The Tucker Torpedo
The Tucker Torpedo was Preston Tucker's first concept for a Tucker Automobile. It was designed by his Chief Designer George Lawson in 1946. Except for a small scale model, the Torpedo never made it into real life. After Preston refused to pay Lawson for his work, Lawson sued Tucker Corporation for $ 45 000. He settled for $10 000 out of court.
Science Illustrated December 1946 published an article about the Tucker Torpedo. This article moved the entire United States of America. About 1 month later, on January 16, 1947, George Lawson filed a design patent for the car, as he had parted ways with Preston Tucker, and Alex Tremulis had taken over as Chief Designer for the Tucker Corporation. This application included photos of the small scale model used in the Popular Science article. George's patent was eventually issued as Design Patent D149,824 on June 1, 1948.
Impressed and influenced by Lawson's creation, Alex Tremulis made his own improvements on the prototype late in December of 1946. These drawings featured a more practical design which initially kept thee moveable cycle fenders, rear fin, easy entry door cutouts, and egg crate grille. By February of 1947 Tremulis' designs had progressed further from the initial concept, and more towards the final product. According to research provided by Larry Clark’s “Tucker Chronology Project”, Alex Tremulis was asked to prepare a rendering to be used in advertising the new design for the Tucker automobile on February 28, 1947. By then, the design incorporated the flowing fenders of the production model. It also kept remnants of the rear fins as well as other notes as to what the rendering should look like. This design was printed in the Chicago Herald-American and other publications on March 2, 1947. Alex Tremulis worked on the Tucker project as a Tammen & Denison employee for 3 months, from December 1946 - March 1947.
March 4, 1947 the J. Gordon Lippincot and Associates were involved in the Tucker project. The team consisted of Hal Bergstrom, Read Viemeister, Budd Steinhilber, Tucker Madawick, and Phil Egan. The Lippincott team's design was the design chosen for production. March 15, 1947 Preston Tucker filed a patent protection for the Alex Tremulis design that was advertised March 2, 1947. The design was issued on June 14, 1949 as Design Patent D154,192. The fins are gone, the side trim is gone, and the rear fender grill now has horizontal louvers, much like the final product. Also note that the Lawson design patent D149,824 was included in the references for the Tucker patent. 
March 24, 1947 Preston Tucker filed a patent for a steering wheel mounted instrument. This was 9 days after he filed a patent for his first design of the Tucker Torpedo. It is to assume that Preston planned to use this steering wheel in the Tucker.
The Tucker Torpedo never made it into production. A small scale model was made, but that was all. Several years later, someone tried to build the Tucker Torpedo out of a 1972 Buick Riviera.
After building several fiberglass Tucker 48's, Rob Ida Concepts and Ida Automotive began working on an aluminum version of George Lawson's Tucker Torpedo around 2009. The Torpedo will be built using old coach building techniques and tools. A wooden buck was made by scanning the model that George Lawson built on his kitchen table in 1946. George's original model is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum. It was scanned, and the dimensions were converted to full scale before the shapes were CAD drawn and CNC cut. The individual pieces were assembled into a full scale model used to shape the metal panels on. In September of 2013 the guys at Rob Ida Concepts began fabricating the body for the car.
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