This Tucker Model 48 is a fiberglass-bodied prop car built for the 1988 Francis Ford Coppola film Tucker: A Man and His Dream starring Jeff Bridges. The production featured 21 real Tuckers plus four prop cars based on molds taken from Mr. Coppola’s personal Tucker Model 48. The car is based on a 1974 Ford LTD chassis and retains the brakes, steering components, and suspension from the donor car, but lacks a driveline. Following the end of production, the replica was acquired by Preston Tucker’s nephew Frank Tucker and was donated to the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum in Michigan in 1997. The current owner acquired several years ago, and it was displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California during the Tucker Reunion in 2018. This Tucker replica is now offered on behalf of its current owner in California on a bill of sale with photos from the production of the film and a poster from the film’s re-release. It was sold for $100,000 (Rs. 73 lakh).
Molds for the fiberglass bodywork were reportedly taken from Francis Ford Coppola’s personal Tucker Model 48, chassis number 1014. The seller reports that all four prop cars appeared in different colors at various points in the movie, and one of the four was made with simulated damage. This example is the only one in private hands and wears its final color of Waltz Blue, which was the color of Preston Tucker’s wife’s wedding dress.
Steel wheels are fitted with chrome hubcaps bearing Tucker logo center caps and are mounted with Firestone whitewall tires. Suspension and brake components from the Ford LTD donor car are retained, and the seller notes that a hydraulic emergency brake has been added.
The cabin is accessible via the driver’s door, the sole opening door, and features a mid 1970s Ford LTD split front bench and two-spoke steering wheel. All of the exterior windows are heavily tinted, and expanding foam filler is visible. Photos of the car alongside one of Preston Tucker’s personal cars are provided in the gallery.
The car retains front and rear suspension, a live rear axle, and a fuel tank from the donor car. No engine or transmission are fitted. Additional photos of the underside of the car are provided in the image gallery.
In 2018 this prop car and 12 originals were reunited at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, where the film was re-released. Photos from the event are provided in the gallery, as are photos from the production of the film. The seller reports that 10% of the final sale price was donated to the Ypsilanti Museum.
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