2. Tucker Torpedo Story
Although most people know the sad story of the Tucker Torpedo, it’s worth telling it again. The greatest “what if” story in history is the saga about Preston Tucker and his brainchild he called the Torpedo. There are numerous books and movies about this maverick entrepreneur and his vision of an advanced family sedan. They talk about his quest for improvement and the conspiracy against him and his company.
Preston established the Tucker car company in the late ’40s. He soon presented a fully functioning prototype that made the rest of the cars from Detroit look terribly outdated. The Tucker Torpedo featured numerous innovations, including safety glass and a central headlight that followed the movement of the steering wheel. It also had a roomy interior and an engine in the back with lots of power and torque.
The Tucker Torpedo was so advanced that The Big Three – Chrysler, Ford, and GM – were afraid it would cripple their market share. So, while Tucker prepared for full-scale production, they prepared to set him up with a lawsuit to stop the production and sink the company. Chrysler, Ford and GM even managed to forbid Tucker to buy steel and machines for his company, stopping the construction of their early prototypes. Unfortunately, The Big Three were successful, so Tucker only built between 48 and 51 of his fantastic Torpedos.