In 1948 Preston Tucker briefly began production of what was to become one of the rarest and most legendary American cars ever made, the Tucker Torpedo. Loaded with advancements like headlights that turned with the steering wheel, a roll cage built into the roof and seat belts, the first car to ever have them. Legend has it that the Big Three collaborated with Michigan Senator Homer S. Ferguson to destroy Tucker’s reputation, and as a result only 51 Torpedos were ever built.
So the odds of reuniting a one-time Tucker raffle winner with the original car seem impossible, but Hemmings Auto Blog reports that just such a reunion happened recently, and it’s quite an interesting story.
In 1949 Rudy Schroeder entered a raffle at the local VFW, buying a single 35-cent ticket. A few weeks later and he was announced as the winner of the Tucker Torpedo, which already had 90,000 (?!) miles on it. He drove it for a little while, but had a hard time keeping insurance on it as there were no new parts to fix anything should he get into a wreck.
Rudy eventually sold the car, and it has passed hands many times before ending up at the Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage museum. There curator Stephen Murray tracked down Schroeder after learning the car’s history, and the two reunited at the former Tucker factory (which now produces Tootsie rolls) for these pictures.
A heartwarming story to be sure. Are there any cars from your past that you’d like to be reunited with?