about working for Tucker. I did find the info where it states the Tucker he is shown with was # 31.
      I have several envelopes with letters and copies of newspaper articles about Tuckers from 1989 and 1991 from a member of TACA to my Dad. Included in one of the envelopes was some brief talk about the Tucker Convertible.
      I also found a photo copy of a photo showing all of the Tuckers. According to the photos and numbers there were 51 Tuckers produced (that is the number I was always told, not 50). If you count "The Tin Goose", that makes a total of 52 Tuckers that were built. Plus from what I read in the letters, enough pieces to build a couple more complete cars.
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