Hershey, PA - There was a Tucker Get Together weekend held in Hershey, PA on June 15-16th at the AACA Museum, Inc., home of the Tucker Automobile Club of America (TACA). It was a weekend for Tucker Enthusiasts to gather and share their passion for the hobby and all things Tucker. Highlights of the weekend included two special “Tucker Talk” programs, a total of five Tucker automobiles on display under one roof, along with a special “Tucker Tent” as part of the Museum’s annual Car Show festivities sharing a variety of Tucker Models that are part of the Ken Northcraft collection. Tucker enthusiasts Bob MacDonald and his wife Irene traveled the furthest, from England, to be a part of the weekend. This was the first official gathering of TACA members since the 2016 convention in Ypsilanti, MI.
Tucker Talk: The History and Restoration of Tucker #1044
The History and Restoration of Tucker #1044 was the theme of Saturday’s featured program. Presenters included the current owner of Tucker #1044, TACA Member, author, and town historian of North Hempstead, Howard Kroplick. Co-presenters included Mike Tucker and Sean Tucker (great-grandsons) descendants of Preston Tucker and members of the Tucker #1044 restoration team. The full restoration team was led by Rob Ida of Ida Automotive along with his father and other members of Ida Automotive who was not able to be in attendance for the program.
Together, they shared numerous details on what was uncovered during the eight-month restoration process of Tucker #1044, which began in December of 2017 and ended in August of 2018. Tucker #1044 made its first post-restoration appearance as part of the Tucker Class commemorating the 70th Anniversary at The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August of 2018. Following the program, participants were able to see Tucker #1044 run and drive. Bob and Irene MacDonald, here from England for the Tucker Get Together, were invited to ride in Tucker #1044 as it exited the gallery and drove around the Museum’s campus.
Tucker Talk: The Tucker Tin Goose Prototype
Sunday’s program focused on the Tin Goose and Preston Tucker, the father of the Tucker Automobile, a fitting topic for our Father’s Day. The Tin Goose was on loan and on view throughout the weekend courtesy of The Swigart Museum in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. The program was presented by Mark Lieberman, President of Nostalgic Motoring, LTD and noted expert in the preservation and restoration of Tucker automobiles, AACA Museum Board Member, TACA Advisory Committee Chair and current owner of Tucker #1029. Mark is also a previous owner of Tucker #1044, just before Howard Kroplick. Co-presenter John R. Tucker, Jr. (grandson of Preston Tucker), is a member of the AACA Museum, Inc. Board of Directors and is part of the Tucker Club Advisory Committee. John Tucker started the program with some history about Preston Tucker and the build process and features of the Tin Goose. The Tin Goose was on view directly beside the Tucker Test Chassis #2 (part of the Cammack Collection) creating the perfect space to view what is under the skin of the car, in addition to all the many unique design features on the Tin Goose. Tucker #1044 was also still on view in the same gallery providing an excellent basis for comparison between the very first Tucker Tin Goose and a later production model. Casey Maxon from the Historic Vehicle Association did an overview of the process that was undertaken to add the Tin Goose to the National Historic Vehicle Register. Roy Klinger from the Pennsylvania College of Technology along with one of his former students, Adam Davis, spoke on the process of getting the Tin Goose running for its appearance at The Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance last August. At the conclusion of the program, the Tin Goose and Tucker #1044 were both driven out of the museum gallery and around the AACA Museum campus so all participants could hear the engines run and see them drive.
It was a sentimental reunion for Tucker enthusiasts and of Tucker Automobiles. Tucker #1044 and the Tin Goose were initially sold to the same buyer, S & S Auto of Illinois, as part of the Tucker corporation assets auction. They were later kept together as part of another collection when Les Schaffer owned them back in 1972. Approximately 50 participants experienced the programs each day along with hundreds enjoying the outdoor car show activities and Tucker Tent. It was quite emotional for many, as this was a life-long dream to not only see these automobiles but also to watch them drive. Commemorative photos were taken of both Tuckers automobiles on the front lawn of the AACA Museum, Inc. along with a variety of Tucker family members and Sunday event participants.
Other activities included a sizable annual car show on the AACA Museum grounds, an automotive vendor area, car corral, and even an automotive memorabilia and parts auction. A dedicated area for Tucker enthusiasts included a display of models owned by TACA Member Ken Northcraft and a Tucker Art Display by Jerry Keefer. This was a dedicated area for Tucker enthusiasts to gather throughout the day.
Upcoming July Tucker Talk Program:
There is another Tucker Talk program scheduled for July 27th as TACA historian Larry Clark shares his knowledge on The Tucker Business Model: Why the Feds Went After Preston Tucker (and why they failed.) Larry Clark is a long-time member of both TACA and the Society of Automotive Historians. Larry is Chancellor (president) of LSU Shreveport, a university with 7,500 students. Although highly passionate about Tucker matters, Larry attempts to utilize both his lawyer and business professor/business school dean backgrounds to approach Tucker history in an analytical manner and will draw upon both his legal and business school backgrounds for this program. Larry successfully built the case for and nominated Preston Tucker to become a member of the Automotive Hall of Fame.
Seating for this program will be limited, but anyone can register to attend by contacting the AACA Museum, in at 717-566-7100 or registering online at AACAMuseum.org. TACA Members are admitted for FREE as a benefit of their Membership. If you’re not a member, they invite you to joinand take part in future programs.
Additional Background Information:
On June 19th, 1947, Preston Tucker introduced the World to the Tucker automobile by unveiling the prototype, Tucker Tin Goose. The Tin Goose holds a special place in the history of Tucker Automobiles as the very first Tucker that was hand-built as the prototype. The Tin Goose was also innovative in its design, technology, and safety features that were not available in other American automobiles at that time. Tucker produced 50 production automobiles, along with the Tin Goose Prototype, of which 47 still exist today. The story about these automobiles is legendary. They are beloved by many automotive enthusiasts from around the world.
The AACA Museum, Inc. is proud to be the home of the Tucker Automobile Club of America (TACA) along with being the caretakers of the David Cammack Tucker Collection. The Cammack Collection is housed at the AACA Museum, Inc. and includes three Tucker Automobiles - Tucker #1001 (the first production car), #1022 (Mr. Cammack's first Tucker, and Tucker #1026 (the only surviving automatic Tucker) along with many experimental engines, the factory test chassis and many other Tucker related artifacts.
About Tucker Automobile Club of America
The Tucker Automobile Club of America (TACA) began in 1973 and has been the gatekeeper of Preston Tucker’s legacy. TACA was formed to connect owners and enthusiasts, along with striving to preserve records and artifacts that tell the story of Preston Tucker and others who contributed to its history. Frank Tucker, a cousin to Preston Tucker, established the TACA Archives and under his direction, the collection grew from a single photo of Preston Tucker to literally thousands of items. The TACA Archives continue to grow and are part of a computerized inventory and digital photo database established under the guidance of TACA Director Mark Lieberman. The TACA digitized archives provide greater accessibility to the Tucker legend for other museums, students, and enthusiasts to strengthen their Tucker awareness. TACA archives access is given to all TACA Members. In December of 2017, TACA became part of the AACA Museum, Inc. family and the TACA archives are now housed at the AACA Museum, Inc. along with the Cammack archives, automobiles, and engines. Home
About the AACA Museum, Inc.
The AACA Museum Inc., a Smithsonian Affiliate, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses, and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1890s – 1980s on a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. The AACA Museum, Inc. has been and remains an independent 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, not affiliated with The Antique Automobile Club of America. As one of the largest automotive museums in the country, AACA Museum, Inc. features special exhibits that change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles – automobiles, buses, trucks, motorcycles and more.
The AACA Museum, Inc. is home to the Cammack Tucker Collection; along with being the home of the Tucker Automobile Club of America. The Museum holds the World’s largest and most prestigious permanent collection of Tucker Automobiles and related artifacts. We’re proud to have been recently recognized by Road & Track and AutoClassics as one of the top automobile museums in the country. The Museum is in South Hanover Township, located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Regular admission $12.50, seniors age 61 and older $11.50, juniors age 4-12 $9.50, children age 3 and under, AACA Museum, Inc. Members and AACA Members are FREE. The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The AACA Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For further information, please call 717-566-7100 or visit www.AACAMuseum.org.