Monaco

Le Sporting, Monte Carlo
14 May 2016
Lot 206

Tucker 48 Engine, no. 33578

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€30,420 EUR | Sold

Monaco | Monte Carlo, Monaco

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Type O-335. 166 bhp, 335 cu. in. OHV horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine.

Engines for the Tucker automobile were supplied by Air-Cooled Motors of Chicago, a firm that Preston Tucker acquired solely for the purpose of supplying powerplants for his automobiles. The “flat” six-cylinder design had originally been created by American manufacturer Franklin as an air-cooled helicopter engine for World War II and was subsequently modified as the O-335 for use in the Tucker with a fully sealed water-cooling system, an industry first. Weighing only 320 pounds, the engine produced 166 brake horsepower and 372 pound-feet of torque; it could reportedly propel a Tucker from 0–60 mph in 10 seconds, and to a top speed of 120 mph.

Because Preston Tucker had intended to produce many more cars than he eventually built, a total of 98 engines was built, about half of which remained unused and not installed in automobiles when Tucker production ended. These were sold at the factory bankruptcy auction, and many are enjoyed for display by collectors who admire their advanced engineering and attractive looks as much as their power.

The engine offered here, number 335-78, is believed to be the first Tucker engine offered at a European auction and is certainly one of very few (perhaps the only one) in Europe. It would be suitable either for display or as a spare engine for a restored Tucker automobile; in either case, it would be an astute acquisition for the Tucker enthusiast.