Gooding & Company has announced that Tucker No. 1034 will be offered at their Amelia Island (FL) auction on March 9th. TACA members who attended our 2010 annual convention in Atlanta, GA will recall seeing No. 1034 in the exhibit The Allure of the Automobile at the High Museum of Art. At that time, it was on loan from the Cofer Collection of Tucker, GA.
The first issue of Volume 40 of Tucker Topics includes the tale of the U.S. travels of British Tucker fans, Irene & Bob MacDonald. We also report on the recent passing of Joe Walker (founding TACA member) and Chick DeLorenzo (owner of Tucker No. 1051).
Fans of the Tucker '48 know that the Tucker Corporation produced a total of 51 vehicles during it's brief lifetime: the "Tin Goose" prototype and 50 "pre-production" models, serial numbered 1001 through 1050. Of these original 51 vehicles, 47 still exist today.
Beginning next month, we'll be presenting a brief survey of the stories of the 4 Tucker '48s that did not survive into the 21st century, based upon an excellent article by TACA President Jay Follis from the October 2010 issue of Tucker Topics. See you next month!
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1948 - In early 1948, Tucker Corporation was still looking for a suitable engine to power the "Car of Tomorrow." The Jacobs Aircraft Engine Company of Pottstown, PA and Aircooled Motors of Syracuse, NY both became involved in development projects for the Tucker. By February, Jacobs reported that the Ex-Cell-O fuel injection had been received and was favorably tested on one of their engines. Tucker engineers, out of fear that Jacobs would not be able to deliver its engines in a timely manner, told them to drop the fuel injection project. Within a week, the Jacobs engine was ready for testing by Tucker but the project was eventually dropped entirely as being unsatisfactory. Without letting a week pass, Preston Tucker ordered that, "two cars be produced as soon as possible," using the "Franklin" aircraft engine built by Aircooled Motors. The Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Company, managed by Preston's mother, had successfully converted the air-cooled helicopter engine to water-cooling. At the same time, Tucker engineer Ben Parsons proposed that he be allowed to build three of his "339" engines, but the project doesn't get off the ground.
1949 - Fast-forward a year to February 1949: Federal District Attorney Otto Kerner made the announcement that a Grand Jury investigation of Tucker Corporation would take place. Kerner, who later became a Federal Judge, the Governor of Illinois, and authored the famous Kerner Report while serving on President Johnson's Race Relations Committee, served as Prosecutor of the Tucker case. Ironically, in 1973 Tucker's former mimesis Otto Kerner, now Governor of Illinois, was sent to Federal prison for a conviction on charges of mail fraud, bribery, perjury, and income tax evasion tied to his dealings in stock of a racetrack operation.