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)