Of all the great cars that could have been, the Tucker is right there at the very top of the list. Only around 50 cars were ever made, despite the fact that the company had the largest single-space factory in the world (at the time) at their disposal, which had been previously used to build the Wright R-3350 Cyclone engines for B-29 Superfortress bombers during WWII.
I think America would have not started trailing Europe and other parts of the world in terms of automotive technology (which it did, and is only now just starting to catch up – fact) if the Big Three would have left Preston Tucker (and others like him) alone to make his (far more advanced) car.
The whole story is shrouded in controversy, but there is a lot of material readily available out there, which will help you get the facts straight. Don’t believe everything that you hear, though, as the story just seems overly-dramatized in places, especially if you watch the movie made about it, called Tucker: The Man and His Dream – star Jeff Bridges does seem to have a bit of the original Preston Tucker in him, and his performance is a believable one.
There are a surprisingly large number of documentaries covering the matter too, and if you watch all of them (like I have, in one coffee-filled night), you’ll see that everybody tells the story just a little bit differently.
The most recent video I found covering the brand and the innovative and very safe cars they built/were planning to build, comes courtesy of Hagerty and it deals with the “unknown facts” surrounding the 48 model, which is often mistakenly called the Torpedo, probably due to the nature of its suggestively-shaped hood ornament (a standout example of design in and of itself)…
Check it out below, along with two of the better documentaries that the web has to offer – the latter is a two-part film.