Tucker and its original owner reunited

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Just 51 people can claim to be a Tucker's original owner, and since it's been more than 60 years since Tuckers were built, finding one of those owners takes perseverance and luck.

Mike Schutta began the relentless pursuit of one of those original Tucker owners, and after 5 years of searching, found Rudolph Schroeder, who won Tucker #1008 in a 1949 Missouri VFW raffle. Instead of just recording that bit of information in a journal and perhaps even interviewing Schroeder for the sake of history, Schutta went one further and reunited Schroeder with the 1948 Tucker he had won 62 years earlier with a 35 cent ticket.

As Schutta tells it, Schroeder sold the Tucker shortly after winning it, because insurance was not available on the rare car. Schutta could tell Schroeder wouldn't mind seeing the car again, so Schutta arranged a meeting with the Tucker's current custodian, the Richard H. Driehaus Collection. Since the Tucker was at Chicago Classic Motor Cars, not far from the home of the original Cicero Avenue Tucker plant, the meeting took place at that historic place on Nov. 18. Schutte even posed the Tucker and Schroeder at a ramp at the plant where Preston Tucker was once photographed with a new Tucker automobile.

Rudolph Schroeder and the Tucker he won in a 1949 VFW raffle. The picture was taken Nov. 18, 2011, at the Tucker plant where Preston Tucker was once photographed with one of his automobiles.

Rudolph Schroeder and the Tucker he won in a 1949 VFW raffle. The picture was taken Nov. 18, 2011, at the Tucker plant where Preston Tucker was once photographed with one of his automobiles.

We'll feature Schutte's story in the Dec. 29 issue of Old Cars Weekly, but in the meantime, enjoy this sneak peak from the historic reuniting of man and machine.

Schutte continues to look for past Tucker owners. If you owned a Tucker, Schutte can be reached at historianmike@tuckermuseum.org or submit a post to Tuckermuseum.org.

An old newspaper image of the Tucker Schroeder won in the VFW raffle in 1949.

An old newspaper image of the Tucker Schroeder won in the VFW raffle in 1949.

Schroeder receives the keys to the 1948 Tucker in September 1949.

Schroeder receives the keys to the 1948 Tucker in September 1949.

The winning raffle ticket.

The winning raffle ticket.

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