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Why are Tuckers so expensive??

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6 hours ago, mercer09 said:

for starters.............. only 48 of them.........................

This is all of it.  When you only made 48, it takes little or no demand for the price to go up.  It only takes 1 person with the means looking to buy.  You don’t need much desirability when you are starting at 48.

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There is a flip side to this phenomenon as well. With Tucker there was interest in the man himself as he was known to to say some provocative things in the press and his car was interesting and probably why he and his car survived in popular lore prior to the movie, but interest alone in something doesn't equate to sales. A long time ago I had this really nice 1950 Chevrolet truck, no rust, good paint, ran great, everything worked, even the vacuum wipers, everywhere I went people loved it,  driving down the street, thumbs up from passers by, then I decided to sell it, wound up practically giving it away, the comment I made was "Everybody loves it and nobody wants it" :) Probably different today though. The flip side is early steam touring cars,  like the 700 series Stanleys, 735, 740 etc, those cars were around 5000 dollars (As was the White) new, at the same time a person could by a model T touring car for about 1/10 that, yet Stanley sold thousands of them. Car people today scratch their heads trying to figure out why anyone would buy a Stanley instead of a model T (er T-model if you're from the south :)) , It gets back to what I mentioned about what the market was familiar and comfortable with. Other than smoother running and quieter, the steamer had no advantage over it's Internal combustion rivals.

 

BrassisBest, so true, history is written by the victors or anyone with a bone to pick.

 

-Ron

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I like Tuckers. I've always liked them. I liked them even before they were famous because of a movie. I like the way they look, I like the way Preston Tucker colored outside the lines to build them, I like some of the tech that went in to them, and yes, I do like the story (with or without the dramatizations). A big part of any car's collectability is the story--I can't tell you how many guys ask me for the "provenance" on the most mundane cars. Tucker? Now that's a great story! Plus it's not some goofy dreamer's car like, say, a Davis, but a real, working full-sized car that needs no asterisks. A friend of mine grew up riding in his father's Tucker (the blue one currently in the Sweigart museum) and says that the car is a great driver, fast, comfortable, and reliable. I think they get maligned for the reasons many old cars get maligned--slipshod mechanics trying to keep it running on a shoestring, not defects specific to the car itself.

 

Very few cheap cars are rare, fast, exclusive, technologically advanced, with colorful, well-documented histories. Most cars with those features tend to be very expensive. Why should the Tucker be any different? It isn't a garden-variety car.

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This is  the rare subject where I will part company with my friend Walt.  Other than the low production and rear mounted air cooled engine,  I see nothing special or unique about them.    The price they bring is really unbelievable.  

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Actually, Tuckers are liquid-cooled. The engine was originally air-cooled but was converted to liquid cooling for the Tucker. It was neat to see one on display in a museum where you could see the custom water jackets on the outside of the engine, enclosing the air-cooling fins. Pretty simple setup, actually.

 

Like I said, the Tucker is full of ingenious little touches that make it unique. I do understand why many folks don't love them, but their value nonetheless makes sense.

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3 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

Like I said, the Tucker is full of ingenious little touches that make it unique. I do understand why many folks don't love them, but their value nonetheless makes sense.

 

Matt,  I agree with about 95% of what you say,  but like my friend Walt, we part company on the  Tucker.   I 100% do not get it.  I think if they sold for 150-200k I would get the premium for the oddity. 

 

1.  They are ugly.

2.  The build quality and engineering are highly suspect.

3.   They are overpriced in the market by about 500%

4.   Did I mention they are ugly?

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They are not priced incorrectly, but rather they are priced correctly according to the supply and demand.  They would be $150-$200k if they were easier to locate in the marketplace, for a person wanting to buy one.

 

I've never seen "ugly" as a parameter in a vehicle valuation report. 

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If you look at the great car collections, only one has a Tucker in it..........and they laugh at it, but got one because too many people were asking to see one. I have a good friend who is a true car genius and he has restored several of them. I can't print here what he thinks of them......not even in a locker room. 

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I hard and fast rule about collecting where I never disparage anyone else's car.   There is lots of stuff on here that I don't understand or care about.  But to each is own.    If it makes you happy to own the best 87 Yugo in the world,  then god bless.

 

The only exception is the Tucker, which I could bad mouth for the next 3 weeks.

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14 minutes ago, 39BuickEight said:

I've never seen "ugly" as a parameter in a vehicle valuation report. 

 

Appearance makes up about 75% of the value of any car.   The difference between the most attractive Duesenberg Model J and the Ugliest is about 5 million bucks,  all other things equal.

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Visit the “ Museum That Shall Not Be Named “.

 

Linger At The Tucker Exhibit.

 

Observe - Let It Set In .....

 

My appreciation of the man - his vision - what was accomplished in the blink of an eye - greatly increased.

 

 

Jim

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19 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

Appearance makes up about 75% of the value of any car.   The difference between the most attractive Duesenberg Model J and the Ugliest is about 5 million bucks,  all other things equal.

Oh, dear... the difference is WAAAAY more than $5M. That is, if one considers one of the SSJs as the most attractive. They're cool, but not the most attractive in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

The engine was originally air-cooled but was converted to liquid cooling for the Tucker. It was neat to see one on display in a museum where you could see the custom water jackets on the outside of the engine, enclosing the air-cooling fins.

 

That in itself would be a turn off for most buyers, a vehicle with a converted engine to work in their new car. I think the question would be, "couldn't these people spend a few dollars and have some new cylinder castings made? What else did they scrimp on or cut corners with? "" People are pretty fickle about that sort of thing, like when it was discovered Oldsmobiles were allegedly being sold with Chevrolet engines or vise-versa, it was a big scandal with people demanding new engines or their money back.

 

-Ron

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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I did not state Tuckers are "really pretty" , I like them from a 3/4 rear view especially and profile side view , ( front view - not so much)  as with any car it also depends upon the color.  If they look bulky how do other 1947 - 48 cars look? Revamped 1940 - 41 styling  roundy? ?

We view these cars from today's perspective, take a step back and try to view it the way people did in the era they were made, and if you possibly can,  to other cars of that era, not what came after for the next two decades! . I feel the bullet nosed Studebakers are equally as different as the Tucker was. You love it or you hate it.  Again I will ask, how many people commenting have ever ridden in one? Yes, I have and I have driven one , although that was back in the early 1970s when Les Schaefer invited me to get behind the wheel of one of his. Very easy to comment and pass judgement on something from a distance , even if that distance is only 12 inches away. Lotsa experts here on the forum.

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With the Tucker line up along the cliff at Pebble Beach last year did this Chrysler Airflow test run through anyone's mind, or am I all alone? 

 

 

Bob 

crashtest.jpg

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There's a reason why all the old-time collectors ignored them, and still do today (while Ed said there was only one big-time longtime collector that had one, I can think of two: Nethercutt and Bahre). I personally would much rather have a same-year Buick or Cadillac. I'm not a bathtub Packard fan, but even a '48 Packard, in my opinion, is more attractive. Walt ... you and I usually agree, but I'm with Al San on this one. I'm not speaking as an "expert" here, and I really don't think anyone else is speaking as an expert. Just opinions, and we all have them. However, many of us have been in the hobby for 60-plus years, so I usually put a little more weight on those who knew the cars "before the movie."

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8 hours ago, Walt G said:

Supply and demand with only 48 being made has a lot to do with the $ value currently...
The Tucker has a Franklin engine made in Liverpool, NY that was eventually used in Helicopters
Before you put something down perhaps do a bit more research...

• Tucker built 1 prototype and 50 'production cars; that's 51. Add to that 2 'continuation' cars, and the total rises to 53. 4 are gone today. 
• Air-Cooled's flat 6 was already in helicopters; the company was bought by Tucker to insure supply and adopted to water-cooling/ operation in a horizontal mounting. This was to facilitate production, as the 589 (!!) CI flat six Tucker scratch-built for the car had teething problems that would have taken too long to iron out. 
• IMO, the car is far more than merely having a rear engine / the movie. There are numerous advanced engineering bits and unconventional thinking, and a great many features and guiding principals showed up in the industry and are still in use. Many would say it was the 'Tesla' of the 40s- with wide-ranging influence.

 

IMG_0214.jpg

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The link I provided makes for some fascinating reading ....

 

Regarding the proven design of his car:

 

75595D04-CDBA-4AAD-ACF2-4089EF9C77DF.thumb.png.9fd2d7bd3bd89ac397547b4a74081da3.png

 

Regarding his workers:

 

131F03D8-F158-404C-BEC3-F3291BC78F84.jpeg.40837d85b99d725338d81db964705273.jpeg

 

Preston Tucker cut his teeth working for several auto manufacturers.

 

I believe he was innovative - ingenious - charismatic - successful.

 

Had he been allowed to remain in business - his cars would have progressed and helped shape automotive history even further.

 

 

Jim

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3 hours ago, Locomobile said:

 

That in itself would be a turn off for most buyers, a vehicle with a converted engine to work in their new car. I think the question would be, "couldn't these people spend a few dollars and have some new cylinder castings made? What else did they scrimp on or cut corners with? "" People are pretty fickle about that sort of thing, like when it was discovered Oldsmobiles were allegedly being sold with Chevrolet engines or vise-versa, it was a big scandal with people demanding new engines or their money back.

 

-Ron

 

Like those crappy Cords and Duesenbergs with Lycoming engines in them? You know, the same company that made aircraft engines?

 

Or those crummy low-rent DuPonts, Peerlesses, and--gasp--Locomobiles that used Continental engines, the same company that made engines used in lowly delivery trucks?

 

I don't think a former helicopter engine converted to liquid cooling would have been a turn off to Tucker buyers any more than batteries in a Toyota Prius are a turn-off to those buyers. It was probably part of the reason they bought it (or would have).

 

I know I'm not going to change any minds on the Tucker. I think they're cool and worthy. You don't have to agree. That's OK. It's why car shows are full of stuff that you dig as well as stuff you wonder why in the world it still survives. SOMEONE loves it, that's all that matters. A Tucker will remain on my list of cars that I hope to own but know I never will. Right next to a Duesenberg J and a '34 Packard Twelve coupe/roadster.

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42 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 Right next to a Duesenberg J and a '34 Packard Twelve coupe/roadster.

 

As long as it is 3rd on your list we are all cool here.

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Are we due for a happy uplifting thread? Cars " I hope to own but never will." If we limit it your top six it could be interesting. Bob 

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1 hour ago, 1937hd45 said:

Are we due for a happy uplifting thread? Cars " I hope to own but never will." If we limit it your top six it could be interesting. Bob 

I’d love that!

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16 minutes ago, nick8086 said:

Look into a davis car.. 

 

I like the Davis more than the Tucker.  Restorer32 here on the forum owned one. If I recall he couldn’t give it away.

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Posted (edited)

Here's a funny thing about Tuckers. I noticed this years ago, before the Tucker movie even came out (1988). I have seen several articles about Tuckers in antique car magazines, and the cars seem to fall into 2 groups. Those that spent their lives in a museum had very low mileage, usually less than 20,000 miles. Those in private hands usually had 100,000. The owners said they bought the cars as collector's items intending to drive them only on special occasions. But they drove so nice, and handled so well, and were such a pleasure to drive they found themselves driving them more and more. I saw this story repeated more than once.

 

Tom McCahill tested a new Tucker in 1948 and said it made every other car in America look like Harrigan's hack with the wheels off. It was by far the best performing and handling car he had tested up to that time and years ahead of the rest of the industry. Years later he said there was a lot of dirty work involved in putting Tucker out of business but failed to elaborate. He also said he wrote for Reader's Digest and other publications until they came out with articles slamming the Tucker about the same time he wrote in MI praising it. After that he could never sell another article to those publications.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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