Sunday, May 1, 2011

This Month in Tucker History

1947 - It was May of '47 that the J. Gordon Lippincott & Company design team completed its work on a full-sized clay model. The Lippincott group had been brought in not as automotive engineers, but as product designers and setup next to Alex Tremulis' model. The friendly competition wasn't to change any of the Tremulis fundamentals - wheelbase, basic body, center headlight, but was purely for styling.

May of 1947 also found work beginning on the first Tucker prototype - the "Tin Goose."

1948 - It was in 1948 that Herbert D. Wilson published a glowing review of the Tucker in the May 2nd edition of the Chicago Herald-American.

Tucker Corporation ordered 500 engines from Aircooled Motors of Syracuse, New York, the new Tucker-owned subsidiary. While the location of the Aircooled Motors is referred to as Syracuse even on Company letterhead, the plant was actually located a few miles to the west in Liverpool, NY. It was also in 1948, during the month of May, that the Securities and Exchange Commission initiated a second investigation of Tucker Corporation.

Those highly sought-after Tucker promotional ashtrays featuring a model of the car were first offered to dealers from the pages of the TUCKER TOPICS, the Company's dealer newsletter in May 1948. The price then - painted for $10 and gold-tone plated for $12.50. The price today - in the $800.00 to $1,200.00 range!

On May 18, 1948 veteran racecar driver and Tucker Corporation's West Coast regional manager, Ralph Hepburn, was killed when his NOVI Special struck the wall during a practice lap for the Indy 500. Preston Tucker, a close friend of many years, was at the speedway when the accident occurred.

(Post credit: Jay Follis)

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