Tucker Automobile Club of America joins AACA Museum
Effective immediately, the Tucker Automobile Club of America will become part of the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pa. The TACA is ending its stand-alone status to become a membership category at the museum. Its financial resources, archival and artifactual collections will be transferred to the AACA Museum, Inc.
“The club’s approximately 200 members will be welcomed into the AACA Museum’s growing family, substantively increasing the organization’s already-significant Tucker-based resources and knowledge,” stated a joint press release.
In the mid-1940s, Preston Tucker and his Chicago-based Tucker Corporation set out to revolutionize the automobile industry, designing and ultimately building 51 examples of an innovative rear-engined sedan that boasted an array of safety features unmatched by other offerings on the post-war American market. Amid negative publicity from the news media and an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company ceased operations in 1949. The heavily publicized fraud trial led to a full acquittal, but not before the collapse of Tucker’s company.
Founded in 1973, the TACA has been the gatekeeper of Preston Tucker’s legacy and was formed to connect owners and enthusiasts, locate each of the surviving automobiles and to accurately tell the history of the short-lived Tucker Corporation. Operated entirely by volunteers, the TACA has spent the past 44 years amassing an impressive artifact archive and maintains a detailed history of the 47 surviving cars, which it shares with club members through its quarterly Tucker Topics publication. Learn more about the TACA at tuckerclub.org.
Earlier this year, the TACA approached the AACA Museum, Inc. to discuss a potential relationship with the Hershey, Pennsylvania-based museum that showcases the David Cammack Tucker Collection – the largest single collection of Tucker artifacts including three of the famed automobiles, several Tucker engines, a test chassis and other one-of-a-kind objects.
“The synergies between our organizations were immediately apparent,” remarked Eric Breslow, TACA President and owner of Tucker 1031. “This merger gives the TACA a much larger, long-term platform to accurately share one of the greatest stories in automotive history.”
“We’re excited to welcome the Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc. into our Museum Family. It is a logical and effective step toward expanding the Museum as the ‘Center of the Tucker Universe,’ furthering our common goals and enhancing our ability to serve both Tucker enthusiasts and the general public. The years of accumulated knowledge and expertise TACA members bring to the Museum will be a valuable asset in helping to share the life and legacy of Preston Tucker and the Tucker ’48 Automobile. It is also timely that this merger takes place as we begin to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Tucker in 2018 along with the 30th Anniversary of Tucker the Man and his Dream movie. Together, we look forward to growing the club’s membership and expanding our public offering of Tucker-related events and programs accordingly,” stated Jeffrey Bliemeister, Executive Director of the AACA Museum, Inc.
The transfer will establish the TACA as a membership category and working committee within the AACA Museum, Inc. The Committee will be represented by a Position Director’s seat on the Museum’s Board of Directors. Once the merger is complete, Breslow will chair the newly formed Tucker Committee. Current Tucker Club Archives Director and Technical Advisor, Mark Lieberman, will join the AACA Museum, Inc. Executive Board as the Position Director, serving as a liaison between the Committee and Museum Board.
One of the first acts of the merged organization will be to combine their vast physical collections and digital archives. This massive collection will allow them to share the complete history of Preston Tucker and his life’s work, undoubtedly drawing automotive enthusiasts from around the globe.
“Both parties will have much to look forward to in this new partnership,”Lieberman shared. “I am excited to see what we will uncover when we combine the knowledge of the TACA’s Tucker experts with the talents of the AACA Museum, Inc. curatorial team.”