1948 Tucker Prototype "Tin Goose" Sedan in 1:24 Scale

  • Our Price: $189.95
  • In Stock
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Danbury Mint 1948 Tucker "Tin Goose" Prototype diecast car
Customer Rating: 9 stars
  • Year: 1948
  • Brand: Danbury Mint
  • Make: Tucker
  • Code: 1302
  • Model: "Tin Goose" Prototype
  • Scale: 1:24
  • Color: Maroon
  • Points to redeem: 2,714

Unveiled in 1947, this "one-off" prototype was the brainchild of engineer Preston Tucker. Using his expertise as a salesman and his collaborative experience with Harry Miller producing race cars in the 1930s, his goal was to produce a radically different car at a time when the major automotive corporations were content to produce the same automobiles they'd stopped producing for the duration of World War ll. Starting from the drawings of designer Alex Tremulus (formerly of Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg ), this prototype was built in 100 days in a desperate attempt to quell investor jitters and keep the public's interest while Tucker was bogged down in a manufacturing, bureaucratic and legal morass that put him years behind in actual production.

The Tucker Torpedo was an eye-popper for the times. Only 49" tall, it was long and lean but suprisingly roomy inside, with plenty of headroom due to its step-down body constuction, later made famous by Hudson. With its rear mounted engine, there was only a decorative split grill incorporated into the bumper with nothing to break up the lines but the cyclopean third headlight that turned with the front wheels. Other features that were safety oriented were the pop-out windshield that Kaiser later adopted, disc brakes, fully independent suspension and interior passenger crash zone. Aerodynamic with its fastback design and low center of gravity, this novel car was quite a performer and with its production model flat six 166hp 335cid helicopter engine, it was clocked at over 130mph. The prototype differed from the 50 production units that were built with a longer wheelbase (130" over 128"), a 155hp 589cid Miller racing flat six, a protruding front bumper and, most noticeably, a lack of suicide doors. In subtle ways, the prototype was a cleaner, sleeker design than its production successors.

The Danbury Mint "Tin Goose" diecast is up to their high standards of fit, finish and content. It would be unfair to compare this diecast with the older Franklin Mint offering, but it's fun to put them side-by-side to see the differences in design. The prototype is definitely sexier. Finished in a creamy maroon paint, the exterior wants for little. Every component is finely scaled, including the glassed vent window and the split windscreen frame. On the leading edge of the rear fenders are photoetched intake grills that have been artfully contoured to negotiate the compound curvature. The rear panel lines are seamed with chrome strips; the cloisonne Tucker emblem on the deck is a separate piece, not a tampo. All the lenses are plastic, including the novel wrap-around tail light lens. The prototype sports the unique "Tucker" full wheel covers with wide whitewalls. All the panels are operable including the gas filler cover. The doors close with spring loaded pins and open with a unique sliding hinge system that allows tight shut line tolerances without impinging on the bulbous fenders. The hood and deck open with small arc hinges and are supported by telescoping struts.

The interior is nicely done including leather straps on the C-pillars. The dash and steering wheel are just stunning in chrome, maroon, with cream and gold accents. The floors are carpeted and the headliner pleated. The only disappointment are the seats. Finished in a monochrome cream-colored hard plastic with a sheen meant to suggest leather or naugahyde, they have a rather bland and unconvincing appearance. The '47 debut publicity pictures show a tutone upholstery pattern that lacks the pleated upper section that is modeled here.

The engine access on the prototype is much smaller than the production model's, but most of the Miller engine is visible and looks quite busy, being fully plumbed and wired with microscopic labels and signage. The undercarriage is well done with hydraulic and emergency brake cables, operating horizontal leaf spring stabilized independent suspension, disc brakes and the best view of that huge engine with its dual triple split exhaust system.

If I was to only own one Tucker in my collection, this would be it for its looks finish, content and it's uniqueness. In bang for the buck over its rival, I'd have to give it 4 1/2 stars. The issue price is $115.

-Richard Sufficool

  • Our Price: $189.95
  • In Stock
  • No Legacy Points

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