Hershey AACA Museum Showcases a Trio of Tuckers
There’s always excitement in the air when there’s a Tucker 48 in the house, whether it’s for sale or for show. However, when three Tuckers are in the building at one time, it is like winning the lottery. That’s how we felt when, at against all odds, we saw a trio of these innovative cars, at the Antique Auto Club of America (AACA) Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Advertised as the first new car design in 50 years, the Tucker had a futuristic body shape, with a rear-mounted engine and rear wheel drive, a third headlight mounted in the center of the hood that pivoted in the direction the wheels turned, and a host of safety features, not seen in other cars until years later. Although the Tucker was a public sensation when it debuted at the 1947, Preston Tucker, its creator, was only able to produce 51 cars before negative publicity from a SEC investigation and a lack of operating capital halted production.
With three floors of some of the first motorized automobiles, rows of buses, muscle cars, and even a re-creation of the corner filling station and an authentic mobile diner, the AACA Museum provides a walk through time — showcasing many historically significant vehicles. Visitors taking self-guided tours through the museum will discover several interesting automotive exhibits before spotting a silver streamlined car sitting at the edge of the 100-years-of-Dodge display. This is Tucker chassis number 1022, which is just outside the room housing the main Tucker display. The main display room, which opened in the fall of 2014, contains two more cars, chassis numbers 1001 and 1026. The room also includes design and manufacturing documents, displays of suspension components, an entire wall lined with prototype engines, and a full-sized frame of a Tucker, alongside a full-sized frame of a comparable-era Cadillac. This up close and personal look at the advanced and innovative features of the Tucker design left us wondering what direction the industry would have taken had Preston Tucker’s ideas been given more time to fully develop.
The Tucker exhibit at the AACA Museum was made possible because of David Cammack’s passion for this special car. Beginning with the purchase of his first Tucker in 1972 (number 1022), Cammack not only collected the three cars currently on display, he also accumulated parts, prototype equipment, and a treasure trove of original documents associated with the Tucker 48. Upon his passing in 2013, his collection was handed over to the AACA Museum to maintain and showcase for all future generations. “The effort being put forth by the AACA team in the presentation of the Cammack Tucker collection is not only an honor to the Tucker family but also the man who had an amazing passion to preserve the history of the Tucker story” exclaimed Sean Tucker, Preston’s great-grandson.
For a video of the Cammack-Tucker Exhibit, click here