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Thursday, November 10, 2022

Still waiting this Tucker Torpedo concept car came to life

Unique ONES In the automotive world, sometimes a concept that has a promising possibility will remain parked in the filing cabinet of an automotive company without any real-life form if there is no ability and strong will of the designers to convince the company's officials are given approvals to be a prototype model or even production versions.
This George Lawson designed Tucker Torpedo concept car was never produced, instead led to the Tucker 48 with 51 examples ever built by defunc Tucker Corporation. (Picture from: Rob Ida Concepts)
In this regard, we can take the example of a future car concept named Tucker Torpedo that was designed by George Lawson, an automotive designer who worked for the Tucker Corporation in 1946. Although actually the company founder Preston Thomas Tucker was a visionary who wanted to build a car for safety and had many innovations with modern styling.
This George Lawson-designed Tucker Torpedo that Ida Automotive tried to put into reality based on hand drawn rendering images, and ¼ scaled model from the original automaker Tucker Corporation. (Picture from: Rob Ida Concepts)
Instead of realizing the concept car, Tucker Corporation actually launched the Tucker 48 during 1946 to 1949, which incidentally was designed by Alex Tremulis, is reportedly also inspired by the concept car. And the Torpedo concept itself was never actually built, only made as hand drawn rendering images on the papers, and a quarter scale model.
Once completed, a full 3D scan of the Torpedo's ¼ scale model, allowing the automaker to CNC making the car's frame (on the right) and the matched wooden-bucks (on the left) to every contours and edges of the car design. (Picture from: Rob Ida Concepts)
As you can see todays, the Tucker 48 is one of the most collectible vintage vehicles of all time. A mere 51 one of them were hand built, each just a little different from the last. Its designs had becoming the most innovative in the 1940s, and dubbed as the Car of Tomorrow that is very concerned about safety factors.
The Tucker Torpedo concept car is built based on the custom-made steel chassis featured with rotating seats assembly in the middle, and rear engined layout. (Picture from: Rob Ida Concepts)
It was because the Tucker 48 was the first car has the features of safety belt, 'Cyclops Eye' headlight followed the road as the steering wheel turned, the windshield was made from shatter proof glass and was designed to pop out in a collision, and if the passengers had enough time before an accident, they could shelter themselves in the 'crash chamber' just below the dash. And that's what people remember today about the Tucker 48, then what about the Torpedo concept?
The unique steering wheel system of the Tucker Torpedo allows the front fenders can be moved in any direction according to driver desired. (Picture from: Wired)
The fact, everything fell apart because this automotive company did not live long because it was involved in a complicated legal case related to the controversial stock fraud allegations in March 1949, which led to the closure of the company in early of the 1950s. Even so, it turns out that many automotive enthusiasts are curious about the George Lawson designed Torpedo concept, then tried to make it into a real form.
The Tucker Torpedo concept car's bodywork is made of metal pieces formed by hand using an english wheel and hammer following curved of the car's wooden-buck pattern. (Picture from: Wired)
One of them is noted to have attempted to build a replica of the so-called Tucker Torpedo Prototype II which was based on the 1971 Buick Rivera by Roy Tucker (no relation to the company founder, Preston Tucker) back in the 1994. Related to this custom car, of course, perhaps it can't make everyone feel satisfied and invited pros and cons as well, due to this is only a replica not the original one made by Tucker Corporation.
The Tucker Torpedo concept car's bodywork is made of metal pieces formed by hand using an english wheel and hammer following curved of the car's wooden-buck pattern. (Picture from: Wired)
In addition to the replicas mentioned above, it turns out that there is another attempt to bring the Tucker Torpedo concept into the real by Ida Automotive, a New Jersey-based automotive workshop owned by Bob and Rob Ida, who reportedly have the blessing of a direct descendant of Preston Tucker, the founder of the automotive company.
The Tucker Torpedo concept car's unique 'Cyclops Eye' headlight features attached in the middle. (Picture from: Wired)
Bob Ida and his son, Rob Ida are the grandson and great-grandson of Joe Ida, who owned a Tucker Dealership for a very short period before the demise of the automaker. Bob and Rob Ida have decided to build a full size version of the Torpedo. Having the scale model and renderings to work from, they are putting their automotive skills to the test. Just an info, the Idas own a custom car shop and have previously rebuilt one of the few Tucker 48s and many other classic cars as well.
The Tucker Torpedo concept car aluminum body work after completely attached on the custom frame and steel chassis. (Picture from: Rob Ida Concepts)
A complete 3D scan was done of the Torpedo's 1:4 scale model, allowing the Idas to CNC cut wood pieces that match every contour and edge of the Torpedo design. The wood components were assembled in the proper orders, allowing the duo to hand shape sheetmetal to the right specifications.  "We shape each piece of metal using old-world techniques," Says Rod Ida. "English wheel and hammers." Sean Tucker, the great-grandson of Preston, is even lending a hand. 
The Tucker Torpedo concept car's cabin assembly process which has a unique rotating seats and center drive systems. (Picture from: Rob Ida Concepts)
The concept car is built based on the customized steel frame chassis featured with rotating seats assembly in the middle. Besides that the Torpedo concept under construction according to the Rob Ida Concepts pages will be powered by a rear-mounted Porsche flat-6 opposed air-cooled engine and transaxle. 
The Tucker Torpedo concept car's has also an advanced 360 degree disc brakes. (Picture from: Rob Ida Concepts)
So that in accordance with the initial design concept of George Lawson, the futuristic styled three-seater car of the 1940s will have a number of unique advanced features such as steerable fenders, center drive with rotating seats and 360 degree disc brakes.
The Tucker Torpedo concept car under construction will be powered by a rear-mounted Porsche flat-6 opposed air-cooled engine. (Picture from: Rob Ida Concepts)
Now after almost 10 years since it started working in 2013, this concept car has not yet been completed. There is no timeline on when the vehicle will be completed and fully operational. Bob and Rob have quite a challenge by considering they intend on following the original guidelines and vintage building techniques to complete the car. 
As quoted from the Rob Ida Concepts, that stated they did not get the opportunity to complete the built and are no longer contributing to the project. It seems that something happened in the midst of working on this concept car project, so it ended the project never be completed.
Well, We could not be speculated any longer about what's really going on? We have to think positively and be patient to wait further news. All we can do now is wait until the Tucker Torpedo concept car is finished and hope it could be happened in the near future. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | ROB IDA CONCEPTS | WIRED | AUTO YAHOO | STREETMUSCLEMAG | HEMMINGS | KUSTOMRAMA | GMAUTHORITY | CARSTYLING.RU ]
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