To own just one Tucker takes a certain amount of luck and determination. To own three – along with the world’s most extensive collection of Tucker memorabilia, Tucker mechanical parts, and most of the Tucker engineering drawings – takes dedication, and nobody in the world showed more dedication to the marque than collector David Cammack, who died Sunday at the age of 84.
As David LaChance related in his profile of Cammack in the June 2007 issue of Hemmings Classic Car, Cammack got his first glimpse of a Tucker in 1948 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Cammack, then a teenager, had gone to see the prototype, known as the Tin Goose, and its massive 589-cu.in. flat-six engine, but lost interest in the car when the company failed. It wasn’t until 1972 that Cammack, by then a successful real estate investor, bought his first Tucker, number 1022. The other two – numbers 1001 and 1026 – came in quick succession over the next couple of years, but almost more important than the cars were the ephemera that came with them or that Cammack later bought: one of two Tucker test chassis, a variety of prototype and production Tucker/Aircooled Motors engines, and about 50,000 blueprints for just about every component that made up a Tucker. “I don’t think there was any doubt that (Preston Tucker) was serious about building a car,” Cammack told us for the profile. “I think all these drawings provide that.” Over the years he had made attempts at cataloging the entire collection of blueprints and engineering drawings – going so far as to hire assistants for that task – but about 90 percent of the collection reportedly remains uncataloged.