Jun 20 2017

The 70th Anniversary of the World Premiere of the Tucker ‘48 Updated June 22, 2017

Jim Ryan of the Long Island Buick Club remembered that yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the world premiere of the Tucker '48 in Chicago, Illinois. He has forwarded this summary.

Tucker ’48 world premiere, June 19, 1947

The world premiere of the much-hyped Tucker '48 car was set for June 19, 1947. Over 3,000 people showed up at the factory in Chicago for lunch, a train tour of the plant, and the unveiling of the first prototype. The unveiling appeared doomed, however, as last-minute problems cropped up. The night before the premiere, two of the prototype's independent suspension arms snapped under the car's weight. (The prototype was extremely heavy; much heavier than the other '48s.) Minor engine problems were fixed, and the car was presentable by the time of the premiere. However, the experimental 589 engine was extremely loud. Tucker told the band to play as loud as possible to drown out the noise. Additionally the high-voltage starter required the use of outside power to get the engine started, so Tucker had the engineering team keep the engine running during the entire event, fearing that the public would see how much effort was required to get the engine started. As the car was driven on to the platform, the liquid coolant boiled over and some steam escaped from the car, but no one seemed to notice.

Updated June 22, 2017: Link to Historic Vehicle Association post "70 Years of Tucker"


Howard Kroplick

Preston's daughter Marilyn had the honor of christening the Tucker Tin Goose with champagne and ended up spraying her father.

The above scene was repeated several times for marketing newsletters and future PR.

Link to 70 Years of Tucker by the Historic Vehicle Association.

John Tucker, Preston's grandson, describes the world premiere of the 1947 Tucker '48 Tin Goose prototype.

The 1947 Tucker '48 Prototype (Tin Goose) is currently on display at the Swigart Museum in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.


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