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

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)