Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MISSING: Tucker No. 1027

Tucker No. 1027
Tucker No. 1027 is perhaps one of the better known of the missing Tucker 48s, thanks to a dramatic scene in Tucker: The Man and His Dream.

In the early fall of 1948, seven cars were driven from the Chicago Tucker Corporation factory to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 24-hour endurance testing.  At 3:00 AM on or about October 18, 1948, chief engineer Eddie Offutt was behind the wheel of Tucker No. 1027 when it spun out and rolled twice into the infield. The car's safety features (including the pop-out windshield) functioned exactly as designed and Offutt suffered only a bruised elbow.  In the movie, these events were re-created with the famous "Stucker" stunt double car, which was actually a modified Studebaker.

Tucker No. 1027 was not scrapped, but was returned to the Engineering Department and eventually sold at auction in 1950, listed as "no engine, wrecked."  Today, although it is not clear what happened to the body and chassis of No. 1027, some parts have been used in the restoration of other cars, while other parts are in the hands of private collectors.

(Post credit: Jay Follis and Kit Fox; photo credit: TACA website)

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