- Written by webmin
A nearly forgotten Tucker will get a new lease on life, thanks to a land development deal in Brazil.
Moldering away for decades in a barn in Caçapava, São Paulo, Tucker #1035 was never really lost, rather stuck in limbo. Imported to Brazil when new, it wound up in the collection of Roberto Eduardo Lee in 1968 and was put on display with about a hundred other cars in Lee’s museum, the Museu Paulista De of Antiguidades Mecanicas. Yet when Lee died in 1975, his heirs closed the museum and went through a long legal battle over its ownership. One by one, cars from the museum were sold off or stolen until 27 were left out of the original collection, including the Tucker. Last month, the local government and the Caçapava Municipal Council for Historic, Artistic, Natural and Cultural Preservation reached an agreement with the Lee family to obtain all of the remaining 27 cars and remove them from the property in exchange for permission to develop the property for housing.
Tucker #1035, however, has not held up well over the years. At one point in its history, it was placed on the chassis of a 1947 Cadillac Series 62, complete with the Cadillac’s drivetrain, firewall and dashboard. Some alterations to the body were also made, and it has suffered from random acts of vandalism over the last couple of decades. The city of Caçapava plans at least a cosmetic restoration of the Tucker prior to installing it in a municipal museum.
The national pride shown toward the Tucker – one of just five outside of the United States and the only one in South America – isn’t simply a matter of chance. Following the end of the Tucker Corporation, Preston Tucker planned another car, called the Carioca, backed by Brazilian investors, and to be built in Brazil. Though rumors persist that Preston Tucker took Tucker #1035 with him to Brazil in 1955, in fact, it had already been there for years.