It might not be impressive that Preston Tucker only built 51 of his car of tomorrow, but find one of the 47 surviving cars today in any condition, and the rear-engined Tucker 48 will continue to amaze. Yet if you're on the lookout for a perfect example, RM Sotheby's may have the answer, in exchange for an estimated $1,250,000 - $1,500,000, without reserve.
Number 1029 is a crucial piece of the Tucker puzzle. It was built just one car after the Indianapolis prototype that rolled over and kept on driving, therefore doing the same 90 MPH laps at the circuit as the rest of Tucker's test cars. Then, this silver machine became the star of Tucker's promotional launch movie, the full-color feature The Tucker: The Man and the Car. #1029 is seen at the opening and in short driving segments throughout the film.
After its track and on-screen duties, the sedan became Preston Tucker's personal car. He and his family drove it for seven years, with #1029 appearing at the Classic Car Club of America's activities and in the Tuckers’ home movies. Preston Tucker's personal modifications included a Bishop and Babcock water heater.
Long after the company went down, Tucker offered his 48 for sale to Winthrop Rockefeller. The future Governor of Arkansas had shown interest in the Tucker 48 back when they were new, and bought Tucker's personal car in 1955. However, he only kept it for five years, as #1029 turned up for sale again in 1959, at Albert J. Gayson of Los Angeles.
From LA, the Tucker went to Nebraska, only to move back to San Fransisco in 1967, right into the collection of James Brown's agent Jack Bart. There, it was repainted in its original color, only to end up being one of the 22 authentic Tuckers supplied for the production of Tucker: The Man and His Dream, starring Jeff Bridges, which was released in August of 1988.
Mr. Bart's name was followed by two other car collectors on the registration, with #1029 recording just 19,199 miles in the last seven decades.
Offered for sale at on the 18th of January without a reserve, Tuckers don't often show up for sale with a more fascinating history than this one. Pack your millions.