add
add
Menu

An Ultra-Rare, $3 Million Tucker 48 Was Discovered in an Ohio Barn

Preston Tucker’s car company was responsible for 51 cars being built. Of those, we know that 47 “Tucker ’48s” have survived and we know where all of them are. Sometimes, they come up for sale and fetch millions. 15 years ago, Mark Lieberman located one in a barn in Ohio. Tucker #1044 had not been driven since about 1982 and it became Mark’s goal to acquire the car and restore it.

Mark Lieberman owns Nostalgic Motoring, where he buys and sells collector cars and also helps restore them. In his career, he has owned three Tuckers – and if he bought this one, it would be his fourth. He has also helped restore a few for clients. In 2013, one of those restored Tuckers, #1043, set the record for a Tucker sale at $2.915 million. So, when he set out to restore #1046, he wanted to look at another late production Tucker to study how the radio bezel looked. Radios were optional on Tuckers so to find one as a reference meant finding a Tucker so-equipped. Mark knew that #1044 was in Ohio and that it had a radio in it. Mark tracked down the owner and soon had an invitation to come see the car.

Tucker #1044 was, in essence, in a barn. It was stored in a metal building with a gravel floor but the owner had laid down a makeshift wooden floor of 2 by 6 lumber to help protect the car from moisture in the ground and the building was weather tight as well. Mark walked around the car and was impressed with its condition. The owner had gotten the car in 1982 and only driven it three times – for a total of 15 miles. In fact, when Mark first saw it, the odometer read 7,877 which all parties believe to be accurate. The owner of the car had a few issues with it and had parked it hoping to find the time later to iron out the bugs. The problems were of the sort many Tucker owners are familiar with: transmission issues, cooling problems and so on. But, as they say, it “Ran when parked.”

After looking it over, Mark told the owner he would love to buy the car. The owner had no interest in selling but Mark stayed in touch after he left that day. Three years later and following numerous conversations, the owner agreed to sell the car to Mark. A deal was struck and Mark headed to Ohio. He brought his trailer.

They winched the car into the trailer and Mark brought it back to his shop in Auburn Hills. There, he went through the car thoroughly. Brakes, fuel lines, radiator, fuel pump, carburetor, ignition. Everything was remarkably serviceable considering how long it had been since the car had been driven. Mark went through the steps one takes when reviving an engine that hasn’t been turned over in 30 years and then – it started right up. The car now runs and drives.

The car you see in the pictures is a lovely shade of root beer brown. It had been repainted a few owners back – maybe in the 1970s – but it came from the factory in Andante Green. Mark plans on getting the car back to that color along with a complete top to bottom restoration, of the sort he has done on previous Tuckers. The good news is that #1044 has remained in very good condition over the decades. The doors are tight and the body and frame show virtually nothing in the way of corrosion. As the “Before” car in a restoration project, this Tucker is in better shape than any Mark has restored before. And remember, one of those cars sold for almost $3 million.

This restoration very well could take a few years so Mark has decided to leave the car as it is for this summer and will spend a bit of time enjoying it before it gets laid up for all of its work. He says he’ll pop in unannounced at a few car shows or even the occasional Cars & Coffee. After all, when was the last time you saw a Tucker ’48 show up at one of those?


One thought on “An Ultra-Rare, $3 Million Tucker 48 Was Discovered in an Ohio Barn”


  1. John giles says:

    Wow,what a cool find these were way ahead of their time


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Most Recent Facebook Posts


Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

2 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

Hanging out at the Petersen Museum today ...

2 weeks ago

Muscle Car Fan

Perfect 1969 z-28 professionally built body and drivetrain ...

Comment on Facebook

69 cam. best car ever

need this for it

View more comments

3 weeks ago

Muscle Car Fan

1948 Cadillac Ambulance pulled from yard Also 58 Ford Skyliner ...

Comment on Facebook

Streamlined roof-mounted emergency lighting pods were beginning to appear by 1940 and Meteor showed a number of ambulances so-equipped in their mailings. Meteor's flower cars were topped by 5-window business coupe-style roofs and featured a fake folded convertible top made of aluminum mounted at the rear of the flower box. Meteor introduced a new driver's door first seen on 1939 S&S carved-panel coaches that featured an unusual A-shaped window frame. Meteor then mounted a miniature coach lamp within the triangular panel that was now part of the body. Although the new arched door looked great on their service cars, flower cars and carved Gothic hearses, it looked hideous when combined with the vertical B & C pillars found on their limousine-style coaches and ambulances. The rear door window frames as well as the B-pillars and C-pillars were still vertically oriented and clashed with the sharply sloping outline of the front door's arched window-frame.S&S did the right thing and used vertical B-pillar front door frames on their regular limousine-style and landau-style hearses and ambulances. Although they could have used a regular door on their limousine-style coaches and ambulances (as did S&S), for some unknown reason, Meteor didn't and continued producing ugly limousine style coaches until 1950, when regular door frames returned.Quite unfairly, LaSalle had acquired the reputation of being a "cheap" Cadillac and was eliminated by GM just as Cadillac released their new Bill Mitchell-designed models in 1941. The new Cadillac was decidedly forward-looking, side-mounted spares had been eliminated and the new Hydra-Matic automatic transmission was available for the first time having been pioneered by Oldsmobile in the previous year. The prow-nosed look seen in the Thirties was gone, replaced by massive front-end highlighted by the now-famous egg-crate grille. Headlamps were now mounted in, rather than on top of, the front fenders. Equipped with a Cord-like coffin-nose hood the new Cadillacs were noticeably different from their predecessors and set the standard for American luxury during the 1940s. A mid-sized 29-passenger transit bus prototype called the 101 was built during 1941, but never saw production. However their experience with the vehicle helped procure a large contract to produce bodies for a post-war Reo transit coach.The A-framed Meteor coaches continued little unchanged through 1942 although a less-expensive series of coaches appeared in 1941 mounted on Chevrolet chassis that featured normal-looking vertically-oriented B-pillars. When seen on a flower car body, Meteor's A-framed front doors looked good and their 1942 version featured a 5-window business coupe roof mounted on top of a standard Meteor coach body that had been built with no structure above the beltline. The coupe's blanked-in rear quarter-windows were covered by a landau bar and the base of the roof flowed straight back to the rear of the flower box which still had a makeshift faux folded-convertible roof. The rear doors were left intact and could be used to load chairs or other graveside necessities. Access to the casket compartment was through the tailgate which had built-in casket rollers that matched those on the compartment floor. The height of the exposed stainless steel flower deck was hydraulically adjustable so that different-sized floral tributes could be accommodated and a tonneau was included to cover the bed when not in use.After an illustrious career with Henney and a short stint at the Des Moines Casket Company, automotive designer Herman Earl (1878-1957) worked for Meteor up until his retirement during WWII. Another famous wartime Meteor employee was John B. Judkins who became a consultant for the firm, when his Merrimac, MA coachbuilding firm folded in 1942. During the War, Meteor manufactured aviation equipment for the US Navy and ramped up for civilian production in early 1945.Immediately after the war Meteor built 969 bus bodies for Reo's post-war 96-HT 'Victory' bus (1945-1947). These Reo-Meteor coaches included a Continental 427cu in 6­cylinder gasoline engine mounted under the floor and featured sectional bodies similar to those produced by Wayne Works.1946-1948 Meteor coaches remained unchanged from the pre-war 1942 models and still included weird A-framed front doors with integral miniature coach lamps. As with other makers, post-war prices increased by about 50% and new Meteor coaches started at $5,000. All Meteor coaches were now built on Cadillac chassis and included rear fender skirts plus optional automatic transmission and air-conditioning. Ambulances could be ordered with built-in roof-top warning lights, a choice of sirens plus a clever front fender-mounted fire extinguisher.Cadillac's new commercial chassis was available beginning 1949, one year after the introduction of their famous P-38 Lightning-influenced rear fenders.

Are the engine and drive train still there?

It's all there folks!

No engine

I like to see them when their done too.

Thing is really trashed

Yep

Greg Andry

View more comments

4 weeks ago

Muscle Car Fan

About 60 vintage Vintage parts cars for sale in Michigan. Cadillacs, Olds... ...

Comment on Facebook

I need the hood emblem on the green ‘54 caddy and I need the Bakelite gear selector knob in green as well. My caddy is a ‘55 but I think they’re the same.

Looking for a frame for a 1966 Cadillac deville convertible.

The 57 oldsmobile is available

Do you have a hood for a 61 series 62, body style #6229? Or maybe a trunk as well?

58 Cadillac limo rear fender side trim and tail lights.

Looking for 65 2+2 hardtop

Any 46 or 47 Cadillacs in there?

I have a 48 Cadillac ambulance

Any70 chargers60 impala convertible68 chrysler 300 convertible65 Buick Riviera65 Lincoln convertible

Wow I wish that was my yard 😍 57 caddy stainless side trim? Upper and lower. Need a bunch of small clips for the dash also. And window motors to the rear , 2dr coupe. Thanks

I will look have for 66 Fleetwood in black

Need the two tail lights compleate for a 56 Cadillac

Location and contact information?

Nice interiors for 66 coupe deville?

Fleetwood letters off 66 brougham

Are there any 58 Oldsmobile bumpers grill assemblies b any 58 desoto

57 pontiac chieftain rear bumpers?

The red 48 chevy pock up

55,56 Cadillac grills ,Dag Mars ,bumpers ,rear bumpers tail lights?

Preferably the one with no front cap....and were are you located

Whatever rust u have laying around.

Im looking for a 1969 dodge charger

Nick Bournias heaven

View more comments

4 weeks ago

Muscle Car Fan

Super Clean 1966 Chevy Caprice ...

Comment on Facebook

One beautiful Car. One of my favorites !!!! I wish I had the money to buy it !!!!!!🚦

Had one miss it

Mauricio Costa Augusto Taques

View more comments

Load more