Alex Tremulis

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Alex Tremulis while working as a consultant for the Tucker movie
A Rear engined bubbletop car designed by Alex Tremulis February 1936. It looks like a futuristic 1930s version of the Tucker 48
A six wheeled rear-engined bubble top designed by Alex Tremulis March 20, 1937. Design similarities from this car seems to have ended up on the Tucker 48, like the rear opera-window.
Novi powered Streamliner designed by Alex Tremulis June 1, 1946[1]
A Tucker Torpedo design proposal by Alex Tremulis. This design was based on George Lawson's design, but incorporated some improvements. Alex did these in late December 1946
rear 3/4 view of the same design
A vellum for the Tucker Torpedo made by Alex Tremulis in February 1947.
This is how the Tucker Torpedo was advertised March 2, 1947
Another fixed fender proposal by Alex Tremulis
A Tucker Campini Gas Turbine Car proposal by Alex Tremulis dated Marc 20, 1948

Alex Sarantos Tremulis was born January 23, 1914 in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1939 Alex Tremulis came to California were he was hired by the famous tap dancer Eleanor Powell to build custom cars for her and to help out Sid Luft. Sid Luft had been her public relations man and she wanted to get him started in the customizing business. He had tried several other things, but now was concentrating on customizing Cadillacs. The first one he built was a very nice custom Cadillac, but instead of selling it he started running around with the car. Pretty soon it got used, so when Eleanor Powell came to Chicago she hired Alex to go to California to put Sid’s business on a business basis. They had a small little shop across the street from the Luau Restaurant in Beverly Hills called Custom Motors.[2]

The Tucker 48

Preston Tucker hired the legendary Alexander Sarantos Tremulis of Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg fame. Tremulis was given the task of completing the design in just six days, because of promises made to investors to reach timelines. When major styling decisions regarding the Tucker had to be made, Preston Tucker deferred to Alex, invariably cautioning him that they had a boss bigger then all of them, and that's the automobile. Alex could do what he had to do, but he had to be sure that it was right for the car.

The results not only aesthetically speak for themselves, but were pretty aerodynamic, too. In fact, the 48 had a drag coefficient of just 0.27 (they rounded it up to 0.30 for print materials) and that made it the most aerodynamic car in the world. Just for comparison's sake, Tremulis's design was pen drawn under duress and the finished cars were hand formed with hammers. The Toyota Prius, designed on lots of computers and whose modus operandi is to generate as little wind resistance as possible, has a drag coefficient of 0.26.



Automobile Quarterly Vol 4 No 1


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