One hundred thousand dollars. That’s a lot of dollars. That’s a pile of dollars so vast that if you really wanted something exotic and interesting, like an air-cooled, rear-engined V8 car with dramatic, bulbous styling you could buy one and still have like $30,000 left over. Or, you could do what the winner of this Bring A Trailer auction did and spend the entire amount on a non-drivable but full-size model of an air-cooled, rear-engined flat-six car with dramatic, bulbous styling that barely has an interior and is made of foam slapped on an old Ford LTD chassis. If you took that route, I think you might be kind of a chump.
Yes, someone spent $100,000 to buy a prop Tucker Model 48 used in the 1988 movie Tucker: A Man and His Dream. Now, I love Tuckers, and a full-size movie prop car is cool, but is this thing worth $100 grand?
There’s currently 47 known surviving Tuckers of the 51 built in the world, and, of course, they’re all extremely valuable. A well-built Tucker reproduction would be worth a lot as well—in fact, some have been built, and they’re worth a lot of money—less than the millions original Tuckers go for, but more than the $100,000 paid for this one.
So, in that context, maybe the $100,000 for this is worth it?
I mean, maybe from 20 feet away it seems like it could make sense—it looks pretty good, right?
Nice! Looks like a Tucker! The closer you get, though, the magic starts to wear off:
Okay, not great, but hey, who’s perfect?
And, uh, why do those windows look so, um, opaque? Should we look inside?
Oh, shit. Uhh. Oh man.
Yeah, this is very much a prop. It’s fiberglass and foam, there’s no drivetrain, and while this plaque calls it a “movie prop vehicle”
... I think “vehicle” could be left off of that, as it’s really just a prop. A vehicle would imply you could drive it, which you definitely can’t.
I get that this thing has some value, and would be great for a museum or massive diorama or as a fun prop for your harem of highly-realistic sex dolls, but for $100,000 I just can’t see it.
You could get a fully running Tatra 603 for less money, and that’s arguably the closest production analogue to the Tucker—hell, one of those sold on Bring A Trailer last year for only $33,250, in fantastic condition.
I bet you could commission a decent reproduction with a fiberglass body but actually drivable for around $100,000 if you really wanted to—it wouldn’t be perfect, like those really high-end reproductions are, but at least it would have an interior that didn’t look like the aftermath of a mattress store fire.
I bet you could even commission a sculpture of a Tucker for $100,000 or less and that could be made far more visually interesting than this fiberglass tub dropped onto the bones of an LTD.
I guess if you’ve got the money and the desire, enjoy your immobile fake Tucker in good health. But even with the movie-prop provenance, I can’t help but find this thing, at this price, kind of baffling.
I wonder if this buyer maybe just has a thing for this sort of artificiality, and spends their days attempting to eat the fake food seen in display cases at restaurants.
Anyway, whoever you are, enjoy your $100,000 fake car.