Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This Month in Tucker History

1947 - After working on the 589 engine for several months, an August 1947 engineering report deemed the cost for the starter would be prohibitive. The report also pointed out that the piston load was three times greater than that of any competitor’s engine.

1948 - After a rather difficult July, August 1948 seemed to hold some promise for Tucker Corporation and the fulfillment of Preston Tucker’s dream. Renowned automotive journalist and regular contributor to Mechanix Illustrated, Tom McCahill test-drives a Tucker ‘48 and writes a glowing review on the auto for the magazine. Work continues swiftly on the less expensive helicopter engine, the 335, with 91 units being delivered by Tucker Corporation’s newly acquired Aircooled Motors of Syracuse, NY.

The War Assets Administration awards a Cleveland blast furnace/steel plant to automaker Kaiser-Frazer even though Tucker Corporation’s sealed bid proves to be the highest. The second Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of Tucker Corporation officially ends.

1988 - The Tucker auto again captivates America’s interest in August of 1988 when the movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream is released nationwide. The Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather”) and George Lucas (“Star Wars”) production stars Jeff Bridges and his father, Lloyd.

The 1960 Charles Pearson book The Indomitable Tin Goose: The True Story of The Tucker Auto is re-released in paperback following the release of the movie.

1995 - August of 1995 finds the Tucker Automobile Club of America on the internet with a website created by member Chris Miller.

1996 - Larry Clark, automotive historian and TACA member, nominates Preston Tucker for induction in the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, MI.

2010 - The Tucker Automobile Club of America expands its internet presence even further with the introduction of a blog (Tucker Tribune) and a Facebook page.

Tucker No. 1045 sells for a (then) record $1,127,500 at auction in Monterey, CA on August 14, 2010, and is relocated to Melbourne, Australia, making it the fifth Tucker to be located overseas.

(Post credits: Jay Follis and Kit Fox)

Happy 2nd Anniversary, "Tucker Tribune"!

With this post (our 250th), the Tucker Tribune celebrates the end of its second year in cyberspace.  Thanks for your interest and support in "keeping the dream alive!"

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tucker Topics, Volume 40, No. 6

The latest issue of our award-winning printed newsletter, Tucker Topics, is arriving in mailboxes.  This month's issue prominently features an article about the acquisition and restoration of TACA's Tucker Replicar, which made its public debut at this year's convention in Auburn, IN.

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tucker No. 1033 on View in Paris, ME This Weekend

Tucker No. 1033
Tucker No. 1033 will be a part of a rare public display of the automobile collection of TACA members Robert & Sandra Bahre this Saturday, July 21st on the Village Green at historic Paris Hill in Paris, ME from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission is $10 for adults and $2 for children up to 12 years of age.  Paris, ME is located roughly 1-1/4 hours north of Portland, ME via I-95 and ME-26.

The display of the Bahre Collection is a part of the 34th annual Founder's Day, with proceeds benefiting the Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum. The library is named for Hannibal H. Hamlin, who served as Vice President during Abraham Lincoln's first presidential term (1861-1865).

(Post credit: Kit Fox and Hamlin Library website; photo credit: TACA website)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mystery Solved!

Thank you for joining us on our survey of the 4 missing Tucker 48s over the past few months.  If you ever come across any of the remains of Tucker Nos. 1018, 1023, 1027 or 1042, know that you are a witness to a very rare bit of American automotive history!

Thanks go out to Jay Follis, upon whose October 2010 Tucker Topics article this series was based.

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

TACA celebrates 236 years of American freedom!

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credit: Microsoft clip art)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

This Month in Tucker History

1946 - It was July of 1946 that Preston Tucker signed a lease agreement with the War Assets Administration (WAA) for the wartime Dodge B-29 engine plant on South Cicero Avenue in Chicago. Known as the largest and best equipped manufacturing plant in the world, it covered 484 acres with 22 buildings, the largest of those covering 84 acres by itself. The WAA agreement stated that Tucker Corporation would take possession if Tucker could raise $15 million by April 1947. An article in the July 25, 1946 issue of Business Week announced that Tucker moved in and took possession of Dodge Chicago plant.

1947 - July 1947 was a busy time for Tucker and those around him. Philip S. Egan, a member of the design team at J. Gordon Lippincott & Company, was hired as a full-time staff member of the Tucker Corporation working under Chief Stylist Alex Tremulis (Phil’s book, Tucker: Design & Destiny, on his Tucker experience, is a MUST read).

The deadline for the $500,000 payment by Tucker Corporation for its first year lease on the Chicago plant also came due during this month.

Max Garavito, president of the Tucker Export Corporation, met with officials of Aircooled Motors on the prospect of using the Franklin 335 helicopter engine in the Tucker if it could be converted to water-cooled.

Preston Tucker was still confident that company Vice-President and Chief Engineer (fuel injection specialist) Ben Parsons’ engine design would power his “Car of The Future.” Parsons, however, released a statement on the 28th of July saying that there would be “no fuel injection until the 589 engine is satisfactory.”

1948 - In mid-June 1948, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued subpoenas for all Tucker Corporation operating papers from as early as 1946, and effectively made it impossible for work to continue. Nearly 2,200 factory workers were laid off and the plant was closed. However, in July 1948, Preston Tucker rehired 300 workers and reopened the plant with a simple goal--complete assembly on as many Tucker automobiles as possible.

(Post credit: Jay Follis)

Friday, June 29, 2012

TACA Board Election Results

We are pleased to announce the following results from this year's TACA Board of Director elections:
  • President: Brent Morris
  • Vice President: Stephen Hofer
  • Secretary/Treasurer: John Schuler
  • Director: James Culver
The new TACA officers very much appreciate the past service of out-going officers Jay Follis, Joe Kahn and Bill Pommering, and thank all of the candidates who ran this year.

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Welcome to TACA Convention 2012!

The TACA Board of Directors welcomes you to our 2012 annual convention in Auburn, IN starting today, June 21st.  Your convention hosts - Brent Morris, Michael Leasor and John Schuler - hope that you have a great time over the next 3 days!

(Post credit: Kit Fox; image credit: City of Auburn website)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Seeking Special Correspondents for TACA Convention 2012

Your faithful blogger (Kit Fox) and TACA videographer Bud Harrington can't make it to this year's TACA convention, so we're calling upon attendees to serve as Special Correspondents.  Please forward still photos, videos and your personal notes and observations to us at tribune@tuckerclub.org for possible inclusion in upcoming blog posts and the Annual Convention DVD.  Also, feel free to post updates on the TACA Facebook pageHave a great time without us!

(Post credit: Kit Fox; image credit: Microsoft clip art)