The Tucker Torpedo is rarer than rare when it comes to automotive makes and models. Not only were there just 51 of them ever built, the Tucker motor company also went under after producing the cars, giving owners of these unique vehicles one rare piece of automotive history.
With this kind of background, Torpedoes, along with their parts don’t exchange hands very often and when they do, they go for a pretty penny. Just back in January, a Tucker Torpedo actually sold at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction for $2.91 million. So when we heard about a Torpedo engine for sale via Bangshift, we had to check it out.
As it turns out, the engine offered for sale on the Bring a Trailer website is number 56 of 98 engines produced by Aircooled Motors for the Torpedo model. This particular engine was actually pulled from the manufacturing floor and tested at the factory.
Unfortunately the engine was never shipped to the Tucker factory or mounted in a Torpedo because of the company’s demise. It sat in a crate at Aircooled Motors until the Tucker assets were liquidated, at which time an employee at Aircooled bought the engine and stored it for over 50 years in a garage.
According to the seller, it was a running engine back in 1950 when it was put in storage.
Just like its counterparts, the engine is a modified 335cui flat-6 helicopter engine capable of 166hp and 372lb.-ft. of torque. Along with the many other advanced features of the Torpedo, like the car’s perimeter frame, shatter-proof windshield, seatbelts and a third “Cyclops Eye” headlight, the engine helped the Torpedo exceed the performance and safety capabilities of other manufacturers’ vehicles.
Of the 98 engines made for the model, many were used for spare parts or replacements for burnt out engines, while others were scrapped when the Tucker corporation went under. This makes the engine up for sale extremely rare.
Currently the seller is asking $60,000 for the 33556 serial-numbered engine. While this may sound a bit steep, you’ve got to remember the rarity of the car and the price that comes with it. We just hope the engine goes to good use and is reunited with a Tucker Torpedo if it sells.