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Preston Tucker and His Battle to Build the…
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Preston Tucker and His Battle to Build the Car of Tomorrow

by Steve Lehto

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"In the wake of World War II, the U.S. automobile industry was fully unprepared to meet the growing demands of the public, for whom they had not made any cars for years. In stepped Preston Tucker, a salesman extraordinaire who announced the building of a revolutionary new car: the Tucker '48, the first car in almost a decade to be built fresh from the ground up. Tucker's car, which would include ingenious advances in design and engineering that other car companies could not match, captured the interest of the public, and automakers in Detroit took notice. Here, author Steve Lehto tackles Tucker's amazing story, relying on a huge trove of documents that has been used by no other writer to date. It is the first comprehensive, authoritative account of Tucker's magnificent car and his battles with the government. And in this book, Lehto finally answers the question automobile aficionados have wondered about for decades: exactly how and why the production of such an innovative car was killed. After World War II, the American automobile industry was reeling. Having spent years building weapons, the car companies had not made any cars for years. And then, in stepped Preston Tucker. This salesman extraordinaire from Detroit had built race cars before the war, and had been a defense contractor during it. Now, gathering a group of brilliant automotive designers, engineers, and promoters, he announced the building of a revolutionary new car: the Tucker '48, the first car in almost a decade to be built fresh from the ground up. Tucker's car would include ingenious advances in design and engineering that other car companies could not match. But the Big Three did not take Tucker's threat lightly. While Tucker raised money, leased a plant in Chicago, lined up franchises worldwide, sold millions of shares of stock, and built the first of his cars, the SEC, headed by a former Detroit man, began investigating him. Tucker fought on, showing his cars around the country while investigators seized his books. And when the SEC leaked a report to the press that Tucker was going to be indicted for a scheme of massive fraud, Tucker's stock crashed and America came to believe that he was nothing but a huckster. Steve Lehto has here tackled Tucker's amazing story, relying on a huge trove of documents that no other writer to date has used. In this book, Lehto finally answers the question automobile aficionados have wondered about for decades: exactly how and why the production of such an innovative car was killed"--… (more)

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