Hey, you sexy people like things that are absolutely clamshit nuts, right? Like, if I were to offer you a hot dog, you would say "thanks, but could you please slather that in leave-in conditioner and roll it in ground nutmeg for me?" Well, boy do I have a great car for you: a Riviera made to look like a never-built Tucker.
The place to find your dream car is, of course, on eBay, where it's currently at $9200 and the reserve is not yet met. The car started life as an already striking 1971 boat-tail Buick Riviera, but was modified by a very determined owner into something that resembles the never-built original concept for the Tucker Torpedo.
The original designs for the Tucker were much more ambitious than the already radical '48 Tucker that was actually built. It included front fenders that were separate from the main bodywork and turned with the wheels, probably acting like giant rudders. It had a Tatra-like dorsal fin, odd little opening roof hatches, and Tucker's unusual (for the US) rear engine platform.
This Buick-based Tucker-inspired car retains its very conventional front V8/rear drive layout, and really is only Tucker-ized cosmetically. In fact, it's more like a body kit than anything else, since the fundamental body is still that big Riviera, even if it's heavily modified to resemble the Tucker, right down to the movable front wheel-pods, swivel front seats, and automatic roof-flaps.
The result isn't exactly successful, but I do sort of love its earnest lunacy. In one of the only known video interviews with the now-passed builder (the "Uncle" referred to in the ad — it's at 2:45 in the otherwise pretty awful video), the builder claims that the car was built using drawings from Tucker designer Alex Tremulis himself:
I sort of have trouble believing Tremulis would have looked at the result and said "Yep, that's what I was going for!" but maybe if the story's true, Tremulis was, you know, being a nice guy.
Clearly a lot of work went into the car, and the result certainly isn't boring. I'd drive this delightful freak around all day, happily. But I can't really say it's even remotely convincing as a Tucker prototype. That honor probably goes to the man who actually is building the prototype Tucker, Rob Ida.
Still, this crazy Buick knockoff Tucker is probably the next best thing, so bid away!