In many ways, the 1948 Tucker Torpedo was ahead of its time in reference to features and thoughts for safety and comfort. Bad publicity and a poor launch of the prototype prevented this car from reaching full potential. Mastermind Preston Tucker had been envisioning this design for some time, but did not like the name Torpedo. His thought was that the name would remind people of the recently ended World War II. Instead, he referred to his idea as the Tucker 48. What was so great about this automobile?
Aside from being American made, the Torpedo included safety features in addition to driver comfort and convenience. One of the unique features of the car was the third eye. A headlight that was positioned front center that would cast light for directional turning.
Another feature for safety was a framed perimeter allowing for crash protection. Rear wheel drive and a rear mounted H-6 engine were also a spotlight of the Tucker 48. The windshield was designed to eject in the event of an accident to keep driver and passengers safe. In an attempt to promote quickness and efficiency, the drive train and engine were mounted on a separate frame from the body.
What are truly amazing about the Tucker 48 are the features that did not make the final cut of the 51 models in production. Preston Tucker imagined his car with self-sealing tubeless tires, disc brakes, and fuel injection. It was as if every idea were designed to illuminate the driving experience.
For classic car lovers, the Jaguar XK120 is a classic sports car, which the Jaguar company produced from 1948 through 1954, and made only about 12,000 of the cars during the production period. The Jaguar XK120 also marks the first sports car that wasmade by the manufacturer, since the previous SS 100 model, which was last produced in 1940. The Jaguar XK120 also had a successor model car, which was the XK140 model. The first time the Jaguar XK120 was released was during the London Motor Show in 1948, which was showcasing the new Jaguar XK engine; the 120 which is in the car’s name, is in reference to the 120 MPH speeds it can attain, which at that period of time, and during the launch of the Jaguar XK120, was the fastest sports car to hit the auto industry.
The Jaguar XK120 comes in three model styles. It could be purchased either as a 2- seater roadster, a 2- seat coupe, or a 2- seat drop head coupe style, and featured an FR layout. It’s engine offered 3.4L XK. The Jaguar XK120 also had a deluxe model, which was known as the DHC, and it featuredwind-up windows, it also had wood-veneer dashboard, which was something rare for the time period. The roadster model, which was the original, was also placed to the test on the racing circuit, and proved to be a successful car for racing as well. It ran its first race in 1949 in the Silverstone Circuit in England, and took a first place victory. The roadster also raced during the 1951, 52, and 54 years as well, producing various records and wins, for the manufacturer and drivers.
Although no longer produced, the Jaguar XK120 still holds the mark as the first record setting roadster for the Jaguar manufacturer.