Dec 12 2017

Road and Track & Jalopnik: Watch a Barn-Find Tucker Lay Numbers on a Dyno

Tucker '48 #1044 is currently undergoing a restoration by the team of Rob Ida (Ida Automotive) and Mike and Sean Tucker (Preston Tucker LLC) . Yesterday, Road and Track, Jalopnik and even the homepage posted videos of the Tucker '48 #1044 undergoing a dyno test.

The videos were previously posted on the Preston Tucker LLC and Ida Automotive websites.


Howard Kroplick

Watch a Barn-Find Tucker Lay Numbers on a Dyno

Tucker number 44, in the midst of a major restoration, hits the dyno to prove exactly how much power that helicopter-sourced flat six makes.
By Bob Sorokanich Dec 11, 2017

Preston Tucker built just 51 examples of his innovative rear-engined car. Today, 47 are known to survive. And for perhaps the first time ever, we finally get to see one run on a dyno to learn exactly how much power it's making.

Tucker #1044, recently purchased out of a barn in Ohio, was discovered in incredibly good condition. Showing just under 8000 miles on the odometer, it's served as a reference point for other Tucker restoration projects.

Now, #1044 is undergoing a restoration of its own. And the folks at Preston Tucker LLC put it on the dyno to see how much power that 5.5-liter water-cooled flat-six puts out.

The baseline numbers, according to Preston Tucker LLC, were 94 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque at 2700 RPM at the wheels. As Raphael Orlove at Jalopnik points out, that's down a bit from the 150-to-160-hp figure referenced by many Tucker historians, but it shows that the priority was low-end, low-stress torque. The engine was derived from a powerplant originally designed for a Bell helicopter, so a screaming redline wasn't in the recipe.

We continue to be fascinated by these amazing, unusual machines.

Watch A Legendary Tucker Run On The Dyno

Raphael Orlove Monday 10:40am

The few dozen Tucker 48s that ended up getting built came with helicopter engines mounted in the rear. I’m lucky enough to have seen one run, but I’ve never heard of one on the dyno, or how much power one of these things actually puts out.

Again, I’ve gotten to see and hear what I believe was this exact Tucker in operation and it’s a genuinely lovely experience. The car has a powerful but reserved thrum to it. Its engine was originally designed for a Bell helicopter, a flat-six Franklin. Tucker’s version of it was 5.5 liters and water-cooled, aiming for low-end power, with a spectacularly low redline.

And that’s exactly what’s confirmed in this dyno run. The 44th Tucker put down 94 horsepower and 221 ft-lbs of torque at 2,700 RPM.

That’s down from the figure that you usually see thrown around at 150 or 166 horsepower, but it’s still interesting to see how much it prioritizes torque over pure power. The Tucker was an oddball, but it was still American.


Dec 19 2017 Ken Wiebke 12:04 PM

I don’t think i would have had the courage to push that 70 year old engine even on a Dyno.  Will definitely try to make the presentation at Ida’s facility.

Dec 31 2017 R Troy 7:27 PM

Fascinating.  My 26 Model 243 Packard is rated in its huge straight 8 at about 84 horsepower, no idea of torque except that it should be fairly high.

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