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Tucker Tiger Tank (Tucker Armored Car)

4x2 Wheeled Armored Car [ 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.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States

Development Ended.

American Armament Company / Preston Thomas Tucker - USA
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the United States United States (evaluated, cancelled)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Anti-Aircraft / Airspace Denial
Base model or variant can be used to search, track, and neutralize airborne elements at range.
Anti-Tank / Anti-Armor
Base model or variant can be used to track, engage, and defeat armored enemy elements at range.
Infantry Support
Support allied ground forces through weapons, inherent capabilities, and / or onboard systems.
Armored Car
Design, of typically lightweight nature, providing onroad/offroad capabilities for the scouting or general security roles.
Engage armored vehicles of similar form and function.
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.
Special Purpose
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.

Wheeled Arrangement
Wheeled arrangement gives this system an inherent road-running capability, enhancing mobility.
Primary Turret
A modern tank quality, this vehicle sports its main armament in a single turret.
Traversable Main Armament
Armament is situated in a traversing component, allowing for all-around engagement of enemy threats.
Cross-Country Capability
Design includes such features as a track-link system or high ground clearance to better traverse offroad.
Angled Armor
Angled armor at key facings adds inherent ballistics protection to the vehicle.
Shallow Glacis
The shallow design of the glacis plate provides the vehicle with inherent ballistics protection as well as contributes to a lower overall profile - making it more difficult to disable.
Anti-Aircraft / Air-Defense Capable
System is given an anti-aircraft defense component to protect itself from low-flying aerial threats at range.
Vehicle features an in-built anti-infantry capability for local defense of the vehicle or general troop suppression.
Vehicle's proven running gear and overall makeup lends itself well to fulfill other battlefield roles by way of specialized designs.

Powerplant: 1 x Packard engine developing 175 horsepower to 4x2 all-wheeled arrangement.
115.0 mph
(185.0 kph)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Tucker Armored Car production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
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.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank automatic cannon
Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of a tank heavy machine gun

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Not Available.

Tucker Tiger Tank - Base Series Name.
Tucker Armored Car - Alternative Name.

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Image of the Tucker Tiger Tank (Tucker Armored Car)
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