It started innocently enough.
The long and the short of it was that there were 52 Tuckers produced.
It doesn't take a particularly energetic guy to ask “I wonder if they know where all the Tucker are?”
It turns out they DO know where each Tucker is (Portion of chart from Wikipedia):
|Chassis number||Location||Owner||Engine||Transmission||Front suspension version||Original body color/paint code|
|1050||San Marcos, TX||Dick's Classic Garage||Franklin O-335||Cord 810/812||Rubber Torsion Tube 2||Maroon/600|
|Lowest mileage Tucker with 0.4 miles on the odometer.|
It didn't take long to find that there was a Tucker not far from me at Dick's Classic Garage in San Marcos, TX.
Not only was that Tucker local, it was the last Tucker ever built.
What was Dick's Classic Garage?
Dick, is the given name of Dick Burdick.
Dick was an engineer and a man among boys.
A self-made man, he was smart enough to realize that when his corporation wasn't interested in the chemical compound he was making that he should buy the rights and do it himself.
From that humble beginning he built Thermon Manufacturing, a company still very relevant today, so many years later.
One of his early business deals had him trading his product for a promise to buy a car from his customer to free up warehouse space for his customer.
…And that car purchase was all she wrote.
At the height of his car collecting madness, he had as many as 300 classic cars.
Thinking about a more focused vision, he pared down his collection from 300 to around 80 cars. The cars he kept are focused on the telling of the early history (1900-1970ish) of the American car industry. He used the proceeds from that “paring down” exercise to fund the creation of Dick's Classic Cars in San Marcos. He even got rid of Rolls Royces!
The 80 cars that are left, a good portion of them pictured here, are absolutely breathtaking. There is no way my pictures can convey.
I spent 2.5 hours reading every plaque. I plan on returning too.
But more importantly, I'm not even a car guy.
And even as a not-car-guy, there were 2-3 times in that 2.5 hours where I was literally moved to tears.
I'm not sure why. But as I survey my thoughts, I think of the hopes and dreams of the car makers, the families and collectors of now and then, and then even my own family… remembering my own young days when the dash board on the car had those simple dials.
You see, those car of yesteryear, aren't just cars.
They were and still are: art.