Monday, January 4, 2010

The Tucker Car Auction, A Question Of Authenticity

I received this email tonight and feel compelled to pass it on as the letter seems very responsible.

Over the past twenty years, the Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc.—recognized as the foremost authority on Tucker Automobiles—has been asked repeatedly to make an official statement or a detailed response in regards to the authenticity of a purported Tucker convertible.

With the upcoming public auction of a vehicle which the sellers contend is an actual uncompleted Tucker Corporation convertible concept car, we feel compelled to restate our long-standing position:

The Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc. (TACA) has never been presented with—nor have been able to find—any credible evidence to prove the authenticity of this or any other vehicle as being a Tucker Corporation intended convertible and therefore we can not certify it as such.

While TACA is certainly not ready to completely dismiss the possibility that a Tucker convertible could have been built by the Tucker Corporation, we have never discovered nor been presented with sufficient evidence to prove such a car was planned for or started at the factory.

It is worth noting that TACA maintains the Tucker Historical Collection and Library, an archive collection of several thousand original company documents, factory photos, and other materials. This includes production records for the prototype, known as the Tin Goose, and the 50 pilot-production Tucker sedans completed prior to plant operations ceasing, as well as inventory documents identifying surplus bodies, engines, and various parts. The National Archives holds vast amounts of Tucker Corporation-related material: the SEC investigation papers, trial transcripts, bankruptcy proceedings, and lawsuit documents. There are two private collections containing multiple copies of original company records including over 60,000 original blueprints for the 1948 Tucker Sedan. Yet, to date, no evidence has been found in any of these materials to support the claim of a Tucker Corporation convertible.

TACA and independent historians alike have investigated this contention at great lengths. While many respect the visual appeal and presentation of this “Tucker convertible," the overwhelming consensus of individual opinions continues to be that inadequate evidence exists to support the claim of this being an original Tucker convertible (with many believing that the evidence to date negates the possibility of it being a genuine Tucker convertible).

TACA recognizes that this vehicle appears to have been built using many authentic Tucker parts, such as an engine, some body panels, and etc. It may well represent, as a tribute car, what a Tucker convertible would have looked like had one been produced by the Tucker Corporation.

This vehicle has never been presented to TACA for a comprehensive review per our certification / authentication process, nor has the seller responded to our request seeking the engine serial number and data plate information. TACA has insufficient evidence to otherwise authenticate this vehicle as being a genuine attempt by the Tucker Corporation to produce a convertible model or concept. As always, the burden of providing adequate evidence to establish authentication falls on the presenter. TACA can only rely upon Primary evidence—direct, uninterrupted historical documents and materials—and formulate an opinion accordingly. If other such documentation proving (pointing to, indicating) the existence of a convertible project existed, it has not (never) been made available to TACA.

This is not a case of TACA having an interest in the existence or non-existence of such a vehicle: either way, TACA neither gains nor loses anything. We have no financial stake in taking sides. Our position is clear: without credible evidence, we cannot rewrite history; we cannot state that Tucker Corporation planned for or started a convertible project; nor can we certify this or any other vehicle as being an authentic Tucker Corporation convertible.

The Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc. would welcome both the current owner and any prospective purchaser to become members of our organization, share in the ongoing research and findings, and join together as we strive to preserve the fascinating history of the Tucker automobile and all those who contributed to it.


Jay A. Follis, President

Officers and Board of Directors

Tucker Automobile Club of America, Inc

"The Most Important American Car,"a 1948 Tucker 48 Convertible, Crosses the Russo and Steele Auction Block in Scottsdale, Arizona

For Immediate Release: Russo and Steele:
Scottsdale, AZ. (Dec 30, 2009) -- One of the nation’s premier collector car auctions, Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions, will auction off the only Tucker Convertible ever made. Specializing in European sports cars, American muscle cars, hot rods and customs Russo and Steele's All Reserve format has continued to attract automobiles of the highest caliber. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this January 20-24, 2010 it held its first auction event in January 2001 with only 45 automobiles; today it offers over 600 of the finest automobiles in Scottsdale over a five day span.

This is THE Tucker Convertible, the one and the only. This is, for all intents and purposes, a newly finished Tucker 48, completed upon the specially box-wrapped ovular body/frame #57 from the Tucker Experimental Department. Only by seeing it in person can you fully realize how perfectly this car fits into Preston Tucker's original dreams for the Great American automobile and what a piece of automotive art that stands before you.

The Tucker 48 Convertible is painted Waltz Blue, a color said to come from Mrs. Vera Tucker's favorite dress. The light tan of the interior and convertible top are as if they've just rolled off the line in Chicago. The fit and look of the convertible top are astounding. The chrome...well, the chrome is perfect, from that massive prow to the six individual tips on the exhaust. Out front, you'll find a Tucker hallmark, the center headlamp that turns with the steering wheel. And, this one works!

Full story here.


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Anonymous said...

The Tucker Convertible is something that needs to be discussed both ways. It certainly is an important piece of automotive history and will take on greater dimentions as time passes. There is no way around that! It cannot never be discounted, for the fact it is there. Either way you look at it it is still the only 1949 Tucker model ever created at the behest of Tucker designer Alex Tremelus and the only Tucker with the wrap around rear window. That certainly counts for something no matter which way you slice it. No pun intented.

Randall Hoffer said...

The Tucker Convertible (#1057) will, in the future, become the most significant Tucker of all the Tuckers, after it's normal ascent from denigrated to the most exalted. It started life as an ugly duckling and now is evolving into a beautiful swan. Shunned at first, now embraced by many. It has all the makings of a great mystery novel with intrigue, mystery, antaginist, protaginist and finally heroin. What the wonder of time passing, to realize it's rightful cherished place of most honored and distinguished in automobile legacy and history!

Dwayne Charles said...

I think that it is interesting and worthy information about the tucker car auction. I think that people can buy vintage luxury cars at cheaper cost in this auction.
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