Friday, December 23, 2011

Vote on our Poll!

Since this blog started in August 2010, we've been polling visitors about how many Tucker 48s they've seen.  Our poll will close on New Year's Eve, so if you haven't already done so, enter your answer now.  You'll find the poll at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.  We'll post the final results in a couple of weeks.

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Tucker No. 1043 Auction Preview






In less than a month, Tucker No. 1043 will be crossing the Barrett-Jackson auction block in Scottsdale, AZ.  Here are a few photos to whet your appetite.

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credits: Barrett-Jackson website)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Tucker Abroad: No. 1049

Tucker No. 1049
The final stamp in the passport for our tour of ex-patriate Tucker '48s will be in the United Kingdom.  Tucker No. 1049 was relocated to Old Oxted, Surrey, England in 2007 after an extensive restoration in Southern California.  Owner John Jackson has created a website dedicated to No. 1049 (http://www.tuckertorpedo49.com/), which includes many photographs and other information about the car.

Before traveling "across the pond," No. 1049 passed through the hands of several prominent American Tucker '48 collectors, including Bob Bahre, Dewey Bloomquist, Nick Jenin and Gene Zimmerman.  In its new home, No. 1049 promptly won rave reviews at several car shows in and around London in 2008.

(Post credit; Kit Fox, TACA message board and www.TuckerTorpedo49.com; photo credit: TACA website)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Incredible Story of Tucker No. 1008 in Hemmings Blog


The incredible story of Tucker No. 1008 is posted in today's Hemmings BlogCheck it out!

(Post credit: Kit Fox and Eric Breslow; photo credit: Hemmings Blog)

This Month in Tucker History

1946 - The January 1946 issue of PIC Magazine featured a story by Charles T. Pearson, a freelance automotive reporter, about the revolutionary “Tucker Torpedo” automobile on the drawing board. But it was the December 1946 “Tucker Torpedo” story in Science Illustrated that gave many their first look at Preston Tucker’s dream car and a real sense he was serious. A photo showed the George Lawson designed “Torpedo On Wheels” that looked “more like a Buck Rogers Special” than any auto of its day.

1946 - Just two days after Christmas 1946, and within days of seeing the story, automotive designer Alex Tremulis called Preston Tucker and asked for an interview. They met the very next day for a 15-minute meeting that turns into three hours, and ends with Alex landing a styling consultant contract for his employer, the design firm of Tammen and Denison of Chicago. On New Year’s Eve, just four days later, Alex had already finished several drawings and presents them to Preston Tucker. This meeting lost Tammen and Denison the Tucker contract as Preston hired Alex outright and appointed him Tucker Corporation Styling Chief.

1947 - By December 1947, all in-house work on the “Tucker 589” engine was canceled as the results proved to be “completely unsatisfactory” and the company began exploring other engine options with outside firms. Contracts were signed with Hoffman Motor Development Company of Detroit, MI, who would build six engines, as well as with Ex-Cello-O Fuel Injection Systems, who proposed adapting a Jacobs Aircraft Engine for use in the Tucker. The Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Company, owned by Preston’s mother, pursued yet another engine. The Ypsi group worked on converting four Aircooled Motors-built “Franklin 335” helicopter engines purchased from Bell Aircraft from air-cooled to water-cooled. In the end, these projects paid off well and they found the engine to power the new Tucker ’48 – the converted Franklin 335.

1956 - The month of December also marks great sadness in Tucker history and we mourn the loss of four true pioneers. On the day after Christmas 1956, Preston Tucker passed away of lung cancer. Stylist Alex Tremulis passed away in December 1991, followed by the death of Tucker interior stylist Audrey Moore-Hodges five years later in December 1996, and Tucker design team member Philip Egan in December 2008.

(Post credit: Jay Follis)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Margie Petersen, 1935 - 2011

Robert & Margie Petersen
The Los Angeles Times reports the passing of Margie Petersen on November 25th in Beverly Hills, CA.  Margie and her husband, Robert, were Los Angeles-area philanthropists whose many cultural contributions included the creation of the Petersen Automotive Museum, which is the home of Tucker No. 1030Robert Petersen passed away in 2007 at the age of 80.

(Post credit: Kit Fox and LATimes.com; photo credit: LATimes.com)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Out & About with Tucker No. 1017

Tucker No. 1017 at the Winter Park Concours d'Elegance
Eileen Carpenter reports that Tucker No. 1017 had the honor of appearing in Trophy Row at the Concours d'Elegance in Winter Park, FL this past Sunday, November 6th.  This is the second recent appearance of No. 1017 in the Sunshine State.

(Post credit: Kit Fox and Eileen Carpenter; photo credit: Eileen Carpenter)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Boyd's Crystal Art Glass Tucker Now Available

Boyd's Crystal Art Glass Tucker
in Cobaline Green
Boyd's Crystal Art Glass of Cambridge, OH has recently released a new Tucker figurine in a color they call Cobaline Green.  Click here to order yours today!

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credit: Boyd's Crystal Art Glass website)

A Tucker Abroad: No. 1045

Tucker No. 1045
Tucker No. 1045 has emigrated only recently from the shores of its American homeland to its new home "down under" near Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Until 2009, No. 1045's most-recent owner was John M. O'Quinn of Houston, TX, and it was the crown jewel of his private museum, O'Quinn's Classy Classic Cars.  Mr. O'Quinn was reportedly a very flamboyant trial attorney who represented plaintiffs in Texas lawsuits against tobacco companies and other high-profile cases.  Tragically, Mr. O'Quinn perished in an automobile accident in October 2009.  Previously, No. 1045 had been owned by Nick Jenin and a succession of other owners.

After Mr. O'Quinn's passing, No. 1045 eventually came into the possession of RM Auctions, which offered it at the annual Monterey, CA auction in August 2010.  The car earned a record auction price of $1,127,500 (including fees).  The lucky winner promptly shipped No. 1045 (now affectionately know as "Tuckeroo") to his home near Melbourne.  Shortly after arriving, however, Tuckeroo made a huge splash in its inaugural appearance at the Motoclassica car show in October 2010.  It has subsequently been featured in a video hosted and produced by TACA member Brendan Edgerton and has appeared at other car shows around Australia.

(Post credit: Kit Fox, TACA message board, Brendan Edgerton; photo credit: TACA website)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This Month in Tucker History

1946 - It was in November of 1946 that articles detailing concepts for the “Car of the Future” appeared on newsstands in both Mechanics Illustrated and Popular Mechanics magazines. A year later in November 1947, the Tucker Corporation was well on its way to bringing the Tucker ’48 to the car-hungry public.

1947 - The company launched a national advertising campaign featuring full-page (or two-page) ads in Colliers, Saturday Evening Post, Life, The New Yorker and Time magazines. Its ten-year lease of the former Dodge Chicago plant formerly began and the company was awarded six different patents. The day after the failed testing of the 589 engine, Tucker Corporation contracted with Hoffman Motor Development Company of Detroit, MI to build six engines. In the arrangement, Borg Warner Corporation would also develop three experimental transmissions for Tucker. The development of each would end just four months later when the Aircooled Motors 335 engine was selected to power the Tucker ’48.

1948 - By November of 1948, Tucker Corporation sees the value of its stock fall to an all-time low and suspends plant operations. In less than a year, criminal indictments are issued against Preston Tucker and seven associates, and a trial begins in October of 1949. By the following January all defendants in the case are found NOT GUILTY.

(Post credit: Jay Follis)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tucker No. 1017 Wins "Best of Show"

Tucker No. 1017 at the
Lake Mirror Concours d'Elegance

Eileen and Keith Carpenter, the proud owners of Tucker No. 1017, report that they won "Best of Show" at the Lake Mirror Concours d'Elegance in Lakeland, FL this past Saturday, October 15th.  Congratulations, Eileen and Keith, and safe travels back home to Colorado with No. 1017!

(Post credit: Kit Fox and Eileen Carpenter; photo credit: Eileen Carpenter)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Tucker Abroad: No. 1035

Tucker No. 1035
Tucker No. 1035 has had a long, strange and sad history--but one which may ultimately have a happy ending.  It started in December 1948 when No. 1035 was shipped to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to the first Tucker dealer in Brazil, Jaime Gantmanis.

Over the years, the car changed hands several times, eventually coming into the possession of Roberto Eduardo Lee in 1962.  The car had also been extensively modified, including the interior, chassis and drivetrain.  Tragically, Roberto Lee died in 1975, beginning a legal battle among his heirs that lasted more than 35 years.  No. 1035 and the rest of Lee's collection sat deteriorating and vandalized while the legal battles dragged on.  By early 2011,  however, the city of Cacapava, Brazil (which owns the building that housed Lee's Museu Paulista do Antiguidades Mecanicas) took possession of No. 1035 and the rest of  Lee's collection and relocated them all to a more secure location.  We understand that the city and Brazilian Tucker fans would like to try to restore No. 1035, and we wish them well in that effort.

(Post credit: Jay Follis, Kit Fox and TACA message board; photo credit: TACA website) 


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tucker No. 1045 at the Australian National Show & Shine

Tony Decinque informs us that Tucker No. 1045 was on display at the Australian National Show & Shine in Euroa, Victoria, Australia over the past weekend.  See more photos from the event on the TACA Facebook page.

(Post and photo credits: Tony Decinque)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

This Month in Tucker History

1946 - In October of 1946, the National Housing Agency (NHA) awarded the Lustron Corporation, an upstart company ready to build pre-fab steel housing, a lease on the gigantic Dodge Chicago plant. However, five weeks earlier, the War Assets Administration had signed an agreement with Preston Tucker awarding him a lease on the same factory. In response to protest by Tucker, the NHA's Office of Housing Expediter issued a press release stating that "Tucker had refused to allow Lustron joint occupancy and therefore the plant was awarded to Lustron." The press release also stated that "other options" had been explored, such as either company using other war surplus plants in Chicago or even the Curtiss-Wright Plant in Lockland, OH.

1947 - Nearly a year later, in September of 1947, the court ruled on behalf of the Tucker Corporation, stating that the agreement between Tucker Corporation and the War Assets Administration was, in fact, valid. In October of 1947, Tucker Corporation placed a winning bid with the War Assets Administration for the Granite City blast furnace at $2,751,000, only to have it awarded to lower bidder.

1948 - The nearly three-week-long testing of seven Tucker cars on the famed "Brickyard" of the Indy 500 Speedway was completed in October of 1948. One car, serial #1027, rolled over several times during a high speed crash on the track. The car appeared to be heavily damaged, yet the safety windshield had popped out just as planned and the driver, unhurt during the incident, was able to drive the car away.

1949 - October of 1949 proved to be one of the more difficult months for Preston Tucker and Tucker Corporation, as the fraud trial against Tucker and others began in Federal Court. By January of 1950, Preston Tucker and all the other defendants were acquitted on all charges, which included mail fraud, conspiracy, and several Securities and Exchange Commission infractions.

1950 - The final public auction of Tucker Corporation assets took place in October of 1950 at the Chicago Tucker plant grounds. Just days before, during the legal deposition of a news reporter, it was indicated that the SEC had illegally leaked information about Tucker investigation to the press prior to the SEC taking any action. The damage, however, had already been done, and the twenty-two Tucker cars on site, thirteen without transmissions, and the thirty-two Franklin Aircooled engines, were sold at auction. One car located in New York, a test chassis, several parts and various all non-Tucker company vehicles were sold by Samuel Winternitz & Company at a reported a $47,990.00--just pennies on the dollar.

1993 - It wasn't until October of 1993, following the very successful lobbying effort by the Tucker Automobile Club of America, that the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, considered the "nation's museum," added a Tucker to its collection. The United States Marshals' Service donated Tucker #1039, which car had been seized in 1992 by the Drug Enforcement Administration following a narcotics investigation, to the museum rather than sending it to the auction block.

2000 - The 1988 Francis Ford Coppola/George Lucas film, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, was released on DVD in October of 2000. This much-anticipated version featured an original 1948 company promotional film and included several bonus features, such as interviews and a "making of" the film featurette.

(Post credit: Jay Follis)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Interesting Tucker Ephemera

TACA Facebook fan Charlie Lecach has recently shared a couple of rare and unusual items of Tucker ephemera that we thought we'd pass along to blog readers.  Enjoy!

The "cut-away" illustration on the cover of this
French magazine from 1948 depicts the 589 engine
and the flat-bottomed steering wheel.

This reader contest was published in the
May 1954 issue of Rod & Custom magazine
(Post and image credits: Charlie Lecach)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tucker No. 1043 to be Auctioned at Scottsdale, AZ in January 2012

Tucker No. 1043
We understand that Tucker No. 1043--which appeared (briefly) in an episode of the short-lived NBC game show "It's Worth What?" over the summer--is expected to cross the Barrett Jackson auction block in Scottsdale, AZ next January.  We'll keep you posted as we hear more details.

(Post credit: TACA message board; photo credit: TACA website)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Preston Tucker!

Preston Tucker
(1903-1956)



Preston Thomas Tucker was born 108 years ago today--and the automotive world has never been the same since! Read more about Preston Tucker on the TACA website and on Wikipedia.

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Tucker Abroad: No. 1020

Tucker No. 1020
Tucker No. 1020 is the second Tucker '48 located in Japan, but not a lot is known about it. We understand that it's owned by Shoujirou Hani, president of the Hani Corporation in Kagoshima, Japan.  The photo to the right was taken before No. 1020 was purportedly re-painted in its original maroon color in 2004.  We understand that Mr. Hani also owns one of the Ida Automotive Tucker replicas.  A soft-cover book of photos of the Hani Classic Car Collection bears a photo of the Tucker replica on its cover.

(Source: TACA message board)

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credit: TACA website)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Last Week to See Tucker No. 1007 On Display in Portland, OR

Tucker No. 1007
As we reported earlier this summer, Tucker No. 1007 has been on loan to the Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR as a part of the exhibition, The Allure of the Automobile.  The exhibition closes on Sunday, September 11th, after which No. 1007 will be returning to its home at the LeMay Museum in Tacoma, WA.

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credit: TACA website)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This Month in Tucker History

1903 - On September 21, 1903, Preston Thomas Tucker is born on a peppermint farm near Capac, MI.

1947 - It was September 12, 1947 that the court ruled on behalf of the Tucker Corporation. The agreement Tucker was able to reach with the War Assets Administration requiring an initial payment of $15,000,000 to lease the Chicago plant was ruled valid. Tucker gained formal control of the former Dodge B-29 engine plant and showed $15,007,000 had been raised by the sale of stock, yet both came six months behind schedule due to court delays.

September 1947 also saw the resignation of Tucker Corporation Board Chairman, Harry Toulmin, who cited “Preston Tucker’s hard sell tactics” as his reason for leaving.

While a lawsuit by Tucker stockholders asked the court for receivership of the corporation, in September 1947 six Tucker cars began testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway—the famous “Brickyard,” best known for the Indy 500 race.

1949 - The September 1949 issue of Reader's Digest carried a reprint of the June Collier’s article that had attacked Tucker and called the car a fraud. Bad press seemed to snowball and, on the 22nd, a reorganization hearing was held on Tucker Corporation. One year later, Preston Tucker and Corporation, now acquitted of all charges, sued the publishers of both Collier’s and Reader’s Digest for damages totaling $19 million.

2000 - The Tucker Historical Collection and Library (HCL), the Tucker Automobile Club of America’s archive collection and exhibit, was established on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum located in Hickory Corners, MI. The display features a recreated 1948 office, reminiscent of what one may have found at Tucker Corporation, along with Tucker #1047. On September 30, 2000, Mary Lee Tucker-McAndrew proudly dedicated this new venture in the memory of her parents—Preston and Vera Tucker.

(Post credit: Jay Follis)

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Location for Stahl's Automotive Foundation

Tucker No. 1015
According to its website, Stahl's Automotive Foundation has relocated from St. Clair Shores, MI to nearby Chesterfield, MI.  The new address is 56516 N. Bay Dr., Chesterfield, MI 48051.  Stahl's is the proud owner of recently-restored Tucker No. 1015, which won "Best in Class" at the 2011 Concours d'Elegance of America.

(Post credit: Stahl's Automotive Foundation website and Kit Fox; photo credit: TACA website)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tucker Memorabilia on an Upcoming Episode of A&E's "Storage Wars"

We understand from TACA member (and owner of Tucker No. 1031) Eric Breslow that he'll be appearing in an upcoming episode of A&E's "Storage Wars."  Eric will be providing his assessment of the value of some Tucker memorabilia.  The episode, filmed at the Breslow Collection with No. 1031 in the background, is slated to air in about 8 weeks; we'll post more information once we know the actual air date.

(Post credit: Eric Breslow and Kit Fox)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tucker No. 1015 Wins at the Concours d'Elegance of America

Tucker No. 1015 at the 2011 Concours d'Elegance of America
The culmination of the extensive and painstaking restoration of Tucker No. 1015 was its "Best in Class" win at last weekend's Concours d'Elegance of America in Plymouth, MI.  Stahl's Automotive Foundation of St. Clair Shores, MI is the owner of No. 1015; it was restored by Classic & Exotic Service, Inc. of Troy, MI.  Click here for a Detroit News article about the Concours.

(Post credit: TACA message board; photo credit: The Detroit News website)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Tucker Abroad: No. 1004

Tucker No. 1004
We begin our new feature series, Tuckers Abroad, with the story of Tucker No. 1004.  Readers of this blog may recall that Tucker Road Trip, Day 3 featured a visit to No. 1004 at the Toyota Automobile Museum in Japan.  This is the only expatriate Tucker '48 that is currently on public display.

Tucker No. 1004 is among the cars that was featured in 1988's Tucker: The Man and His Dream.  We believe that, after leaving the ownership of Ray Burton and passing through the hands of Happy Auto Access of Las Vegas, NV, it ended up at the Toyota Museum.  For some reason, No. 1004 has not previously appeared on any list of vehicles in the museum's possession, but does now show up on that list and visitors have reported that the car is there. We're also happy to report that No. 1004 was apparently not damaged during this year's catastrophic Japanese earthquake.

(Sources:.TACA message board and Toyota Automobile Museum website)

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credit: TACA website)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Joe Merola's No. 12 Tucker Stock Car

I was cleaning out my Tucker Tribune in-box and came across these photos of Joe Merola's No. 12 Tucker "stock car," recently submitted by blog viewer Tom Merola.  Feel free to comment on this post if you know anything about these photos.  Thanks, Tom, for allowing me to share these!





(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credits: Tom Merola)

Monday, August 1, 2011

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 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)

"Tucker Tribune" Blog Celebrates its First Anniversary

With this, our 150th post, the Tucker Tribune celebrates its first year in cyberspace today.  Thanks for your interest and support in "keeping the dream alive!"

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

2011 Midwest Tucker Mini-Meet

Sleep Inn, Elkhart, IN
Hosts Bev & Earl Bowe have announced details of this year's Mini-Meet, to be held in Elkhart, IN from September 30th to October 2nd.  The host hotel will be the Sleep Inn, which is located at 220 Caravan Dr., Elkhart, IN 46514.  The special $62.99/night group rate for the Tucker Automobile Club of America is available until September 9th by calling the hotel directly at (574) 206-8290.  Bev & Earl will be greeting attendees at the host hotel beginning at about 2:00 PM on Friday, September 30th.  Friday night will be set aside for meeting, "talking Tucker" and visiting a local restaurant for dinner.

Studebaker Museum, South Bend, IN
After breakfast on Saturday, October 1st, the plan is to visit the Studebaker Museum in nearby South Bend, IN.  For those who can extend their stay over Saturday night, the next stop will be the LaPorte County Historical Society & Museum in LaPorte, IN to see Tucker No. 1012 before returning to the host hotel later that afternoon.  The Mini-Meet will conclude with breakfast on Sunday, October 2nd.

Tucker No. 1012
Bev & Earl are hoping to make this one of the largest Mini-Meets we've ever had (isn't that sort of an oxymoron?), and are encouraging everyone to try to attend.  You can reach them at (574) 264-5020 (home) or (574) 536-7407 (mobile) if you have questions.

UPDATE 8/13/11 8:30 PM: The annual TACA Business Meeting and Board of Director's Meeting will be held during the Mini-Meet on Saturday evening, October 1st.

(Post credits: Bev & Earl Bowe and Kit Fox; photo credits: Sleep Inn, Studebaker Museum and TACA websites) 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tucker Topics, Volume 39, No. 6

The latest (slightly delayed) issue of Tucker Topics includes remembrances of long-time TACA member and former Tucker Corporation employee Bill Whipple, who passed away in May.  There's also another installment of Natalie Kochmar's The eXperimental Garage with an interview of author Arvid Linde, whose latest book is Preston Tucker & Others: Tales of Brilliant Automotive Innovators and Innovations.

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tucker No. 1043 to Appear on NBC's "It's Worth What?"

Tucker No. 1043
We understand that Tucker No. 1043 will be appearing in tonight's episode of NBC's latest primetime game show, "It's Worth What?".  Click here for a video preview in which No. 1043 (briefly) appears.
 
(Post credit: Joe Kahn; photo credit: TACA website)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Interview with Francis Ford Coppola

We thought we'd share with you this 2003 radio interview with Francis Ford Coppola from KCRW's The Treatment.  Coppola candidly discusses his film career with host Elvis Mitchell, including 1988's Tucker: The Man and His Dream.  Did you know that Coppola originally planned for Tucker to be a musical, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph GreenGive it a listen!

(Post credit: Kit Fox; audio credit: KCRW)

Tucker No. 1033 on Display 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 16th 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 33rd 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)

Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Midwest Tucker Mini-Meet Preview

Studebaker Avanti
Tucker No. 1012
We understand that plans are underway for this year's Midwest Tucker Mini-Meet to convene in Elkhart, IN, from September 30th through October 2nd.  The highlights are expected to be visits to the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, IN, as well as to see Tucker No. 1012 at the La Porte County Historical Society Museum in nearby La Porte, INKeep checking back to this blog for more details in the coming weeks and months.

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credit: Studebaker National Museum and TACA websites)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Video Highlights of Tucker Day 2011

Tucker No. 1003 on the move
Tucker No. 1003 drive-by
Tucker No. 1031 comes out to play
Tucker "drag race"

We're pleased to share these video clips of Tucker Day 2011 at the Breslow Collection in Northridge, CA.

(Post and video credits: Kit Fox)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuckers Abroad

With apologies to Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad, we'd like to undertake a brief survey of the Tucker '48s known to have left the United States for foreign shores.  Beginning next month, we'll begin a new feature series in this blog: Tuckers Abroad.  We hope to share with you some of the history of these expatriate Tuckers, including how they came to travel overseas (and how they're faring today).  See you next month!

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

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

TACA celebrates 235 years of American freedom!

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

Friday, July 1, 2011

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 and is available at http://www.tuckerclub.org/).

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)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tucker No. 1007 on Loan to the Portland Art Museum

Tucker No. 1007
Tucker No. 1007--normally on display at the LeMay Museum in Tacoma, WA--is on loan to the Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR through September 11th.  The museum is hosting The Allure of the Automobile, a special exhibition that attendees at last year's TACA convention in Atlanta, GA saw at the High Museum.

Tucker No. 1034
Tucker No. 1007 is "filling in" for Tucker No. 1034 from the Cofer Collection of Tucker, GA, which appeared in the "original cast" of this exhibition in 2010.  If you're in the Portland, OR area this summer, be sure to go see this beautiful exhibition!

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credits: TACA website)

Thanks and So Long Until Next Year!

We hope that all attendees at TACA Convention 2011, California Dreamin', had a wonderful time (and we hope that those of you following us through this blog had a few vicarious thrills, too).  After breakfast this morning, we'll be heading our separate ways, but we'll have great memories to savor and share.  Thanks for those memories (do I hear a song?) go to convention host Martyn Donaldson and to all the TACA Officers and Directors who assisted in convention planning.  We'd also like to acknowledge:
  • Everyone who contributed items to the TACA Education Fund auction;
  • All of the Tucker owners who attended, including J.R. Roberts (No. 1003), Keith and Eileen Carpenter (No. 1017), Eric Breslow (No. 1031), Tony Decinque (No. 1045) and John Schuler (No. 1052);
  • The beautiful and generous venues who hosted us, including the Reagan Presidential Library, the Petersen Automotive Museum, the Nethercutt Museum & Collection, the Breslow Collection; and the Hilton Garden Inn Valencia Six Flags; and,
  • The members of the Tucker family, who shared their stories with us.
Keep watching this blog for news of the upcoming 2011 Midwest Tucker Mini-Meet in the fall, and for TACA Convention 2012 next year.  We wish you all safe travels home!

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tucker Family Shares Memories at TACA Banquet


This year, we were especially honored to have many members of the extended Tucker family in attendance at our annual TACA banquet.  They shared stories and home movies of Preston and Vera Tucker and their children, and spoke of the family legacy that Preston left behind.  We were also excited to see original drawings prepared under Preston's direction for the vehicles that he had planned to build in Brazil, including the Carioca.

(Post and photo credits: Kit Fox)

TACA Congratulates New Board Members

The Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc., is pleased to announce that Dr. Larry Clark and Michael Leasor were elected to 3-year terms on the Board of Directors in the recently-concluded election.  Election results were formally announced at the annual TACA banquet this evening.  Larry and Michael will each serve until 2014.  We thank all of the candidates and everyone who cast a ballot for participating in this year's election.

(Post credit: TACA Officers and Board of Directors)

Tucker Day 2011

Tucker Day 2011 was a resounding success!  After viewing our first Tucker of the convention (No. 1030) at the Petersen Automotive Museum yesterday, we saw three (and a half) more Tucker '48s today!

First up was Tucker No. 1040, which we saw at the Nethercutt Museum in nearby Sylmar, CA.  Museum staff "dropped the ropes" so we could get a rare, up-close view of No. 1040.  We understand that the Nethercutt is planning a complete restoration of the car in the near future.  After an hour or so on our own at the museum, we went across the street for a guided tour of the spectacular Nethercutt Collection.  In addition to more beautiful cars displayed in the ornate Grand Salon, the collection also includes an amazing display of "functional art," including music boxes, antique furniture and an immense Wurlitzer pipe organ.  Even more amazing, the Nethercutt--owned by the heirs to the Merle Norman cosmetics empire--is open free to the public!

Tucker Day 2011 then continued to the Breslow Collection in Northridge, CA.  There we saw two complete Tucker '48s: No. 1003 and No. 1031.  We also had John Schuler's "work-in-progress" Tucker No. 1052 on display.  After a tasty BBQ lunch provided by Eric Breslow, he and J.R. Roberts (owner of No. 1003) treated us to a rare--and perhaps historic--"drag race" between No. 1003 and No. 1031 in the parking lot.  In addition, several members of the Tucker family were in attendance and took rides in both cars, as did many TACA members.  It was definitely an afternoon that none of us who were there will soon forget.

(PS - Check the TACA Facebook page for video of today's Tuckers in motion)

(Post and photo credits: Kit Fox)

Friday, June 24, 2011

TACA Education Fund Auction Highlights

The highlights of this year's fundraising auction for the TACA Education Fund included a chance to ride in and drive Tucker No. 1031 and a Tucker deck lid emblem.  Over $800 was raised this evening, thanks to the generous donations of Deb Hull, Eric Breslow, Ed Way, Walter Ready, Michael Schutta and Archie Archambault.

We also understand that some excellent deals were negotiated at the Show, Sale & Swap before the auction.  We hope that all buyers, sellers and bidders walked away pleased this evening.  See you tomorrow morning for "Tucker Day 2011"!

(Post and photo credits: Kit Fox)

Hooray for Hollywood!

After a hearty (and free) breakfast at the hotel this morning, we headed out for a day of sightseeing for the first full day of TACA Convention 2011.  Our first stop was the Reagan Presidential Library in nearby Simi Valley, CA,  The self-guided tour included several vintage vehicles from the presidential fleet, including a Boeing 707 that served at Air Force One during the Reagan administration (1981-1989).  Attendees were served a box lunch, which we enjoyed on our motorcoach en route to our next stop, the Petersen Automotive Museum.

The Petersen is located in the "Miracle Mile" district of Los Angeles, CA, occupying a renovated former department store and surrounded by several other museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Petersen staff had graciously moved Tucker No. 1030 to a more prominent (and photogenic) location for our visit.  Tucker No. 1030 was one of the first acquisitions of the museum after its founding in 1994.  We also toured the museum's latest featured exhibits: "Scooters: Size Doesn't Always Matter" and "Supercars: When Too Much is Almost Enough."

We then bade "good bye" to the Petersen and boarded our motorcoach for a whirlwind tour of the sights of nearby Hollywood, CA.  Highlights included the HOLLYWOOD sign, Graumann's Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex, home of the annual Academy Awards ceremony and American Idol broadcasts.  Returning to the hotel late this afternoon, we had a couple of hours for a nap, a dip in the pool and a quick meal before this evening's festivities.

(PS - See the TACA Facebook page for more convention photos)

(Post and photo credits: Kit Fox)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome to Valencia, CA

Tucker fans have begun to arrive at the Hilton Garden Inn Valencia Six Flags for California Dreamin'.  The weather is sunny and a balmy 92° (but with much lower humidity than last year in Atlanta!).  It promises to be a beautiful, Southern California weekend for exploring the Los Angeles area, re-connecting with old friends and generally "talking Tucker."

After checking in (and checking out who else is here), attendees will be on their own for dinner tonight.  However, we'll be on the road early tomorrow for a Hollywood sightseeing tour, with stops scheduled along the way at the Petersen Automotive Museum (home of Tucker No. 1030) and the Reagan Presidential LibraryGet a good night's sleep!

(Post and photo credits: Kit Fox)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Join Us for TACA Convention 2011 This Week!

Even if you can't make it to Los Angeles later this week for California Dreamin', you can follow the exciting goings-on on our blog and Facebook page.  Check in with your faithful blogger beginning this Thursday, June 23rd!

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Happy Father's Day!


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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tucker Road Trip Epilogue

Thanks for joining us on our 10-month virtual tour of Tuckers on public display.  We hope that this series inspires you to visit and support the museums and other venues that display Tuckers.  If you're not already a member of the Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc., why not join us by clicking here?  Also, if you have any comments, suggestions, updates or corrections to report about this series, please contact us at Tribune@TuckerClub.org.  Thanks!

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tucker No. 1016 Temporarily Removed from Display

Tucker No. 1016
We understand from a recent post on the TACA website message board that Tucker No. 1016 has been temporarily removed from display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.  It is expected to return some time in 2012, according to museum staff.  We'll keep you posted about the fate of No. 1016 in the future.

(Post credit: TACA message board; photo credit: TACA website)