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Tucker Tiger Tank (Tucker Armored Car)

4x2 Wheeled Armored Car

United States | 1938

"The Tucker Tiger Tank was only a tank in name, exhibiting qualities more akin to a 1930s-1940s armored car."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/18/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The armored car found its battlefield value in World War I (1914-1918) where it proved itself a useful scout, defender, and infantry support vehicle across various wheeled forms. The category would see renewed interest throughout the interwar period preceding World War II (1939-1945) where a bevy of designs would be utilized by all sides of the contest. In between these two grand conflicts, the "Tucker Tiger Tank" emerged from the mind of automobile mogul Preston Thomas Tucker who championed the idea of a fast-moving, well-armored and armed car-like solution to engage and defeat enemy forces.

The Tucker Tiger Tank, also known as the "Tucker Armored Car", was a largely conventional offering relying on a four-wheeled arrangement and powered by a single engine. Tucker joined with automobile designers Harry Miller and Wesley Casson on its development and the single prototype was ultimately completed by the American Armament Company of Rahway, New Jersey. Of particular note here was the company's history in producing gun turrets for combat aircraft which played well in design of the Tucker Tiger Tank's own turret.

Power came from a single Packard engine of 175 horsepower and this was seated at the bow in traditional fashion. The crew were all contained in the armored superstructure which exhibited angled facings as well as vision slits. At the rear of the cabin was a hinged rectangular door while the hull roof line was level from front-to-rear and stepped at the engine housing. One of the more interesting physical qualities of the car was its rear-mounted turret enclosure which was of laminated "bullet resistant" material 2.75 inches in thickness to help defeat rifle calibers of the day. This same enclosure was armed with a 37mm automatic cannon to present the vehicle's primary offensive solution as an anti-aircraft / anti-vehicle weapon. As it was, the enclosure was more reminiscent of an aircraft turret than the conventional turrets seen in contemporary armored cars.

Steel was used for armor protection all about the superstructure, reaching 14mm in thickness at more critical facings and this reduced to 7mm in other spots. With its armored housing and 175 horsepower engine, Tucker promoted the vehicle as having a road speed beyond 100 miles-per-hour, well above anything else that could be had at the time by any in-service Army vehicle of this class.

In the finalized production form, the car would carry additional armament in the form of a 0.50 caliber (12.7mm) Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) seated at the center of the hull (with a forward-firing arc) as well as a pair of 0.30 caliber (7.62mm) machine guns at the front hull corners to balance out the defensive and offensive scheme of the car.

The prototype was eventually reviewed by U.S. Army authorities at the famous Aberdeen Proving Grounds for the period of two weeks in late 1938. The car was driven to speeds nearing 75 miles-per-hour during this phase and had its bullet resistant turret assessed. In the end, the Army found little interest in the novel design, particularly as the car lacked true 4x4 capabilities which negated its value in soft terrain. After failing to secure any U.S. government contracts, the vehicle was promoted to the Dutch Army who also followed suit and went a different direction - leaving the sole completed prototype as the only material result of the Tucker Tiger Tank dream.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Tucker Armored Car 4x2 Wheeled Armored Car.
1 x Packard engine developing 175 horsepower to 4x2 all-wheeled arrangement.
Installed Power
115 mph
185 kph
Road Speed
The physical qualities of the Tucker Armored Car 4x2 Wheeled Armored Car.
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Tucker Tiger Tank (Tucker Armored Car) 4x2 Wheeled Armored Car.
1 x 37mm automatic cannon in traversing turret over rear of hull roof.
1 x 0.50 caliber Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) at center-hull (forward).
2 x 0.30 caliber machine guns at front hull corners.
Not Available.
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the Tucker Tiger Tank (Tucker Armored Car) family line.
Tucker Tiger Tank - Base Series Name.
Tucker Armored Car - Alternative Name.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Tucker Tiger Tank (Tucker Armored Car). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): American Armament Company / Preston Thomas Tucker - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (evaluated, cancelled) ]
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Image of the Tucker Tiger Tank (Tucker Armored Car)
Image from the Public Domain.

Going Further...
The Tucker Tiger Tank (Tucker Armored Car) 4x2 Wheeled Armored Car appears in the following collections:
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