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Supermodel: The Tucker Torpedo

This week, we can’t seem to resist bringing you stories of things that aren’t quite cars.  First, an auto-inspired boat, and now, a model of a car.  From the collection of Margie and Robert Petersen, this 1944 model was the final design inspiration for the Tucker ‘Torpedo.”


This quarter-scale styling model by George S. Lawson (1907-1987) for Preston Tucker is made of unpainted plaster and wood.  This model was George Lawson’s final contribution to the design of the Tucker automobile and established the unusually streamlined styling theme for the single prototype and 50 pilot production cars that were ultimately built during the late 1940s.


A prized feature of the early Tuckers, this model shows the famous Cyclops Eye, which is a center headlight that turns with at least a 10 degree movement of the front wheels.


The progressive front shape was made possible in part by the car’s rear engine configuration, which allowed Lawson greater flexibility when determining the vehicle’s frontal contours.

If you’re lucky enough, you’ll take a visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum and see not only this model, but an actual Tucker that is a star in the museum’s incredible collection.

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