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Tucker Torpedo for Motorclassica (copyright image)

This $1 million Tucker Torpedo, the first and only one in Australia, will be displayed at Motorclassica at the Royal Exhibition Building this week-end in Melbourne (Victoria). (copyright image) (copyright image)

Motorclassica runs from 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday 22nd October, 2010, and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday (23rd and 24th October) at the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.

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20th October, 2010

A rare Tucker car worth more than $1 million has arrived in Melbourne to feature at Motorclassica, the Australian International Concours d’Elegance and Classic Motor Show this weekend.

The first and only Tucker Torpedo in Australia (see accompanying images), it is one of just 50 built in the USA in 1948, powered by a rear-mounted helicopter engine.

Tucker achieved fame on the silver screen in 1988 when it featured "Tucker: The Man and his Dream", with actor Jeff Bridges playing the lead role.

Preston Tucker, who designed and built the car in the hectic years after World War Two, was brought undone by legal and financial battles, but his cars became a legend.

A Melbourne businessman bought the Tucker in the USA in August for US$1.14 million, and it arrived in Melbourne last week, and has since been fettled and fitted with 'blinkers' to meet local registration requirements.

Now tuned up and running beautifully, it will be one of more than 80 classic cars driven through Melbourne on Friday morning as part of the Tour Classica prelude to Motorclassica.

The Tucker has a flat-six rear engine. It is based on the engine used in the Bell helicopters (similar to those seen in the television series "MASH"). The car a top speed of 190 km/h – very fast for 1948.

At least one Tucker enthusiast is flying from Brisbane for Motorclassica specially to see the car at Motorclassica, but local enthusiasts need only travel to the Royal Exhibition Building to see this and some 140 other classic beauties and super cars.

Meanwhile, Friday promises a lovely spring morning for those who want to catch a look at the cars in Tour Classica, which will assemble for breakfast near the Albert Park boat sheds.

The Tour will depart at 10 AM for a loop through Pit Straight and back, then up Clarendon Street, via La Trobe Street and Exhibition Street to arrive at the Royal Exhibition Building around 11 AM.

Another Tucker Torpedo was photographed by a Brisbane reader, last year, at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn (Michigan, USA). See it here.


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