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Fabulous Tuckers Museum & Road Show

• CATEGORIES: Features

The jeep-related story in the August 1953 issue of Cars Magazine was interesting, but what really caught my eye was reading a letter-to-the-editor by someone named Nick Jenin. In his short note, he mentioned that he owned five Tucker Torpedo cars and operated a museum called “The Fabulous Tuckers” in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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August 1953 issue of Cars Magazine. Nick Jenin’s letter-to-the-editor.

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January 23, 1953, in the Fort Lauderdale News

Jenin purchased a total of ten Tuckers between 1952 and 1957. Jenin loved his Tuckers, enough to operate a traveling Tucker show that was also called the “Fabulous Tuckers”. TheOldMotor.com website has some great vintage photos of the traveling road show.

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Photo Credit: http://www.tuckerclub.org/contact/

In 1959, Nick Jenin was interviewed by the Miami Herald:

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February 27, 1959, in The Miami Herald.

In 1960, The Miami News ran a story on Jenin’s collection. In it, Jenin seemed to think that only 18 pilot models of the Tucker ever produced, which rightly would have convinced him that his collection was ever more impressive (or maybe I’m confused by his statement).

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Not too long after the 1960 article was published, Nick’s interest in the vehicles waned (I was going to write “tuckered-out”, but that pun was just too over-the-top). So, he put his collection up for sale for $38,000.

Given that a Tucker in 2010 sold for $1.127 million and one in 2012 went for $2.915 million, a unique ten-tucker car collection like Jenin’s would have been worth at least $10 million these days.  Someone is no doubt kicking themselves, as no buyers expressed interest in the collection at that price. So, Nick was forced to break up his collection.

Here’s an ad from 1963 for his unique Tucker/Oldsmobile custom vehicle:

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October 20, 1963, in the Fort Lauderdale News. Per Wikipedia, this car  #1046 “was converted to a front-engine Oldsmobile drive train in the 1950s by Nick Jenin for his daughter. In 1963 it was sold to a Mercury dealer in Oregon and converted to a 1964 Mercury Monterey chassis with 390 CID front engine. Sold on eBay for $202,700 (8/20/07) and reportedly returned to original specifications, including a correct Tucker engine. In 2017 it was offered for sale for $2.1 million.”

Nick eventually sold all his Tuckers. On February, 13, 1978, Nick Jenin passed away in Detroit, Michigan.

The Tucker Automobile Club of America’s website contains a bunch of Tucker related information: http://www.tuckerclub.org. That same organization has a Facebook group, too. There’s also a ‘48 Tucker Facebook group.

To my surprise, while doing some research, I learned that one of Jenin’s Tuckers found it’s way to the LeMay museum in Tacoma, Washington. Thus, the first Tucker I ever saw in person was once owned by Jenin.

There’s more information here: https://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/blog/article/mystery_friday_foto_26_a_mysterious_two_tone_tucker_48

 

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