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A Highly Original Example with Known History From New | One of 12 Originally Finished in Waltz Blue MetallicJames Anderson, Minneapolis, Minnesota (acquired in 1950)Allen Korbel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (acquired from the above in 1968)Clayton Stone, Monmouth, Oregon (acquired from the above in 1978)Gene Cofer, Tucker, Georgia (acquired in 1985)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2012)
Amelia Island Concours d’EleganceMeadow Brook Concours d’EleganceHigh Museum of Art, Allure of the Automobile, Georgia, 2010
This beautifully presented Tucker was built during the short-lived production heyday of the Tucker Corporation. As the 34th car of 51 built, chassis 1034 was completed at the Tucker factory and benefited from a number of running design changes including the preferred front-mounted fuel tank and revised elastomeric torsion-tube suspension, which improved both ride quality and handling.
Chassis 1034 was among 23 Tucker automobiles that were included in the court-ordered liquidation of the company’s hard assets in October 1950. At the time of the sale, 1034, finished in Waltz Blue, showed 339 miles on its odometer, likely accrued by the Tucker marketing department. James Anderson, a Minneapolis-area Packard dealer, placed 1034’s winning $2,200 bid, and the original title transfer document, bearing the names of the original Tucker Corporation trustees, remains with the car today.
Due to an estate dispute involving Mr. Anderson’s dealership, 1034 sat sequestered in its basement for the next 18 years. Allen Korbel, a 20-year-old race car driver from Milwaukee, purchased the beautifully preserved Waltz Blue Tucker for $6,000 in 1968, then showing just over 400 miles on the odometer. In 1978, Clayton Stone of Monmouth, Oregon, purchased the Tucker from Mr. Korbel. He added it to his collection of antique cars and is said to have shown it numerous times.
By the time the highly original Tucker was purchased by Gene Cofer in 1985, it had been driven about 2,500 miles, making it one of the lowestmileage Tuckers in existence. The Cofer family would feature 1034 as a centerpiece of their collection in Tucker, Georgia, for the next 27 years.
In 1987, the Cofers and their Tucker were invited to take part in the filming of the George Lucas movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Jeff Bridges as Preston Tucker. Lucas and Coppola, both great fans of the fascinating Tucker story and owners of Tucker cars themselves, brought 21 Tuckers together in Marin County, California, for the filming of key scenes in the movie. Chassis 1034 can be seen near the climax of the film as the fourth car in a parade of Tuckers, which encircles the courthouse where the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against Preston Tucker is being heard.
In late 2009, 1034 was treated to new paint and new chrome, returning it to its original splendor. The bulkhead in the forward trunk area still retains its original coat of Waltz Blue, so named after Mrs. Tucker’s favorite evening gown, and 1034 is one of only 12 Tuckers to have been painted this desirable color at the factory. The hue of the new paint, as well as the character of its metallic flake, was carefully matched to the original finish. Enjoyed by the Cofers both at national level concours d’elegance and on the road, the Tucker’s total mileage increased to 5,217 before it was sold.
In early 2012, 1034 was acquired by the consignors, and it was added to their highly respected private collection and museum which celebrates postwar American life through the inherent optimism of the automobile and the open road. At the museum, there is a standing order that each of the cars on display must be operable. Chassis 1034 is no exception, and is not only operable, but over 1,000 miles have been added around Southern California over the past eight years. In addition to standard maintenance, the transmission linkage and electrical preselect components have been thoroughly serviced and adjusted. Chassis 1034’s odometer totaled just 6,241 miles when catalogued.
This example is one of few Tuckers that have never required nor received a comprehensive restoration, and it retains an impressive air of undisturbed originality. The engine bay is clean and tidy, prominently featuring the familiar Tucker logo intake manifolds atop the flat six-cylinder Franklin helicopter engine, and its six chromed exhaust tips trumpet the distinctive sound of the ingeniously repurposed engine upon starting.
Chassis 1034 is complete with its genuine wheel covers, spare keys, and original Tucker upholstery and carpets. Precious documentation recording the ownership history, beginning with its sale at auction in 1950, is included with the car. The Tucker emblems, including those on the wheel centers, engine lid, and horn button, are all in excellent condition, showing only the slightest signs of their age. To further improve driveability and handling, small coil springs were added to the front, and additional shocks have been added to the rear, while leaving the innovative Tucker torsilastic suspension intact.
Just as Preston Tucker secured his place in automotive history, so too have the Tucker automobiles. Their low, aerodynamic profile; rear engine; cavernous interior space; and distinctive active center headlight were poised to become industry trendsetters of their day. Tucker’s design included many firsts in automotive safety, including the pop-out, shatterproof windshield panels; a perimeter frame; a padded dash above the front passenger crash compartment; seat belts; and a locking parking-brake handle to prevent theft. The survival of 47 of the 51 cars, which were advertised as “The First Completely New Car in Fifty Years,” stand as a testament to each of the forward thinkers who created them.
In recent years, the remaining Tuckers have become extremely desirable additions to the finest public and private collections around the world. Always an attraction and greeted with admiration and enthusiasm whenever seen in public, Tuckers are instantly recognizable and viewed as true icons among American cars. Built by a tiny upstart company with big ideas, they represent the most significant postwar attempt to best the Big Three, and 1034 is most certainly among the finest surviving examples.