Tucker Mania

Script done for the Tucker-themed fund raiser Saturday evening.

I say “script,” but it’s really just making sure I know the order with which I want to talk about Preston Tucker, 1948, the cars’ history, competitors and its specific features.

I also have a “this is for entertainment purposes and general information only” spiel. I’m a little excited…it’s like having two rare things that you get to touch and show off for an hour, comparing and contrasting, etc. But I’m nervous, too, because I’ve gotten in some hot water for my historical hypotheses before when it comes to the Tucker. My general feeling has become: “When you have access to two of them on a single turntable, come talk to me about your gripes.”

Because this is the thing I’ve learned about the Tucker in the last decade: “I’ll never get it completely correct and I have quit trying.”

We’re raising money for two great charities (Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and LeMay Family Collections Foundation), eating good food, and enjoying some of the most amazing vehicles ever made in America.

I talked with one of Preston Tucker’s sons soon after my grandma bought the car, and he said that the only thing the movie got correct was that his father was politically screwed, “The rest was just drama.” We talked for about for a good 30 minutes…as far as I’m concerned, that was great oral history. Further, as far as I’m concerned, I have no problem saying that it was all politics. Not just because of his son’s testimony, but what I’ve read and heard otherwise…the fix was in the kill this car that went 100 mph at cruising speed and got 35-38 mpgs.

Other Tucker owners aren’t much help. But not by their own faults. All the cars are different. They’re all prototypes! They all have different histories and quirks. And maybe that’s why I’m so attracted to the car…it’s a quirk. A freak of American ingenuity in post-WWII America.

Rehearsals start tomorrow…gotta get my game face on.

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