With us, most of the cars aren’t perfect,” says Stanley Sipko, curator at the AACA Museum, Inc., in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was that collection which led to me pondering this question, as there are very few of what you might call “thousand-point” restorations on hand. Points, of course, referring to the scoring systems used to judge competitors at numerous single-make shows held around the country each year.
Why wouldn’t museums seek out cars restored perfectly to factory-built condition? It’s because often those cars have no story to them beyond being representative of an agreed-upon ideal of what a particular car looked like when new. Museum exhibits rarely look to display that level of perfection because it’s not what the general public relates to when it comes to a museum. Automobiles matter most when considered in context rather than in a vacuum.
“My take as a curator is that it has to be for everyone. It has to be for the car people in this world and it has to be for the general public. That’s where it becomes a challenge. You could buy a warehouse, fill it with hundreds of cars, put out no labels, no nothing, but every car person would probably still come see it because it’s just fun to look at cars; but when you look at a museum, our job is to educate the general public as well and you have to make it interesting and relatable to everyday visitors.
“Be it the most-passionate automotive historian who may walk in our door, down to the least-knowledgeable visitor off the street. The hope is to make it great for them, so they tell their friends and come back.”
Seventy years after the closure of his namesake automobile company, and 63 years after his death in December 1956, Preston Tucker remains a compelling figure in the history of the American automobile. The Cammack Tucker Gallery of the AACA Museum, Inc., in Hershey, Pennsylvania, houses one of the world’s finest collections of Tucker automobiles and memorabilia, and on Saturday, January 26, the museum will present Tucker–How it All Began with marque experts Mark Lieberman and John Tucker Jr., grandson of Preston Tucker.
With just a fraction of its peak membership and dwindling engagement, The Tucker Automobile Club of America has reached an existential moment; the official partnership it announced this week with the AACA Museum proposes not only to save the club but also to serve as a prototype for other car clubs nearing their own ends.
Read Daniel Strohl’s article here on Hemmings, this may be the way of things for clubs and museums to thrive in the future?
As part of the continued development of the old Ford Piquette Plant into a museum the entire collection of letter number pre-Model T Fords are being moved in and put on display once they have been prepared . The collection belongs to Larry Porter and is known as the Alphabet Ford Collection and will be on loan for 5 years.
Before there was a Tucker 48, there was a Tucker Torpedo. The boldly styled coupe, shaped by designer George Lawson, never progressed beyond a quarter-scale model, but that hasn’t stopped Rob Ida, his father Bob, and Sean Tucker, great-grandson of Preston Tucker, from building a full-size version. Read Kurt Ernst’s article here
For the last 60 years, every October, old-car enthusiasts have converged on Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the mammoth four-day, Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Eastern Division National Fall Meet. Known simply as “Hershey,” it’s the world’s largest old-car flea market.
Nearly made it there last year, unforeseen circumstances got in the way!