Saturday, April 30, 2011

TACA Convention 2011: California Dreamin'

The latest issue of Tucker Topics included registration information for California Dreamin', the Tucker Automobile Club of America's 2011 convention.  We'll be gathering in the northern Los Angeles County suburb of Valencia, CA on June 23-26, 2011, to celebrate the Tucker '48 in the warm California summer sun!

Hilton Garden Inn Valencia-Six Flags,
Valencia, CA
Our host hotel will be the Hilton Garden Inn Valencia-Six Flags.  Located just off I-5 at the entrance to the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park, the hotel is offering a special convention room rate of $114 per night, including daily breakfast.  The hotel is located at 27710 The Old Rd., Valencia, CA 91355.  To book your room, call the hotel directly at (661) 254-8800 or visit the Hilton website.  Be sure to mention or input the group/convention code "TUCK" to get the special convention rate.  This special rate will also be available for 2 nights before and after the convention if you'd like to extend you stay in the Los Angeles area  to see DisneylandSix Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood or our fabulous beach communities. 

Grauman's Chinese Theatre,
Hollywood, CA
On Friday, June 24th we'll be heading to Hollywood for a day-long tour of the famous sites of the movie capital of the world.  Our visit will include Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  We'll also visit Tucker No. 1030 at the nearby Petersen Automotive Museum, as well as the Reagan Presidential Library, the home of one of the Boeing 707s that served as Air Force One.  After returning to our hotel that afternoon for a nap, a swim and a meal, we'll have our annual TACA Show, Sale and Auction.

The Nethercutt Museum,
Sylmar, CA
Saturday, June 25th will be "Tucker Day," beginning at the Nethercutt Museum and Collection in the nearby suburb of Sylmar, CA.  Founded by the heir to the Merle Norman cosmetics empire, the Nethercutt is the home of Tucker No. 1040.  In the afternoon, we'll travel to the Breslow Collection in Northridge, CA for lunch and to see Tucker No. 1031 in its beautiful new home, the Tucker Gallery.  We also plan to have more Tucker '48s (and other surprises) on display for this special day.  The day will end with our annual TACA Banquet at the host hotel.  This year's TACA convention will then conclude after breakfast on Sunday, June 26th.

Be sure to return your registration form, make you hotel reservations and book your flight soon.  Conference registration, which includes admission to all hosted events and tours, is $190 per person if booked on or before June 6th.  We look forward to seeing you all in Southern California in June!

(Post credit: Kit Fox: photo credits: Hilton Hotels, Mann Theatres and Nethercutt Collection websites)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tucker Topics, Volume 39, No. 4

The April 2011 issue of Tucker Topics includes an article on the recent appearance of Tucker No. 1017 at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, as well as more information about and a registration form for this year's TACA convention, California Dreamin'.  It should be showing up in your mailbox shortly.

(Post credit: Kit Fox)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tucker Road Trip, Day 17

The Tucker Road Trip heads down I-5 and returns to Southern California to visit The Nethercutt Collection, home of Tucker No. 1040The Nethercutt Collection is located in the Los Angeles suburb of Sylmar, CA--famous also for being the epicenter of a powerful earthquake in 1971.

Tucker No. 1040
The Nethercutt Collection was begun by J.B. Nerthcutt, the nephew of Merle Norman Cosmetics founder Merle Nethercutt Norman.  J.B. and his wife, Dorothy, began collecting classic cars in 1956 and opened their museum in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains the same year as the famous Sylmar earthquake.  Since J.B. and Dorothy's passing in 2004, Jack Nethercutt and his wife, Helen, now proudly carry on the work that J.B. and Dorothy began. In addition to more than 250 rare American and European automobiles, the collection also includes mechanical musical instruments, antique furniture and a 1937 Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson locomotive and a 1912 Pullman Private Car.

The Nethercutt Musuem--which houses No. 1040 and most of the automobile collection--is located at 15151 Bledsoe St., Sylmar, CA 91342, near the interchange of I-5 and I-210.  The remainder of The Nethercutt Collection is located across the street at 15200 Bledsoe St.  Admission is free, but the museum and collection are closed on major holidays.  Visit The Nethercutt Collection website for more information.


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

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tucker No. 1047 Returns to the Gilmore Car Museum

Tucker No. 1047
After heading (a little bit) south for the winter to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, IN, Tucker No. 1047 has returned to the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, MI.  Stop by to welcome No. 1047 home if you're in the area when the Gilmore re-opens on May 1st!

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

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tucker Fans Support Disaster Relief in Japan

Tucker No. 1004
As you may know, Japan is home to two of our beloved Tucker '48sTucker No. 1004 is housed and displayed at the Toyota Automobile Museum in Nagakutecho, while Tucker No. 1020 is owned by the Hani Corporation in Kagoshima.  Although we certainly hope that neither of these cars was damaged in the recent earthquake and tsunami, we are more concerned about the devastating human toll of this tragedy.

Tucker No. 1020
TACA encourages you to do whatever you can to support the disaster relief efforts in Japan.  Click here for links to the Red Cross, Save the Children and other relief organizations.  You may also want to check with your airline frequent flyer and hotel guest affinity programs to see about donating miles and points to the disaster relief efforts.  Thank you!

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tucker Road Trip, Day 16

Tucker No. 1037
The Tucker Road Trip heads west across the Sierra Nevada mountains along I-80 and into Northern California's wine country in search of Tucker No. 1037.  As Tucker fans know, Francis Ford Coppola directed 1988's "Tucker: The Man and His Dream," starring Jeff Bridges as Preston Tucker.  Maroon No. 1037 was featured prominently in the movie as the "Tin Goose."  It is now on display--along with other movie memorabilia from Coppola's long and storied career--at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, CA, located about 1-1/2 hours north of San Francisco off US-101.  The Sonoma County winery, which is open daily, is located at 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA 95441.  Visit the winery's website for more information about tours and tastings. 

Tucker No. 1014
True Tucker fans will also know that Coppola actually owns 2 Tuckers.  His Tucker No. 1014 is now on display at Coppola's Rubicon Estate in Rutherford, CA, the Napa Valley winery that he has owned since the 1970s.  No. 1014 is on display in the Centennial Museum in the chateau at the winery, which is located at 1991 St. Helena Hwy., Rutherford, CA 94573.  Admission charges for tours and wine tasting may apply.  Visit the Rubicon Estate website for more information.  Coppola's wineries are about an hour away from one another via SR-128.

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

Friday, April 1, 2011

This Month in Tucker History

1948 - The month of April has proven to be a very busy time in Tucker history, particularly April of 1948.  By then, Tucker Corporation had selected an engine for the Tucker ’48 and even purchased its manufacturer, Aircooled Motors of New York. That meant the cancellation of Tucker Chief Engineer and fuel injection specialist Ben Parson’s 339-engine after only 30 days of development.

The War Assets Administration gave assurances to Tucker Corporation that its bid for the Cleveland Blast Furnace would be given “serious consideration.” By August, the facility had suspiciously been awarded to rival automaker Kaiser-Frazer, even though Tucker Corporation’s sealed bid proves to be the highest.

A Company press release in April 1948 announcing that “five Tucker ‘48s per day by July 15 could be expected” was sent to all major new outlets.

April of 1948 was also when the Tucker Corporation’s weekly radio show and contest began on 85 American Broadcasting Company stations with an overwhelming response.

Secundo Campini of Italy, inventor of the first jet-engine airplane, joined Tucker Corporation as Vice-President of Turbo-Jet Motor Research and Development in April of 1948. Tucker Corporation also acquires all post-war Campini engine patents, which included one for an automotive gas turbine.

Four Star General Jonathan Wainwright, who had been a POW during World War II, was given a VIP visit of the Tucker plant in Chicago and ends up signing a purchase agreement for the very first car to be delivered in Texas.

1949 - A headline in the April 17, 1949 issue of the Chicago Herald-American announced “Tucker Shows Speed – Fined.” The small article states that Officer Fred Reno of the Gary, Indiana Police department had pulled over a Tucker ’48 and issued its driver, Preston Tucker, a speeding ticket.

1989 - Fast forward to April 1989 and the book “Design and Destiny: The Making of the Tucker Automobile” is published by Philip S. Egan, original member of both the Lippincott and Tucker design teams.  Also in April of 1989, Paramount Studios releases the Francis Ford Coppola movie “Tucker - The Man and His Dream” to video.

(Post credit: Jay Follis)

The Tucker '49: The First Plug-in Hybrid?

The Tucker '49:
Would It Have Been America's
First Hybrid Passenger Car?
While sifting through the voluminous archives of the Tucker Historical Collection and Library (HCL), we've discovered incontrovertible evidence that Preston Tucker was pioneering the plug-in hybrid electric automobile for the 1949 model year.  The vintage photograph to the right shows how the vent in the left-rear fender--the location of the fuel filler in early Tucker '48s--had been retrofitted to accommodate a standard 110-volt AC outlet.  The 1949 Tucker hybrid (code-named "Prestonius" in confidential Tucker Corporation records) would clearly have been a forerunner of General Motors' Chevrolet Volt by more than 63 years.

(P.S. - Please note the date of this post)

(Post and photo credit: Kit Fox)