Preston Thomas Tucker


Carroll Gantz
Tucker, Thomas

A new US postwar car, the Tucker 48, was introduced by Preston Thomas Tucker (1903-1957), who envisioned it as the "Car of Tomorrow." The original 1946 Torpedo design by George Lawson (see below), had three headlights; one centered; the fenders and their respective headlights turning in concert with the steering wheel, which was also centered. Tucker then separately engaged Alex Tremulis (See below), and a competitive design team from Lippincott & Margulies which included Hal Bergstrom, Philip S. Egan (See below), Tucker Madawick, FIDSA, (see below), Budd Steinhilber, FIDSA (See below) and independent designer Read Viemeister, FIDSA who had just left L&M (See below). The final prototype, called the Tin Goose by Tucker, used Tremulis' body design and the front and rear ends of the L&M team. Interiors were designed by Audrey Moore Hodges (1918-1996) of Tremulis' staff. In 1949, Tucker was indicted by the SEC on 31 counts of fraud, theft and regulatory violations, and his plant was closed after producing a pilot run of 51 cars. He was acquitted in 1950, but no cars were sold on the market--- they were auctioned off. [editor's note: 47 of the 51 cars are known and accounted for today. The highest price ever paid for a Tucker is $500,000]. In 1988, the movie, Tucker: A Man and His Dream, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, was released. Philip S. Egan (b.1920) US industrial designer: Studied aeronautical engineering at Stewart Technical Institute, NY. Hired by J. Gordon Lippincott in 1946 and was assigned to Tucker '48 project, and in 1947 went to work with Alex Tremulis at Tucker. Worked with Sears, Roebuck & Company on a variety of products starting 1948. Opened own office, Phil Egan Design, in 1960. Published several books, including Design and Destiny: The Making of the Tucker Automobile. Office located in Fairfax, Calif. George Lawson, US automotive stylist: Graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art.

100 Years of Design consists of excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.
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