Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tucker No. 1031 at the La Jolla Motor Car Classic This Weekend

Tucker No. 1031 ("Vera") is ready to hit the road for La Jolla, CA
Eric Breslow, the new owner of Tucker No. 1031, reports that "Vera" will be an invited guest of honor at the 7th Annual La Jolla Motor Car Classic in La Jolla, CA this Sunday, April 3rd.  If you're in the San Diego area, stop by and see No. 1031 on Sunday (and if you have time, you can also see Tucker No. 1019 at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park).

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

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tucker Topics, Volume 39, No. 3

The latest issue of our award-winning printed newsletter, Tucker Topics, includes exclusive photos of Tucker No. 1035, recently "rescued" in Brazil.  Also included are more details about this year's annual TACA convention, to be held in Valencia, CA from Thursday, June 23rd through Sunday, June 26th.

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Spring!

Time to take the Tucker out for a spin!  Tucker No. 1038 looks as if it is just waiting for Preston and Vera to emerge from the Tucker home in Ypsilanti, MI to go for a ride.

(Post credit: Kit Fox; photo credit: Joe Kahn)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Current and Former Owners of Tucker No. 1017 Share a Ride and Memories

Recently, Keith and Eileen Carpenter, TACA members and current owners of Tucker No. 1017, stopped by to visit with Marvin Whitsett, one of the car's previous owners.  Their meeting was captured by the cameras of FOX 41 in Louiville, KY.

(Post credit: Joe Kahn and Kit Fox; video credit:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tucker Topics, Volume 39, Nos. 1 & 2

After a slight delay (due to technical issues), Issue Nos. 1 and 2 of Volume 39 of Tucker Topics--our award-winning print newsletter--should be showing up now in your mailbox.  Issue No. 1 contains a wealth of information about all of the Tucker '48s making news so far in 2011.  Issue No. 2 provides a preview of the 2011 TACA convention "California Dreamin'", to be headquartered in the northern Los Angeles suburb of Valencia, CA on June 23-26, 2011.

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Please enjoy our wee parade o' green Tucker '48s in honor of St. Patrick's Day!

Tucker No. 1005

Tuckre No. 1015

Tucker No. 1017

Tucker No. 1038

Tucker No. 1044

Tucker No. 1048

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tucker Road Trip, Day 15

The next leg of the Tucker Road Trip takes us north along US-395 to Reno, NV.  Here we find the National Automobile Museum and the home of Tucker No. 1032 along the banks of the frigid Truckee River.  TACA members will recall seeing No. 1032 during our 2009 convention in Reno, NV.

Tucker No. 1032
The National Automobile Museum houses The Harrah Collection, amassed over many years by Nevada hotelier, gaming pioneer and collector, Bill Harrah.  After Mr. Harrah's death in 1978, it appeared that his collection would be broken up and sold off.  However, with the combined efforts of the State of Nevada, the City of Reno and many other public and private donors and philanthropists, the National Automobile Museum opened in 1989 as a permanent home for The Harrah Collection. The museum's mission is to collect and preserve the automobile for future generations with an emphasis on vehicles collected by Bill Harrah, to tell the story of the impact of the automobile on American society, and to perpetuate the legacy of Mr. Harrah as a renowned collector.

The National Automobile Museum is located at 10 S. Lake St., Reno, NV 89501, just southwest of the interchange of I-80 and US-395.  The museum is open every day, year-round (except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day).  Visit the museum's website for more information.


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

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Don't Forget to "Spring Forward!"

Remember, Daylight Savings Time
started at 2:00 AM today!

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

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stahl's Automotive Foundation Remains Closed

Tucker No. 1015
As we reported last November, Stahl's Automotive Foundation in St. Clair Shores, MI--the home of Tucker No. 1015--was scheduled to re-open by March 8th.  However, a recent visit to their website shows that the museum is closed as the foundation looks for a new location for No. 1015 and the rest of the collection.  We'll keep you posted on the status of the foundation's move in future posts.

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tucker Road Trip, Day 14

It's only a short drive over the Hollywood Hills to see our next Tucker.  The Breslow Collection in Northridge, CA is the new home of Tucker No. 1031. No. 1031 was previously owned by the Jay and Eva Busker of Elk Point, SD, who were among the founding members of TACA back in 1973. Before that, it was one of the few Tucker '48s known to have been registered to Preston and Vera Tucker.

Tucker No. 1031
In addition to No. 1031, the Breslow Collection's Tucker Gallery includes a variety of Tucker memorabilia. There is a "new old stock" unused Tucker engine, a showroom display for the Motorola Tucker radio and showroom advertising banners. The most unique piece is Vera Tucker's scrapbook of news clippings. Besides the Tucker Gallery, there is also an eclectic assortment of American and European sports cars and vintage ride vehicles from Disneyland.

The Breslow Collection is located in the western San Fernando Valley of Southern California, west of I-405 between US-101 and SR-118.  It is available for viewing by appointment only.  See their website for more information about scheduling a visit.

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

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This Month in Tucker History

1947 - Excitement was in the air! The March 1947 issues of the New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune introduced many readers to the Tucker with full-page advertisements. Those who picked up LIFE or Saturday Evening Post magazines nationwide found two-page ads announcing the "Most Completely New Car in Fifty Years." In all of these ads the car was described as the Tucker '48 and not the Tucker Torpedo as early promotional items had called it. If you have ever doubted the success of the initial promotion of the Tucker Motorcar, you only need to remember that even today many people will refer to the car as the Tucker Torpedo!

The future looked bright and, with all the activity, most were confident that Tucker Corporation would be in production shortly. By March 1947, the company had already raised $20 million with its sale of stocks and was able to secure a purchase / lease agreement with the War Assets Administration for the Dodge-Chicago plant.

Preston Tucker brought in the J. Gordon Lippincott design team, made up of Read Viemeister, Hal Bergstrom, Tucker P. Madawick, Budd Steinhilber, and Philip S. Egan, to complete design details for a Tucker prototype. Two full-scale clay models -- those of Chief Designer Alex Tremulis and the Lippincott team -- would eventually be built side by side as each team highlighted different features.

1948 - By the following year, March 1948, the highlight of the first annual stockholder's meeting was the demonstration of a complete car featuring the modified helicopter engine. The pilot production of Tucker automobiles had begun and 125 engines were ordered from the Franklin - Aircooled Motors plant in New York. Within just days of that order, Preston Tucker announced the purchase of Aircooled Motors by Tucker Corporation for a reported $1.8 million. It was also at this time that Audrey Moore, a leading female in the automobile industry, joined the Tucker Corporation design staff to handle interior styling.

1949 - By March of 1949 what had started as the vision of one man and became the dreams of so many seemed to be lost as Tucker Corporation entered into receivership with Preston losing control of his company to trustees A.J. Colnon & J.H. Chatz.

A factory inventory compiled by Dan Leabu on the third of March appeared to list Tucker # 1040 as being the last completed car. Sixteen other cars were shown as being "nearly complete," but without installed transmissions, engines or both, and Tucker Corporation's "cash on hand" was reported as only $219,193.00. Today, you would be hard pressed to find any owner of a restored Tucker willing to sell it for that amount! Also in March of 1949, the Detroit News brought further negative attention to the Tucker saga when it published, based on leaked SEC reports and misinformation, the very damaging article entitled "Gigantic Tucker Fraud."

1953 - Preston Tucker's own response to the demise of his car of the future -- "My Car Was Too Good" -- appearing in the premier issue of Cars Magazine, didn't hit newsstands until March of 1953.

(Post credit: Jay Follis)