Automotive history is littered with small car companies that were formed as the result of the vision of one person that then failed spectacularly and have since been consigned to the dustbin of history. Tucker could have easily been one of those, but instead, Preston Tucker and his Torpedo have held the imagination of car fans for the last 70 years and even set the stage for companies like Tesla and idea men like Elon Musk.
In fact, the Tucker story is such an essential part of America’s automotive history — whether as something to aspire to or as a cautionary tale, we’ll let you decide — that it was turned into a Hollywood feature-length film starring The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges. It was called Tucker: The Man and His Dream, and while it was a box office bomb (especially by the standards of director Francis Ford Coppola) it was actually a pretty awesome movie.
Why am I talking about a movie from 1988 that apparently nobody saw? Well, because it’s Sunday and it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the fact that YouTube is offering Tucker: The Man and His Dream on its free-to-watch YouTube Movies channel.
It’s pretty easy to draw parallels between Preston Tucker and his struggle to build a better car in the face of the established automotive industry and someone like Elon Musk and Tesla. Thankfully, Musk is a little better-funded and has had more success than Tucker did.