Steven S. Brooks
The story of Preston Tucker and his ill-fated car of the future was made famous by the 1988 Francis Ford Copolla film, Tucker, the Man and His Dream. The movie chronicled the venture to start a new car company in 1948 with a model that was well ahead in safety, design and engineering of what the mainstream auto manufacturers were producing. Some say that Tucker was nothing but a con artist and his company was just a sham to bilk investors. Others maintain that he was a genuine threat to GM and Ford and they used their influence with suppliers and the government to have his operation shut down. All in all, only fifty one total Tuckers were built.
Up until the movie's release, Tuckers were looked at as automotive oddities and, despite their rarity, traded in the $10-20,000 range. The film received great publicity and became very popular. As a result, Tucker values climbed steadily over the next couple years, finally eclipsing the $100,000 mark. Appreciation and desirability by collectors grew to the point where a Tucker finally reached the magical million dollar sales figure just about two years ago. A couple more sales in that range over the past two years validated their new value.
Then, this past Saturday night, the stars aligned over Scottsdale and Barrett-Jackson sold an absolutely perfect, silver-blue Tucker for the astounding sum of nearly three million dollars! It was the most expensive car they sold of the 1300 or so that passed the block last week and it absolutely stole the show. No one saw it coming and now everyone is wondering if this is, all of the sudden, the new value of a Tucker.
An interesting footnote to this story is that the Glenmoor Gathering will be featuring a Tucker class at this year's event, which will be held September 14-16. In addition to the several original Tuckers which will be on the showfield, one of the original prop/stunt cars from the movie will also be displayed! This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a group of these very special cars gathered together.