One of the automotive companies of the last century that has always brought interest and a bit of shame to the industry is the name of Tucker. While Preston Tucker found ways to build some of the most advanced cars of the time, and his “Tin Goose” which was a prototype of the Tucker ’48 was considered to be one of the original “Car of Tomorrow” vehicles on the market, the company didn’t last long. Pressure from larger automakers forced investigations that eventually showed Tucker had nothing to hide or be concerned about, but the money he spent battling these investigations left him without a car company.
While that ugly part of the automotive history will always live as a black spot, we are able to verify with some level of accuracy where every single one of the cars built by Tucker reside. There were only 51 that were ever created and while one that’s been properly cared for or restored might sell for upwards of $2 million today, these cars weren’t thought of as very valuable in the few decades after they were built and a few of them did end up stuck in the mud behind a barn.
Photos typically surface on a regular basis when someone thinks they’ve found another Tucker vehicle somewhere, but the experts have confirmed they know the whereabouts of the Tin Goose and all fifty of the production models of the ’48 Tucker that were ever built. There is one of the 51 that was destroyed and this has been verified over time because different pieces of it have made their way to the surface at different times. Because we know where they all are, you can’t expect to find a Tucker stuck in the mud or a field somewhere as a treasured find that will be part of your collection.
The Tin Goose is even one of the cars that was originally stuck in the mud. This car was rescued from behind a barn in Pennsylvania and taken in to be fully restored. Even though the original color it ware was red, the car was painted in a maroon color during the restoration. The bumpers also had to be replaced and the rest of the car was completely restored before it was put up for auction to be sold to someone who wanted this piece of automotive history.
The lucky bidder that won the right to enjoy the Tucker was the Swigart Museum which is America’s oldest car museum. This museum is located in Huntingdon, PA and was originally started as a private collection of an insurance salesman. Because the museum didn’t have any Tuckers in their collection at the time of the auction, they bought two at the auction in 1995, one was the Tin Goose and the other model #1013. These two have sat prominently on display at the museum ever since and #1013 occasionally is take to an auto show, but the Tin Goose is always on display in the museum.
It may seem like the museum owners love the Tucker too much or maybe they just want to pay respect to the creator of one of the most impressive vehicles to hit the roads at the time, but there’s an unwritten rule that the Tucker Tin Goose is always to be on display. Other cars might rotate in and out of the display room but this car has a prominent place and is always one you can see. If you’d like to see this car and its mate, a drive to Pennsylvania may be in your near future.