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.
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.
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