Classics for sale: Tucker 48 film replica

If you can't find one of the 51 original Tucker 48s, how about this genuine Hollywood replica used by Jeff Bridges in the 1988 movie 'Tucker: The Man and His Dream'

The Tucker 48 remains something of an automotive legend. Conceived by Preston Tucker and briefly produced during 1948, only 51 cars were built before tabloid speculation and political deceit pushed the innovative company to insolvency on 3 March 1949.

The project suffered a troubled production history and launch, with deliberate attempts from the ‘Big Three’ (Ford, Chrysler and General Motors) to slander Preston Tucker’s creation. Ill-mannered journalists seemingly hell-bent on hounding Preston to an assisted suicide also stalked his every move. His life was no longer his own, with his car scrutinised and lampooned by the press.

It all sounded like the makings of a film script, and indeed a film was made, 40 years on from the car's launch. And this is one of the replicas from the resultant film, now offered for sale here.

More movie car goodness here…

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, 1988’s Tucker: The Man and His Dream was something of a pet project. To this day, Coppola remains a steadfast admirer of Tucker and his 48, displaying his own Tucker in the grounds of his winery. From childhood, he had envisioned a film about the Tucker saga, meaning that once finance was found for the venture all attention to detail had to be perfect.

This resulted in a total of 21 from the remaining 47 cars enjoying time on screen, borrowed from the Tucker Automobile Club of America. Yet, there was an important plot device that required total automotive destruction. Naturally, Coppola refused to treat any Tucker in such a manner, so four replicas were crafted – and this car is one of them.

Movie car Tucker Replica

This Hollywood replica was purposefully built for the scene where car #1027 rolled over during a 24-hour endurance test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The real-life crash occurred at 3am on 18 October 1948, with chief engineer Eddie Offutt at the wheel; it spun out and completed two full rolls before landing upon the track’s infield.

For filming this pivotal on-screen moment, three cars were employed: a fiberglass pre-crash version with no body damage; a modified Studebaker, which was driven and rolled by a stunt driver: and this post-crash version, which replicated the damage to car #1027.

The fiberglass mock-up frame was fitted to a Ford LTD chassis, before the vehicle was then dismantled and left in storage for 20 years. The Volo Auto Museum acquired the replica in 2008 and reassembled the automotive jigsaw after efforts from volunteers and museum staff. The deliberate film damage was kept, meaning it appears just as it did on screen back in 1988.

The Ford LTD/Tucker Replica runs and drives, with a basic interior incorporating an LTD dashboard and single front seat. Like the sound of a totally unique film star? Well it can be yours during the upcoming September 19 auction with Volo Cars!

Estimated to sell between $85,000 - $100,000, this makes for a great value ‘Tucker’. Original vehicles currently sell for upwards of $1.5 million. Better yet – this one is a legitimate movie hero.

For more info on the auction click here.

Classic Cars for Sale