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Preston Tucker - part 3
Preston T. Tucker (b. Feb. 8, 1903 - d. Dec. 26, 1956)
Associated Designers
Alex S. Tremulis, George S. Lawson

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June 28, 1949 Edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“Kerner To Ask Trial Date Selection For Tucker Case Today

“United States Atty. Otto Kerner Jr. said yesterday he will appear before Federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy today to ask that a trial date be set for Preston Tucker, president of the Tucker corporation, and seven other per sons indicted June 10 on charges of violating the mail fraud statutes and the securities act.

“If the judge fixes a trial date, he is also expected to set dates for motions by defense counsel who are likely to move that the indictments be quashed or dismissed. If these motions are denied, the trial likely will be held next fall, it was said.

“At a conference attended by Kerner, District Judge Michael L. Igoe, Tucker corporation reorganization trustees, and representatives of the War Assets Administration, the parties agreed that the WAA would not take steps to repossess the Tucker plant until the trustees have an engineering report on the corporation.”

June 28, 1949 Associated Press newswire story:

“Tucker Trial Set for Oct. 3

“Chicago, June 28 - (AP) - Trial of Preston Tucker and seven co-defendants on federal charges - resulting from promotion of a rear-engine automobile was set today for Oct. 3.”

June 28, 1949 Associated Press newswire story:

“Tucker Granted Patent On 'Design for An Auto'

“Washington, June 28 (AP) - The patent office finally has issued to Preston Tucker a patent on the new-type automobile he proposed to build, but never has gotten into mass production.

“Government records showed yesterday that Tucker was granted patent No. 154192 on a ‘design for an automobile.’ The application was filed March 15, 1947, in Tucker’s name and was assigned to the Tucker Corp., Chicago, now facing bankruptcy proceedings. The patent covers what the certificate calls ‘the ornamental design for an automobile’ for a period of three and one-half years.”

July 9, 1949 Chicago Tribune story:

“Employees of Tucker Parade to Protest SEC Investigation

“Several hundred employees of the Tucker corporation held a parade through the business district yesterday in protest against the examination of the company s books by the securities and exchange commission. Preston Tucker, president of the automobile company, said a plant shutdown in which 2,000 employees were laid off resulted from the SEC insistence on examining the books.

“Included in the parade were five Tucker cars and a chassis carrying the new Tucker hydraulic drive. The floats carried statements indicating the workers’ support for Tucker, one float bore the legend ‘Our Assembly Lines are 100% For Tucker. On another was 'We'll Fight for Tucker Corporation.'

“Meanwhile six representatives of the SEC entered the company s plant - the big former Dodge Chicago aviation engine plant - to start checking the books to see whether the company had engaged in any financial irregularities.”

July 19, 1949 Associated Press newswire story:

“Tucker Dealers Incorporate for Reorganization

“Chicago (AP) - Representatives of the 700 original dealers for the rear-engine Tucker automobile incorporated as a nonprofit organization Monday and talked over a plan for reorganizing the car company.

“Preston Tucker, the auto firm’s president, and seven of his associates were indicted June 10 here on counts of mail fraud violations, alleged violation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and of conspiracy.

“The dealers’ organization is to be called the National Tucker Distributors and Dealers Association. Its representatives discussed a Tucker reorganization plan which one of them said will be offered to trustees of the firm and to the federal court here. Details of the plan will be announced later.

“On July 1, Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe allowed an attorney for the firm’s trustees until Aug. 11 to report on the company’s condition and to recommend whether it should be liquidated or reorganized.

“The Tucker plant here never got into mass production of the radically-designed automobile and now is shut down.

“George A. Schmidt of Chicago was elected president of the dealers association.”

August 2, 1949 United Press newswire story:

“Tucker Under Fire

“Chicago, Aug. 2 (UP) - An attorney today asked Federal District Judge Michael L. Igoe for hearings on an order which would restrain Preston Tucker, Jr. from disposing of any properties obtained through the Tucker Corporation, automobile firm which now is in receivership.”

August 4, 1949 International News Service wire article:

“Chicago Firm Reports On Tucker Car Of Future

“Chicago, today (INS) - Preston Tucker would scarcely recognize his ‘Revolutionary’ rear-engined auto if a Chicago management engineering firm had its way about his car of the future. A two-month survey completed yesterday by Stevenson, Jordon and Harrison, Inc., said money still is Tucker’s main problem.

“In a report to guide Trucker Corp. trustees in reorganization of the auto firm, the engineering group said it will cost more than 71 million dollars to produce Tucker autos on a commercial scale.

“And, the engineers said, the project would involve major changes in Trucker’s design.

“Tucker would have to look twice before knowing it was ‘his’ auto. The management firm suggested a change in Tucker’s scheduled transmission system, and ‘considerable more research’ on wheel suspension, redesign of body panels, different bumpers, new frame, change in the present center headlight, new front fender panels and rearrangement of mufflers and exhaust pipes.”

August 4, 1949 Associated Press wire article:

“Claim Tucker Needs 71 Million Dollars to Produce Autos

“Chicago, (AP) - A total of $71,206,283 would be needed to put the Tucker corporation in condition to produce automobiles on a commercial scale, a management engineering firm said today.

“The firm, Stevenson, Jordan and Harrison, Inc., submitted its conclusions in a report to Aaron Colnon and John H. Chatz, trustees in reorganization proceedings against Preston Tucker s firm, which had planned production of a rear engine automobile. The report is based on a two month survey authorized by Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe and was prepared for filing in court Monday.

“Putting the company on a commercial production basis would require 17 or 18 months, the report said.

“The report estimated the first car would not be produced until the ninth month pending assembling of an organization, completion of necessary engineering, purchase, receiving and installing of all additional machinery, tools, dies, jigs and fixtures.

“The engineers projected a price of $3,289.60 for the car, about $1,000 more than was mentioned by the Tucker firm during its months of advertising and publicity.”

August 10, 1949 Associated Press wire article:

“Asks Dismissal

“Chicago, Aug. 10 – (AP) – Preston T. Tucker and seven associates in his rear-engine automobile manufacturing business have asked that federal indictments against them be dismissed. The indictments charge them with mail fraud, violation of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and conspiracy.”

August 12, 1949 Associated Press wire article:

“Tucker Denied Use of Report by SEC

“Chicago, Aug. 12 – (AP) – Preston Tucker Friday was denied access to a Securities and Exchange Commission report on the Tucker Corporation.

“Tucker, founder of the firm which proposed to manufacture rear-engine automobile, and two other charged with mail fraud and conspiracy, had sought the records for their defense. Indicted with Tucker are Robert Pierce and Harold A. Karsten, both of whom were active in the Tucker Corp.”

August 20, 1949 International News Service wire item:

“Tucker Trying to Revive Sagging Auto Company

“Chicago, (AP) — Preston Tucker, would-be auto maker, was on his way to Canada today to talk with a Canadian financier about reviving his financially-sagging automobile corporation.

“Judge Walter J. LaBuy granted Tucker permission yesterday to leave the jurisdiction of the district federal court. LaBuy later will hear the government's charges that Tucker violated the Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.”

August 23, 1949 British United Press newswire story:

“Tucker In Canada

“Saint John, N.B., Aug. 23 - (BUP) — Preston T. Tucker of Chicago, who has hopes for "a rear-engine automobile, arrived lere by plane Monday night Mr. Tucker was said to be seeking $70,000,000 from Canadian capitalists to revive his company.”

Sept 2, 1949 United Press wire item:

“Tucker Claims Gang Threatens Him

“Chicago, Sept. 2 (UP) - Preston Tucker, would-be auto builder under indictment for mail fraud, said today that members of the Capone gang have threat ened his life. Tucker connected the threats with a prowler seen tampering with windows on the fire escape at his apartment building early yesterday. It was reported that members of the Capone syndicate hac bought franchises on Tucker's rear-engine car and were demanding their money back be cause the cars never were placed in mass production. The franchises reportedly were purchased by front men for the gang.”

Sept 13, 1949 Associated Press wire article:

“Tax Lien Filed Against Preston Tucker

“Chicago — (AP) — The government filed a $35,150 income tax lien Monday against Preston R. Tucker promoter of the rear-engined automobile that never got started in mass production. John P. Jarecki, Jr., internal revenue collector, filed the lien in the county recorder's office. It is for 1947 income taxes for $33,005, plus interest, Jarecki said. A duplicate lien was filed in Ypsilanti, Mich., where Tucker has property Jarecki said. He estimated the tax due was on an income of between $50,000 and $60,000. Tucker and seven of his associates are under indictment on federal charges of mail fraud, violation of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, and conspiracy.”

Sept 14, 1949 United Press wire item:

“Judge Demands Copy of Federal Report on Tucker

“Chicago - (UP) - A federal judge Tuesday demanded a copy of a confidential government report on the Tucker Automobile! Corp. and an embarrassed U.S. attorney asked for time to consider the request. District Judge Walter J. LaBuy asked for the report of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on its investigation of the firm at a hearing for Preston Tucker, president, under indictment for mail fraud in connection with financing the venture into rear-engine auto manufacture.

“Dist. Atty. Otto L. Kerner objected and said he would confer with his staff today on the Judge’s request. He could be cited for contempt of court if he refuses.

“Kerner’s objection was that if LaBuy read the report, the defense eventually may be able to say his verdict was prejudiced.

“LaBuy replied he felt it was his duty to read the report.”

Sept 1, 1949 Associated Press newswire item:

“Tucker Corporation’s Reorganization In Doubt

“Chicago, Sept. 14. - (AP) - Trustees of the foundered Tucker Corporation reported to a federal court judge today 'it appears- extremely doubtful' that it can be reorganized. However, the court-appointed officials, who had been ordered to submit a reorganization plan tomorrow or report why reorganization might not be feasible, asked District Judge Michael L. Igoe to let them have until October 3 to consider the question. The corporation was organized by Preston T. Tucker in 1946 to produce a rear-engined automobile. The firm took in approximately $29,000,000 through stock sales and franchises, but went on the financial rocks before setting up an assembly line.”

September 19, 1949 United Press newswire item:

“Tucker Torpedo May Yet Be Put Into Production

“CHICAGO — (UP) — The Tucker Torpedo may yet become the ‘Car of Tomorrow,’ but, this time without he guidance of Preston Tucker, founder of the rear-engine automobile firm.

“A group of distributors and dealers said they hope to negotiate a $20,000,000 stock issue and obtain a grant from the Reconstruction Finance corporation to put the giant plant back in operation.

“Tucker holds a 10-year lease on the $170,000,000 plant here. Trustees of the Tucker Corp. have asked the federal government to take over maintenance of the plant because the estate cannot afford the $37,000 to $56,000 a month upkeep bills.”

September 20, 1949 International News Service newswire item:

“Tucker Trial Set for Oct. 3

“Chicago – (INS) – The last of 25 defense motions was out of the way today in preparation for the Chicago trial of would-be automobile maker Preston Tucker on federal charges pf conspiracy and mail fraud.

“The designer of a never-produced rear-engined auto and seven codefendants go on trial October 3. The eight Tucker Corporation executives were indicted last June after lengthy grand jury investigation.

“Judge Walter J. LaBuy overruled 22 remaining preliminary motions yesterday in rapid-fire action. He previously had denied three others.

“One overruled motion was a request to subpoena a 700-page report prepared by the Securities and Exchange Commission which conducted a probe of the Tucker Corporation.

“Government attorneys revealed yesterday they have issued subpoenas for nearly 80 prosecution witnesses.”

September 20, 1949 International News Service newswire item:

“Federal Court Denies Request Preston Tucker

“Chicago, Sept. 20 (INS) - A Federal court has denied the request of Preston Tucker to have a look at the report on his rear engine automobile company made by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“A lawyer for Tucker, the indicted president of the company now being reorganized, wanted to see the SEC report in order to prepare his defense.

“Tucker and seven associates face charges of violating SEC regulations and mail fraud in connection with promotion of the Tucker car.

“The court also denied Tucker's request for dismissal of the indictment on the grounds of violation of his constitutional right to immunity.

“Another defendant, Harold Karsten, pleaded today that he was without funds. But Judge Waller LaBuy warned Karsten that the evidence was all against him—he had flown to Chicago from California, had made several long distance call and - said the judge ‘His personal appearance reflected prosperity.”

September 25, 1949 United Press newswire item:

“Deny Continuance In Tucker Trail

“Chicago, Sept. 25 (UP) – Federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy today denied a request for a 60-day continuance in the mail fraud and conspiracy trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates in his ill-fated automobile venture.

“The petition for a delay was filed by Albert Dilling, attorney representing former Tucker treasurer and director Robert Pierce. Dilling charged that articles about Tucker in Colliers magazine and Readers Digest made it ‘humanly impossible to obtain an unprejudiced, impartial jury and a fair, impartial trail.’”

September 26, 1949 Associated Press newswire item:

“October 4 Will Be Date of Trail Of Preston Tucker

“Chicago, Sept. 26 - (AP) - October 4 will be an important date in the tangles affairs of the Tucker Corporation and its founder.

“In separate action today, federal judges: (1) declined a motion to postpone beyond the date the trial date of Preston Tucker and his co-defendants on charges of mail fraud, violation of SEC rulings, and conspiracy: and (2) set that date for hearing on a motion to surrender the Tucker plant to the government.

“Judge Michael L. Igoe granted the continuance on the surrender motion with a statement that there will be no further delays unless a definite plan of reorganization, backed by cash, is presented to the court. The company, which announced plans for manufacture of a rear-end engine automobile that never got into mass production, is undergoing reorganization under federal laws.

“John P. Lulinski, assistant U.S. attorney, told the court at least 4320,000 will be necessary to winterize and maintain the Tucker plant. The plant was leased from the War Assets Administration. The plant will revert to the government if it is not maintained.”

October 3, 1949 International News Service wire story:

“Motion to Delay Tucker Trial Lost

“Chicago - (INS) - A motion to delay the trial of Preston Tucker and seven officials of the Tucker Corporation on grounds two magazine articles were prejudicial to them was denied today by Federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy.

“Judge LaBuy took under advisement, however, a motion that the publisher, four editors and a writer of Colliers and five editors of Reader's Digest be held in contempt.

“Tucker and his associates face trial tomorrow on mail fraud counts, conspiracy and alleged violation of the securities and exchange act.”

The trial finally got underway on October 4, 1949 - the very same day that Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe signed an order returning the sprawling Tucker plant to the War Assets Administration. The United Press wire service carried the start of the conspiracy trial under the same headline that announced Tucker was losing the plant:

“Tucker Loses Plant As Fraud Trial Begins

“Promoter, 7 Associates Face Conspiracy Count In 28 Million Deal

“Chicago, Oct. 4 - (UP) - The Tucker Corp. lost its huge war plant today as Pres. Preston Tucker, Sr., and seven associates went to trial for alleged fraud in the $28,000,000 financing of a rear-engine automobile that never got into production.

“As the-mail fraud and conspiracy trial began before Federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy, in another courtroom Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe signed an order returning the sprawling Tucker plant to the War Assets Administration.

“Loss of the plant, world’s largest under a single roof, all but shattered Tucker’s dream of revolutionizing the automotive industry with a radically new car. It also put a major stumbling block in the way of any attempt to reorganize the firm.

“The plant was built by the government during the war at a cost of $170,000,000. The handsome promoter and his associates were indicted June 10 by a federal grand jury which charged that they used the mails to defraud and conspired to violate regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“The trial, which may last as long as four months, is expected to disclose what happened to the millions poured into the firm by eager stockholders and would-be Tucker dealers and distributors.

“The government has subpoenaed 80 witnesses, and government attorneys said they would require about seven weeks to complete their case.”

October 4, 1949 Edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“Tucker Fraud Trial Opens In U.S. Court Today

“Plea For Delay Is Denied by Judge LaBuy

“by Thomas Furlong

“A new chapter in the amazing career of Preston Tucker, the former motorcycle cop who tried big time promotion, opens this morning in the court room of Federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy. Tucker and seven individuals associated with him in the promotion of his automobile manufacturing enterprise will go on trial on charges of violating the federal securities act and the mail fraud statute.

“The way was cleared for opening the trial at 10 o’clock this morning with the denial yesterday of a last minute plea for a delay on behalf of one of the defendants.

“Received 25 Million Dollars

“The trial is expected to last several months. The enterprise out of whose operations the charges grew was launched less than 3½ years ago, in July, 1946. A year later Tucker began raising money from investors who were impressed by his promises to revolutionize the automobile industry and from prospective dealers and cur buyers. Tucker corporation got an estimated 25 to 30 million dollars from these sources.

“After the promised revolution in car building died the affairs of the corporation passed into the hands of two trustees appointed by tile Federal court last March. The corporation has missed two rental payments on the huge plant at 7401 S. Cicero av. which it leases from the government. They are making arrangements to turn the plant back to the war assets administration.

“Prosecution of the case against the eight defendants will be handled by Lawrence J. Miller, first assistant United States attorney, under the direction of United States Atty. Otto Kerner. A special venire of 200 has been called for jury service.

“Equipped with Microphones

“The court room has been equipped with additional seats because of the widespread interest in the case and microphones have been installed for the use of Judge LaBuy, the attorneys and the witnesses.

“The defendants other than Tucker are Floyd D. Cerf, head of the small investment firm that directed the sale of 20 million dollars of Tucker stock; Fred Rockelman, executive vice president and director of Tucker corporation; Robert Pierce, Detroit, former treasurer and director; Mitchell W. Dulian, former general sales manager and a director; Otis Radford, former director who also served for a time as treasurer; Cliff Knoble, former advertising director, and Harold A. Karsten, alias Abraham Karatz.

“Karsten was associated with Tucker in the early days of the spectacular stock promotion. He is a former Minneapolis attorney who served a three to five year term in the Illinois state penitentiary on conviction for fraud and conspiracy.

“Hints Line of Prosecution

“A paragraph in the indictment suggests the line of the government’s prosecution. This asserts that the defendants ‘devised and intended to devise a certain scheme and artifice to defraud and for obtaining money and property by false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises from certain persons’ through sale of common stock, distributor and dealer franchises, and various accessories for use on the Tucker cars that never reached the commercial market.

“The indictment also charges excessive salaries and expense allowances were paid to the defendants and that fictitious developmental and experimental projects also were financed with corporation funds. Another phase of Tucker’s activity that may come under scrutiny in the trial is the circumstances under which he obtained a government lease with option to buy the huge plant that was operated during the war by Chrysler Corporation for the manufacture of airplane engines. Tucker won over other competitors, although he had little or no money and no experience as a large scale manufacturer.

“List Defense Attorneys

“Tucker, Dulian and, Radford will be represented by Attys. Frank J. McAdams Jr. and William T. Kirby; Rockelman and Knoble by Atty. Justus Chancellor, Jr.; Karsten by Atty. James K. Mortimer. Cerf will he represented by Floyd H. Thompson, former chief justice of the Illinois Supreme court and Pierce, by Albert W. Dilling and Kirkpatrick Dilling. The unsuccessful attempt yesterday to delay the trial was made on behalf of Pierce. His attorneys claimed that their client s right to a fair trial was prejudiced by publication of articles critical of the defendants.

“When Tucker appeared in Chicago in 1946 with his ambitious scheme to build a new rear engined automobile of ‘advanced’ design he got a cold reception from bankers and others. After swinging the deal for the big government plant, however, he was able to get Cerf to direct the sale of his stock.

“Sold at $5 a Share

“Four million shares were offered at $5 a share on which the corporation netted about 17 million dollars. The stock subsequently sold around a high of $6 a share in unlisted trading and then plunged to a few cents a share.

“Before launching his auto venture Tucker operated a machine shop in Ypsilanti, Mich., owned by his mother. Tucker, who is 46, said he had ‘entered the automobile industry’ at the age of 13 as an office boy for the president of Cadillac Motor Car company. Most of his ideas for the advanced Tucker car, he said, originated during his association with the late Harry Miller, a builder of racing cars.

“Warren H. Orr, former Illinois Supreme Court judge who now represents the National Tucker Stockholders association, said that the group will submit to Judge Michael L. Igoe in Federal court today a plan for reorganizing the Tucker corporation. Orr said his group proposed to offer each of the 44,000 Tucker stockholders an opportunity to buy more stock at $5 a share to raise $20,000,000.”

The government began the first day of testimony, October 6, 1949, with two witnesses; ex-GM stylist George S. Lawson, who had created the very first Tucker designs and ex-Associated Press correspondent, Charles T. Pearson, who served as Tucker’s first public relations man and in 1960 wrote his own account of the Tucker automobile saga - ‘The Indomitable Tin Goose: The True Story of Preston Tucker and His Car’. Assisting U. S. Attorney Otto Kerner in the prosecution of the case were attorneys Robert J. Downing and Lawrence J. Miller. The trial’s first day was covered by the Chicago Tribune’s Thomas Furlong in its October 7, 1949 edition:

“Dream Fabrics of Tucker Auto Unfold in Court

“Designer Never Saw Any Mechanical Work

“by Thomas Furlong

“The inception in 1944 of the Tucker automobile and some of the preliminary steps in its promotion were described yesterday by the first government witnesses to take the stand in the federal court trial of Preston T. Tucker and seven associates on charges of mail fraud and violation of the federal securities act.

“George S. Lawson, an Ohio toy maker, said he matte the first design for the Tucker car in the summer of 1944 after a conference with Tucker at the latter’s home in Ypsilanti, Mich. Lawson said he made his own design after Tucker had shown him one that ‘looked like a potato bug with wheels sticking out in the air.’

“Defense Loses Most Protests

“Defense attorneys protested much of Lawson's testimony and that of the other government witness, Charles Pearson, a free-lance writer, but the lawyers were overruled on most essential points by Judge, Walter J. LaBuy.

“Lawson testified that he was associated with Tucker for about 2½ years but he never saw any evidence of mechanical development of the car he had designed. Lawson said he never was shown any blueprints for a motor, chassis, or undercarriage for the projected car.

“Lawson’s testimony was given on examination by Robert J. Downing, assistant United States attorney. Defense attorneys on cross tried to establish that such blue prints would not have been shown to the person supervising styling. Lawson insisted, however, that knowledge of the chassis and undercarriage was essential to carrying out a practical design.

“U.S. Assails Defense Tactics

“Defense attorneys made 84 objections during yesterday’s session, the government attorneys 19. Most of the government objections were in protest of the tactics of the defense attorneys in their attempts to shake the testimony of the witnesses.

“Pearson, the second government witness, was identified as the author of an article published in December, 1945, in Pic magazine that touted the automotive engineering prowess of Tucker. The article described the projected Tucker car as the ‘first serious threat’ to the established manufacturers like Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford.

“Pearson testified that the article was based on an interview with Tucker in Ypsilanti late in 1945 and that he had gone over the article with Tucker after it was written and before it was submitted to the publishers. Pearson said that he first met Tucker a year earlier when he was automobile editor of the United Press in Detroit.

“Magazine Article Read

“The magazine article has been credited with playing a big part in getting the Tucker promotion underway.

“The article, which was read to the jury, described the many features that Tucker promised to incorporate in his automobile, which was to retail for about $1,000.

“It the Tucker car as one that would cruise at 100 miles an hour; run 35 to 65 miles on a gallon of gasoline, and eliminate 70 per cent of the starting and stopping required in the conventional automobile.

“Pearson represented Tucker in the article as an ‘internationally known’ automotive engineer who had collaborated in designing racing cars that had won 14 of 16 races on the Indianapolis speedway.

“Article Read to Jury

“Over defense protests as to admissibility of the Pearson article, the court permitted it to be read to the jurors. Judge LaBuy said that it could be ruled out later if the government prosecutors fail to tie it in with the conspiracy charge against the defendants.

“Pearson will take the stand for cross-examination this morning.

“The government attorneys made clear that they expected to show that both the design for the Tucker car prepared by Lawson and the article by Pearson were part of a gigantic and deliberate conspiracy on the part of Tucker and his associates to raise money for financing their venture.

“Model Used for Photographs

“Early in his testimony Lawson said that at Tucker’s request he had made in 1946 some sketches and photographs based on his first design that were used in an advertising brochure ‘about the time’ the stock promotion was getting under way.

“Lawson said he photographed a one-quarter sized clay model of the Tucker automobile thru a special lens to get a picture that ‘would look like a real automobile.’ The picture was taken against a backdrop. It was then retouched and sent to Chicago for Tucker’s use, Lawson said.

“Lawson also testified that he met several of the defendants during his conference with Tucker. Among them he named Fred Rockelman, director and executive vice president; Robert Pierce, treasurer and director, and Harold Karsten, alias Abraham Karatz.

“Tucker Sued by Designer

“Lawson said Tucker told him that Karsten ‘had influence, or rather channels, through which to raise money for the Tucker car.’

“Lawson said he sued Tucker for services, finally receiving $10,000 in settlement of a claim of $45,000.

“Trustees of Tucker corporation filed a petition before Federal District Judge Michael L. Igoe late yesterday asking an extension of 60 days in which to submit a plan of reorganization. Today is the deadline.”

The government began the second day of testimony, October 7, 1949, with their next witnesses, former a former superintendent in the Willow Run bomber plant and one time Tucker western sales manager Arnold R. Peterson. Once again the Chicago Tribune’s Thomas Furlong covered the day’s events for the following day's (October 8, 1949) Tribune:

“Tucker Dream Of Riches Is Cited At Trial

“Close Friend Tells of Early Deals

“by Thomas Furlong

“The dreams of riches that stirred the mind of Preston Tucker in the early days of his unsuccessful automobile promotion were described yesterday by an intimate associate and lodge brother of Tucker who testified in the 28 million dollar fraud trial presided over by Federal Judge Walter J. La Buy.

“Tucker and seven other present and former officials of the Tucker corporation, now in the bankruptcy court, are being tried on charges of violation of the mail fraud and securities acts.

“Witness on Stand All Day

“The witness, who spent the entire day on the stand, is Arnold R. Peterson, a former superintendent in the Willow Run bomber plant, near Ypsilanti, Mich., Tucker' s home town.

“Peterson said he first met Tucker in the fall of 1944 when they and others were forming a Shrine club in Ypsilanti.

“Peterson said he was elected vice president of the club at the organizational meeting and was invited to visit Tucker’s home with other officers of the club after the meeting. Later he visited with Tucker several times and on one of the occasions Tucker showed him the pictorial prospectus of the car he was planning to build.

“‘Confidential,’ Tucker Said

“‘He told me I was the third person to see the prospectus and that it was strictly confidential,’ said Peterson.

“Peterson said that Tucker indicated to him early in their acquaintanceship that he wanted Peterson to ‘have a part’ in the undertaking. It was not until a year later, however, that they got down to business, Peterson said.

“Late in 1945, Peterson said that Tucker told him: ‘We could make a lot of money out of this thing and if it did fold up we could go back to Ypsilanti and watch the world go by.’

“It was at this time, said Peterson, that Tucker talked to him about getting a war plant in which to manufacture the projected automobile. Among the plants discussed were the Willow Run plant, then operated by Ford Motor company, and the Dodge Chicago plant, operated by Chrysler corporation. These were the two largest industrial facilities built with government money during the war. Eventually Tucker got a lease on the Dodge plant in Chicago, with option to buy, despite the vigorous competition of other bidders.

“Offered Job by Tucker

“In April, 1946, Peterson testified, he received a phone call at his home in Ypsilanti from Noble Tucker, Preston's son. He told me, Peterson related, that his father wanted me to come to Chicago and go to work.

“Peterson said he accepted the invitation and later the elder Tucker promised to ‘make me a vice president of some kind so I could watch the other officials.’ Peterson said he was placed immediately in charge of ‘body construction’ for Tucker corporation.

“Defense Atty. Floyd E. Thompson, counsel for Floyd D. Cerf, questioned Peterson at length on cross- examination about his first meeting with Tucker, emphasizing the witness’ close personal and social friendship with Tucker.

“Quizzed on Tucker Quote

“Thompson also grilled him about Tucker’s statement that the undertaking might be a flop but that the two of them would make some money out of it.

“‘You didn’t take it very seriously, did you?’ asked Thompson.

“‘No, I didn’t think about it,’ replied the witness.

“‘You didn't tell Cerf that the undertaking was all a fraud when you first met him, did you?’ asked Thompson.

“‘No,’ Peterson replied.

“Earlier on direct testimony Peterson told of a conference in Tucker’s room in the Drake hotel at which an agreement was entered into under which Cerf was to undertake the underwriting of a stock issue for Tucker corporation.

“Peterson Present at Session

“The time of this meeting was fixed as Sept. 28, 1946. Present were Tucker, Peterson, Cerf and Defendant Harold A. Karsten, alias Abraham Karatz, who served a term in the Illinois state penitentiary on conviction for fraud.

“At this conference, which lasted several hours, Karsten drew up a memo agreement under which it was stipulated that Cerf’s company was to undertake the underwriting under terms to be agreed upon at a subsequent conference, the witness said.

“After the principals signed the agreement, the meeting broke up at 4 o clock in the morning of the 29th and some of the group went to Rickett’s cafe on Chicago av., among them Tucker and Peterson, the questioning brought out.

“Peterson described Tucker as being enthusiastic over the progress made when they reached Ricketts. Peterson quoted Tucker as saying, ‘I’ll make you more than you have ever made in your life.’

“Sold $50,000 in Stock

“Peterson said that Karsten also advised him, ‘Do what Tucker says and you will be all right.’

“The witness also related that he was first introduced to other defendants in the case including Fred Rockelman, executive vice president and director of Tucker and Robert Pierce, former director and treasurer. He said he worked under Rockelman at the plant and helped in the sale of Tucker stock and franchises. He estimated that he sold about $50,000 of the stock.

“The witness told of one meeting he had with Pierce late in 1947, after the stock had been sold, in which Pierce declared his intention to leave the Tucker corporation. ‘He said Tucker was crooked and he was getting out,’ said Peterson.

“During the cross-examination Peterson replied in the negative when asked if he had told other officials of the company about Pierce’s description of Tucker.

“Jobless About a Year

“Questioning by defense attorneys also brought out that Peterson has been unemployed for about a year and has been living in the Southmoor hotel for the last three weeks.

“Over the protest of the defense attorneys, the government prosecutors got into evidence several documents and photographs relating to the early promotion of the company.

“Among them were the contract forms signed with dealers. Several dealers are expected to appear later as witnesses.

“The trial was adjourned until 10 a. m. Monday after the conclusion of Peterson’s testimony.

“Federal District Judge Michael L. Igoe yesterday granted the Tucker corporation reorganization trustees an additional 60 days to prepare a reorganization plan or submit a report that reorganization is inadvisable. The trustees were to have reported yesterday. The new deadline is Dec 12.”

Tribune reporter Thomas Furlong summed up the events of the previous week in the October 10, 1949 edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“Trial of Tucker and 7 To Enter 2d Week Today

“Government May Need 6 Weeks For Case

“by Thomas Furlong

“The fraud trial growing out of Preston Tucker's fabulous automobile promotion that flopped today enters its second week with the government s case only one-sixth completed. Three of the government’s 75 witnesses testified last week.

“When the trial is resumed at 10 o’clock this morning a government witness, as yet unidentified, will take up the story of the enterprise that was conceived in 1944, launched in 1946 and collapsed in 1949. Into the venture went 28 million dollars raised by the sale of stock, dealer franchises and accessories designed for cars that were never delivered.

“Present Case Chronologically

“The government prosecutors are presenting history of the enterprise chronologically. Their objective is clear. They hope by piecing together the history of the promotion to prove their thesis that the money was raised by deliberate misrepresentation; that the claims made for the Tucker car were false; that it was not a case of bad business judgment, but fraud.

“The government s case is being presented by two youthful attorneys, Lawrence L. Miller, first assistant United States district attorney, who is 43, and Robert J. Downing, an assistant, 34. Otto Kerner Jr., the district attorney, made the opening statement in the government case and is acting in a supervisory role.

“At times there have been nine defense attorneys in the courtroom representing the eight defendants, all or former officials of the corporation. Representing Tucker are William T. Kirby and Frank J. McAdams. Kirby is a former regional official of the War Assets Administration, the government agency that gave Tucker corporation a lease on the huge Dodge Chicago plant at 7401 Cicero av. over the strenuous opposition of other bidders.

“Former Chief Justice

“Perhaps the outstanding figure among the defense attorneys is Floyd E. Thompson, a former chief justice of the Illinois Supreme court, who represents Floyd D. Cerf, whose small La Salle St. investment firm put out the 20 million dollar stock issue that provided the basis for the charge of violation of the federal security act.

“Thompson has been vigorous in protesting certain evidence that the government has tried to get into the record. He has been successful on certain points but has been overruled on several occasions. Albert W. Dilling, counsel for defendant Robert Pierce, former director and treasurer, has cross-examined witnesses on every occasion on behalf of his client and is frequently on his feet protesting to the court. Most of the other defense attorneys have been content to let one of their members do the cross-examining.

“Much of the evidence presented by the government has been admitted by Judge Walter J. LaBuy, with the reservation that the prosecutors must tie it up later with the general charges of conspiracy. Some of it may be ruled out later.

“Magazine Article Admitted

“An undramatic piece of evidence, but perhaps the most important admitted thus far in the case, is an article by Charles Pearson, freelance writer, published in December, 1945, in Pic magazine.

“The article gives a glowing account of Tucker and his projected automobile. Tucker's engineering prowess is described in superlatives.

“Pearson testified briefly as a government witness, identifying himself as the author and further stating that he had gone over the article with Tucker before its publication. He said Tucker approved the article. A later witness, Arnold L. Peterson, a close friend and lodge brother of Tucker, reinforced Pearson's testimony.

“Article Read to Jury

“Peterson said Tucker had told him that he (Tucker) had gotten Pearson to write the article that the automobile as represented in the article was the car he was going to produce. Pearson was not cross- examined by the defense attorneys or was Peterson’s reference to the Pic article touched upon in the cross-examination. The article, tentatively admitted by Judge LaBuy over the objections of the defense, was read to the jury.

“The trial thus far has been almost entirely a government affair, except for the cross-examination. The government expects to complete its case in another four or five weeks after which the defense will get its inning.”

The government began the third day of testimony, October 10, 1949, with their next witness, former Tucker Corp. secretary - and Preston T. Tucker’s first cousin - Mark Mourne. Once again Thomas Furlong covered the trial for the Chicago Tribune in the paper's October 11, 1949 edition:

“Tucker Trial Is Halted by U.S. Witness

“Calls Defendant Former Felon

“by Thomas Furlong

“The fraud trial of Preston T. Tucker and seven other current and former officials of Tucker corporation was abruptly adjourned yesterday by federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy after the defense asked for a mistrial. The defense motion, on which a ruling will be made this morning, was made after a government witness blurted out the information that one of the defendants has a criminal record.

“The defendant about whom the testimony was given is Harold Karsten, alias Abraham Karatz, who was associated closely with Tucker in the early days of the promotion and played a leading part in getting the financing for the company, which is now in the bankruptcy court.

“Witness Cousin of Tucker

“The disclosure of Karsten's record was made by Mark Mourne, a former secretary of Tucker corporation and a first cousin of Tucker, while he was being examined by Lawrence J. Miller, one of the government prosecutors.

“All the defense attorneys joined in the motion for a mistrial on the ground that the testimony constituted a prejudicial trial error. Two of the defense attorneys accused the government prosecutors of deliberately provoking the disclosure.

“Mourne was testifying about his association with the defendants in 1946 when Miller asked the witness if he recalled ever having had a conversation with Tucker about Karsten. The witness said he had such a conversation with Tucker in July of that year. At this point Atty. Floyd E. Thompson, representing Floyd D. Cerf, objected to the line of questioning and asked that he be permitted to explain his objection outside the hearing of the jury.

“Judge Holds Conference

“Judge LaBuy summoned the government and defense attorneys for a private conference. Thompson explained that he believed that the questioning was calculated to bring a disclosure of Karsten's record. This the government attorneys denied. The witness was permitted to resume his testimony. In response to the question, ‘What was the substance of your conversation with Tucker,’ Mourne replied:

“‘I told Mr. Tucker that Mr. Karsten had a criminal record.’

“This statement brought all the defense attorneys to their feet protesting. The jury was excused and the court heard arguments on the point. The government attorneys argued that although it was not their intention to bring out the information about Karsten at that point in the trial it was not ground for an error. Miller contended that Karsten’s earlier conviction, for which he served a term in the Illinois state penitentiary, was similar to that on which he is now being tried and for that reason was admissible.

[Karsten was convicted in June, 1935, with Dave ‘Long Count’ Barry of conspiracy to embezzle funds of the Amalgamated Trust and Savings Bank. He served three years of a one to five year sentence in the state penitentiary at Stateville.]

“Adjourn to Await Ruling

“This incident occurred shortly before the noon recess. After brief period of argument by the attorneys court was recessed until 1:30 p. m. for further argument on the point. At that time Judge LaBuy ordered a further adjournment until this morning, when he will rule on the motion. He denied a government request that the trial go on pending a ruling on the motion.

“Judge LaBuy indicated that the motion as it applied to Karsten individually would turn on whether the early offense of the defendant was in fact ‘similar.’ He asked attorneys to present evidence on that point today. It the offense for which Karsten was convicted is not similar to the present charge of mail fraud and securities act violation, the disclosure of it is ‘certain prejudicial error,’ the court commented to attorneys.

“There remains the question of the effect of the testimony on the other defendants, the court said. Atty. Thompson said that his client could not risk trial under the circumstances unless the court ‘reprimanded the government counsel in unmistakable language’ so that the jury would be clear on the matter.

“U.S. Lawyers Cleared

“Thompson said it was beyond belief that the government prosecutors did not anticipate what the witness’ testimony was to be, although they denied it beforehand. Otto Kerner Jr., the district attorney, objected to Thompson’s statement as calling his assistants ‘liars,’ and asked an examination under oath of the attorneys and the witness. This request was brushed aside by the judge, who commented he did not believe that the government attorneys had been guilty of misrepresentation.

“Should a mistrial be declared it might require several weeks to get a new trial. The indictments would remain in force meanwhile.

“Before the incident that provoked the motion, Mourne had testified that he gave up his business on the coast to become secretary of Tucker corporation at Tucker’s request. The witness said his mother and Tucker’s mother are sisters. Mourne said he learned that he was to be a director of the corporation when he read the articles of incorporation prepared in a Washington law office.

“No Directors’ Meetings Held

“He said he never attended a directors’ meeting during his period with the company because ‘none was held.’

“Mourne said he was promised a salary by Tucker of $1,500 monthly but received only $500 a month and that was paid him by the Ypsilanti Machine and Tool company, another Tucker firm. He joined the Tucker group about Feb. 1, 1946, and handed in his resignation Nov. 22 of the same year.”

On October 11, 1949 Judge Walter J. LaBuy declared a mistrial due to Mourne's reference to Harold Karsten’s (alias Abraham Karatz) criminal record which improperly prejudiced the jury, ordering a new trial to start as soon as possible.

October 11, 1949 United Press newswire story:

“Holds Tucker Case Mistrial

“Chicago - (UP) - Federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy declared a mistrial today in the $28,000,000 mail fraud and conspiracy case against would-be automobile manufacturer Preston Tucker and seven associates.

“LaBuy scheduled a new trial for Oct. 17 and said he would call a new venire of 100 prospective jurors immediately. His declaration brought an abrupt end to the trial which began a week ago today.

“Tucker and his business associates are charged with mail fraud, violation of securities and exchange commission regulations, and conspiracy.

“LaBuy ruled that testimony by a government witness yesterday was a prejudicial error. The witness, Mark J. Mourne, a cousin of Tucker, identified co-defendant Harold A. Karsten as an ex-convict.”

October 12, 1949 United Press newswire story:

“Tucker Case Halted by Judge

“Mistrial Declared; New Trial Ordered

“Chicago - (UP) - Federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy Tuesday declared a mistrial in the big government mail fraud and conspiracy case against would-be auto builder Preston Tucker and seven associates. LaBuy's order halted after only a week, a trial that climaxed the $28,000,000 effort of Tucker to build a radically new automobile.

“New Trial Ordered

“A new trial was ordered for Oct. 17.

“Tucker and seven former or present officials of the nearly defunct Tucker Corp. were charged with mail fraud, violation of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations, and conspiracy.

“LaBuy ruled that testimony by a government witness Monday was a prejudicial error. The witness, Mark J. Mourne, Tucker's cousin, identified co-defendant Harold A. Karsten as an ex-convict.

“The testimony, heard by the jury, immediately prompted defense attorneys to demand a mistrial.

“New Jury Called

“LaBuy said he would call a new venire of 125 prospective jurors immediately.

“Karsten, alias Abe Karatz, was one of the early promoters of the Tucker Corp., which never did get into production a much publicized ‘car of tomorrow.’

“LaBuy held that Karsten's previous conviction, to which Mourne referred, in 1934 on an embezzlement charge had nothing to do with the present case. Hence, he said, mention of the conviction and Karsten's prison term before the jury in the Tucker trial was a prejudicial error.”

October 15, 1949 Edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“4 Defendants In Tucker Case Beg Trial Delay

“Defense attorneys in the Tucker fraud trial appeared before federal District Judge William J. Campbell yesterday to renew motions for trials and two to three month postponements of the re-trial scheduled to start Monday.

“The motions, denied last Tuesday by federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy, were entered but Judge Campbell declined to rule on them. In the absence of Judge LaBuy, Judge Campbell scheduled arguments on the motion before Judge LaBuy on Monday when he is scheduled to return to the city. He is the presiding judge in the case.

“The motions were made by attorneys Floyd Thompson, representing Floyd D. Cerf, and William T. Kirby, counsel for Preston Tucker, Otis Radford, and Mitchell W. Dulian. Cerf, Tucker, Radford, Dulian and four other past and present executives of Tucker corporation are on trial on charges of violating the mail fraud statute and the securities act.

“Thompson and Kirby urged a postponement, asserting the disclosure last Monday of the criminal record of Harold A. Karsten, alias Karatz, one of the defendants, and the resulting mistrial had created so much adverse publicity that a fair trial would be impossible at this time.”

October 17, 1949 Associated Press newswire story:

“Tucker Case Starts Again

“Chicago (AP) - Preston Tucker and seven associates, codefendants on multi-million dollar mail fraud charges, failed today in their efforts to get separate trials.

“Federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy denied the motions by defense attorneys. He also refused to postpone start of the second trial of the men who figured in the rear engine automobile venture.

“Selection of jurors then began. A venire of 125 was summoned.

“The first trial ended last Tuesday after a week's duration. The judge declared a mistrial because he said a government witness improperly prejudiced the jury by referring to the criminal record of one defendant.

“Defense lawyers argued today that because of publicity given this incident it is impossible to select an impartial jury. They also contended separate trials should be held because, they said, no evidence of a conspiracy has been shown.

“In asking separate trials, defense attorneys said that publicity given the courtroom reference to the prison record of Harold A. Karsten, alias Abraham Karatz, has ‘imbedded prejudice in the minds of future jurors.’

“Karsten helped Tucker, corporation president, in laying groundwork for financing the corporation, which was organized in 1946 to produce rear-engine automobiles. Prosecutors have said the officials misappropriated large sums of the $28,000,000 raised from stockholders, prospective dealers and distributors, and potential customers.

“Other defendants are Robert Pierce, former treasurer and director, Floyd D. Cerf, who floated the corporation's stock issue; Fred Rockelman, executive vice president; Mitchell W. Dulian, former general sales manager; Otis Radford, former director, and Cliff Knoble, former advertising director.”

The work of selecting an all-new jury was completed on October 18th. The second jury was as representative an American jury as could be wished, being evenly divided between six men (a carpenter, a painter, a bookkeeper, a salesman and two  machine operators) and six women (a telephone operator, four housewives and a widowed apartment building owner). October 19, 1949 Associated Press newswire story:

“Second Tucker Trial Opens in Chicago

“Chicago, (AP) - Prosecutors and defense attorneys present their opening statements Wednesday in the second trial of Preston Tucker, would-be auto manufacturer.

“The trial of Tucker and seven associates on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy will be heard by six men and six women. Their selection was completed Tuesday.

“The first trial of Tucker and the others, accused in federal indictments of fraud in their attempts to produce a revolutionary rear-engine car, ended in a mistrial last week.”

Ex-production manager of Ford Motor Co.'s big Rouge plant, Raymond R. Rausch, was the first witness called by the Government at the trial's October 21,1949 resumption. Rausch, who severed his connections with the Tucker venture long before the corporation was formed, detailed how Tucker continually ignored his advice and was woefully unprepared to embark upon the manufacture of an automobile, the October 22, 1949 edition of the Chicago Tribune reporting:

“Swears Tucker Offered Job At $50,000 A Year

“Then Borrowed $500, says Trial Witness

“Raymond R. Rausch, a vice president of General Electric company, yesterday told a jury in Federal District Court how Preston Tucker offered him a $50,000 a year job and then borrowed $500 from him. Rausch was the government’s fourth witness in the reopened trial of Tucker and seven present and former associates in the Tucker automobile enterprise on charges of fraud and conspiracy.

“Rausch, formerly a top official in Ford Motor company, was associated briefly with Tucker in the early days of the automobile venture before Tucker corporation was formed. He testified that late in 1945 Tucker offered him the job of executive vice president of the proposed Tucker corporation at $50,000 a year.

“Sends Tucker $500 Loan

“In February of the following year Rausch sent Tucker a check for $500 he asked as a loan ‘to help defray expenses until some money came up,’ Rausch further testified. He also said Tucker predicted his new car would make him (Tucker) an automobile magnet of sufficient stature to take over Ford Motor company.

“The government was temporarily balked in its effort to get on the witness stand an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to testify about an interview with Harold Karsten, alias Abraham Karatz, one of the defendants. Defense attorneys challenged the admissibility of such evidence at this time. Judge Walter J. La Buy said he would rule on the question Monday morning.

“Reference to Karsten’s criminal record by another witness resulted in declaration of a mistrial when the government first started to try the case two weeks ago.

“Urged Tucker to Settle Down

“Rausch told how he severed his connections with the Tucker venture early in 1946, long before the corporation was formed, because of its failure to make progress toward manufacture of a car. He described a meeting with Tucker in April, 1946, at which they discussed a publicity article listing features and performance capabilities of the projected auto.

“‘I said we should get a pilot model built before making all these claims,’ said Rausch. ‘I asked Tucker to settle down and get one thing done at a time instead of running all over the country all the time getting nothing done.’

“Rausch testified Tucker saw him late in 1945 and asked him to join the group developing the new car. At that time Tucker said possession of the Dodge-Chicago plant was virtually assured. Tucker offered Rausch the job of executive vice president in his proposed company, and suggested formation of a holding company first. The holding company would own all the patents ‘Tucker supposedly had,’ and later sell them to Tucker, Rausch said.

“No Engineering Plans Seen

“He told the jury Tucker took him early in 1946 to the Ypsilanti (Mich.) Machine and Tool company plant owned by Tucker's mother. There, Tucker pointed to some castings on the floor and said they were for his proposed car’s torque converter. Actually, Rausch testified, the castings were for an oil turbine. He said he saw no blueprints or engineering plans while he was associated with Tucker.

“Rausch said he and Tucker made numerous trips from Detroit to New York City, Washington, and Chicago in the winter of 1945-46 to seek financing aid for the venture and to investigate on the status of the Dodge-Chicago plant. They talked to two underwriting firms in New York City and to Joseph Rice, brother and partner of Daniel F. Rice, in Chicago. Rice ‘did not seem to have much interest in the thing,’ Rausch observed.

“The morning session began with a motion by Atty. Albert W. Dilling, representing Robert Pierce, for declaration of a mistrial because of a story in the current issue of Coronet magazine about the Tucker case written by a Chicago newspaper reporter who covered the hearing declared a mistrial. Judge Walter J. LaBuy denied the motion.”

On October 24, 1949 Tucker's cousin Mark Mourne returned to the stand, the October 25, 1949 edition of the Chicago Tribune reporting:

“Tucker Cousin Says $1,500 Job Didn’t Pay Off

“Mother’s Firm Sent $500 Several Times

“by William Clark

“Mark Mourne, Preston Tucker's first cousin, told a federal District court jury yesterday he was ‘surprised as anything’ when Cousin Preston offered him a $1,500 a month job with Tucker corporation – and somewhat further surprised when his actual pay proved to be $500 in some months, nothing in others.

“In fact, he never received any pay from the Tucker corporation. The $500 once-in-a-while payments came from a company owned by Tucker’s mother.

“Other testimony in the trial of Tucker and seven others on charges of fraud arising out of the Tucker automobile venture disclosed Tucker corporation was paying a publicity firm as much as $3,500 a month early in 1947. Of that amount the firm relayed $2000 a month as salary and expense money to Harold Karsten, alias Abe Karatz, a defendant in the case, who was then Tucker’s west coast representative.

“Court Cautions Witnesses

“Both Mourne and James E. Tripp, who told of Tucker’s dealings with his public relations firm, were cautioned by Judge Walter J. LaBuy out of hearing of the jury to make no reference to Karsten’s criminal record. Such a reference by Mourn, on the witness stand two weeks ago, caused a mistrial. Judge LaBuy gave a similar warning to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who is expected to testify today or tomorrow about an interview with Karsten. The Judge approved the agent’s scheduled appearance as a witness over strenuous objections of defense counsel.

“Mourn said his relations with Tucker were ‘very distant’ before December, 1945 when Tucker telephoned his cousin in Santa Rosa, Cal. and offered to make him secretary of the proposed automobile company. He told Mourne to go out and buy a copy of Pic magazine for information about the car. Mourne said he did and was further surprised to see the article already listed him as secretary.

“Weird Financial Arrangement

“Mourne told how he came to Chicago to join the Tucker group In February, 1946, stayed with it through the phase of incorporation, then resigned the next November. He said the corporation paid him no salary directly. The $500 monthly pay he received part of that time came in checks from the Ypsilanti [Mich.] Machine and Tool company, owned by Tuckers mother.

“He said one of his duties was to open two Tucker corporation accounts in the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust company of Chicago with checks received from dealers and distributors as payments for franchises. One of the accounts, which totaled $220,000, was called the Tucker corporation escrow account, although Mourne said he did not execute an escrow agreement with the bank and knew of no trust arrangement for it.

“Mourne, who had described Tucker’s offer of $1,500 a month salary as almost unbelievable to him, was asked on cross-examination if he borrowed $400 from Tucker in 1946.

“‘No, I wish I could have,’ he replied. ‘I did borrow $200 once as an advance against expenses – isn’t that right Preston?’ Tucker grinned from his place at the defendants table.

“Carsten Paid $2,000 Monthly

“Tripp, vice president of the public relations firm of Russell, Tripp and Neuworth, said his company handled Tucker corporation publicity throughout most of 1946 and 1947. In February, 1947, Karsten, who had been associated with Tucker from the earliest stages of the enterprise, said he was going to California to establish a dealership and be Tucker’s west coast representative. Tucker instructed Tripp to have his firm send Carsten $2,000 a month and add that sum to their monthly bill to the corporation, the witness asserted.

“Karsten was paid $8,750 in this manner, Tripp testified. The odd $750 was part of an initial payment.

“Tripp identified several press releases about the Tucker car and the corporation’s financing program which he said were prepared with the help of Tucker.”

FBI agent William W. Colby appeared as a witness on October 25, 1949, detailing his conversations with Harold Karsten (aka Abraham Karatz) one of Preston Tucker's earliest partners in the enterprise. Also testifying that day was James E. Tripp, vice president of Russell, Tripp & Neuworth, Tucker's publicity agent from 1946 to 1947; the October 26, 1949 edition of the Chicago Tribune reporting:

“FBI Witness Tells Inside Tucker Story

“Says Karsten Revealed $150,000 Bogus Check

“by William Clark

“The Infant Tucker corporation made a $150,000 down payment to the War Assets Administration on the immense Dodge-Chicago plant with a rubber check, the jury in the fraud trial of Preston Tucker and seven present and former associates was told yesterday. The story of the bouncing check was related by William W. Colby, an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who said he heard it from Harold Karsten, formerly known as Abe Karatz, one of the defendants.

“Tucker, Karsten, and the six other men are on trial in the federal District court of Judge Walter J. LaBuy on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy in their operation of the Tucker automobile enterprise.

“Tells Revelations by Karsten

“Colby said Karsten, who once served a prison term for conspiracy to embezzle bank funds, told him of the worthless check and made the following other assertions in interviews in Los Angeles a year and a half ago:

“1. Karsten took the first steps toward getting the Dodge-Chicago plant and adequate financing for the company, then was banished to California by Tucker and Floyd D. Cerf, another defendant, in an at- tempt to conceal Karsten’s connection with the venture.

“2. Cerf, who handled the sale of Tucker stock, insisted that Karsten change his name to its present form from Karatz (the name under which he had served time in prison).

“Ex-Convict Got $2,000 a Month

“3. Tucker said he would repay Karsten for services rendered by giving him a California Tucker automobile distributorship under the name of the Southern California Motor company. Until the distributorship was established, Karsten would be paid $2,000 a month in checks drawn on Tucker’s publicity firm. This arrangement was part of the plan to hide Karsten’s association with the Tucker program from the public. He left Chicago in February, 1947.

“Karsten, who later sued Tucker in an effort to collect for his alleged services, returned to Chicago late in 1947 and registered at the Stevens hotel. At 1 o’clock one morning Tucker and his wife called at Karsten’s room. Tucker told Karsten to get back to California and stay in the background until the Securities and Exchange Commission completed its investigation of the corporation. Tucker gave Karsten $1,000 for traveling expenses.

“Rubber Check Sent

“Colby quoted Karsten as saying he attended a meeting at to Drake hotel Aug. 1, 1946, at which Tucker, Robert Pierce, another defendant, and others discussed how to make the $150,000 payment due the War Assets Administration. The corporation did not have that much money. The others finally told Karsten to mail a check for the amount to WAA anyway, though they knew it would bounce, Colby testified. Karsten said he did not want to do it, but was forced to yield.

“Colby’s testimony was given over the strenuous objections of defense attorneys who argued it would he prejudicial to the other defendants. Judge La Buy told the jury the testimony was admissible only as evidence concerning Karsten, not the others. He also cautioned Colby, in the absence of the jury, to avoid mentioning Karsten’s criminal record. Mention of it by another witness Oct. 11 resulted in the government’s first effort to convict the group ending in a mistrial.

“In the morning session, James E. Tripp, vice president of the public relations arm of Russell, Tripp & Neuworth, identified quantities of press releases and other documents used in 1946 and 1947 to publicize the Tucker car and its production program. One such release covered the unveiling of the first Tucker auto at a meeting at the plant attended by 20,000 persons. The program that day reportedly was complicated by collapse of the car to be shown shortly before the scheduled showing.

“‘Did the program at that meeting go off as scheduled?’ asked Asst. United States Atty. Robert J. Downing.

“‘Well -’ began Tripp, in an introductory sort of way, but he was immediately cut off by objections from defense counsel, which were sustained by Judge LaBuy.”

October 26, 1949 Associated Press newswire story:

“Second Mistrial Asked In Preston Tucker Case

“Chicago, (AP) - Defense attorneys Tuesday asked a second mistrial in the government’s trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates, Tuesday. The first trial of Tucker and his associates, charged with mail fraud and conspiracy in attempting to produce a ‘car of tomorrow,’ ended in a mistrial, and the second trial began last week.

“Daniel C. Glasser, attorney for Harold A. Karstens, asked the mistrial from Judge Walter J. LaBuy Tuesday on grounds that newspaper accounts of the trial, referring to the past prison record of Karstens, were a ‘deliberate attempt to deliver to the jury what the court assiduously has kept from it.’ La Buy denied the motion. The jury was excused while Glasser argued the point.”

T.M. Stapleton, former supervisor in Tucker’s mailing and printing dept. detailed the endless stream of correspondence that passed through his office, as the government's first witness when the trial resumed on  October 26, 1949. Ellis Travers, vice president of Roy S. Durstine, Inc., also testified that Tucker Corp. spent $800,000 on advertising from Feb. 1947 through Dec. 1948. The Chicago Tribune’s William Clark covered the highlights of the two men’s testimony in the October 27, 1949 edition of the paper:

“Swears Tucker Spent $800,000 in 2 Years’ Ads

“Agent Also Tells of Three Kind of Sales Shows

“by William Clark

“Tucker Corporation spent over $800,000 in less than two years to publicize the rear engined Tucker automobile, an advertising executive told a federal District court jury yesterday. The intensive promotional campaign covered the period during and after the public sale of Tucker stock. The car never achieved commercial production.

“The witness was Ellis Travers, vice president of Roy S. Durstine, Inc., which handled the corporation’s advertising from February, 1947, to December, 1948. He testified in the trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates in the ill-fated Tucker auto venture on charges of fraud and conspiracy.

“Big Shows for Ballyhoo

“Travers described a series of grand scale ‘shows’ in June and July, 1947, at which Tucker displayed one of his handmade cars to investment dealers in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia, and 2,000 government officials in Washington. The Tucker stock was offered to the public July 24, 1947. Travers said scheduling of the shows was approved by an official of the securities and exchange com- mission. The exhibits were lavishly staged, with beauteous girl models included among the decorations.

“Travers said his firm was awarded the advertising contract at an early 1947 meeting in the Tucker plant attended by 35 Tucker officials. After a two hour conference, Travers Informed the jury, ‘they gave us the business.’

“Triple Variety of Bait

“In addition to handling the advertising, the agency prepared three types of shows, he explained. One was the type given the investment dealers. Another was designed for the general public and a third for labor groups.

“The day’s first witness, T.M. Stapleton, former supervisor in the Tucker corporation mailing and printing department, said the mail room got a heavy workout when Tucker officials were answering their critics.

“‘At one time there was a radio blast at Tucker corporation and everybody out there was up in arms to defend the corporation,’ he said. ‘Consequently, there was a lot of literature going out.’

“Letter Designed for Stockholders

“One such piece of literature was identified as a letter to stockholders, dated June 11, 1948. It was in that month that the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a court order forcing the company to produce its books and records for examination. The action provoked newspaper and radio comment.

“Stapleton identified letters dispatched through the plant mail room and bearing signatures of Fred Rockelman, Mitchell Dulian and Otis Radford, all defendants.”

Ellis Travers' testimony continued into the next day, Oct. 27, 1949, whose highlight was the damaging testimony of deceased racecar builder Harry A. Miller's wife and son, Ted Miller, who claimed Tucker was little more than a salesman and had nothing to do with the design of any of Miller's racecars. Damaging as most of Tucker's claims to engineering experience were related to his association with Miller, the Chicago Tribune's William Clark one again reporting the day’s events in the next day’s (Oct. 28, 1949) paper:

“Mother and Son Dispute Boasts Made by Tucker

“Deny He Helped To Build Miller Racing Cars

“by William Clark

“Preston Tucker, who has based his claim to fame as an engineer on his association with the late Harry Miller, racing car builder, did none of the designing or engineering for Miller's cars. This was the testimony yesterday of Miller's widow and his son, Ted, before a federal District court jury in the trial of fraud and conspiracy charges against Tucker and seven present and former associates in the Tucker auto venture.

“Other highlights in the day’s session before Judge Walter J. LaBuy included testimony by Ellis Travers, vice president of Roy S. Durstine, Inc., advertising agency which handled the Tucker corporation account, that –

“1. Sen. Homer Ferguson (R., Mich.) was the man referred to in a Tucker corporation advertisment as the ‘one influential member of congress’ to whom most of the corporation’s troubles could be traced.

“Corporation Gets Wedding Bill

“2. Some $600 worth of photographs and reprints of the wedding of Tucker's daughter early in 1948 were billed to the corporation at the request of the father of the bride.

“Ted Miller described Tucker’s position with his father as that of go-between or contact man of the late car builder with the companies for which he built racers. His mother later corroborated his testimony.

“The younger Miller said the first business association between Tucker and his father was in 1933 when they tried to form a company to build army tanks for a foreign country, identified out of court as Persia.

“The project fell thru and they turned to building a fleet of racing cars for Ford Motor company, the witness said. Tucker was liaison man between Miller and the company. The cars were to contain ‘as many Ford parts as possible.’

“Tucker Sought Race Drivers

“Later the two men were associated in a racing car project for Gulf Oil company, Miller testified. Defense counsel’s objections prevented him from describing Tucker’s duties on that job, but he said later out of court that Tucker was sent to Los Angeles to round up racing car drivers.

“Miller's testimony was given to the accompaniment of a steady stream of objections from defense attorneys who repeatedly insisted that the witness insert the phrase ‘to the best of my knowledge’ in his narrative. On cross-examination William T. Kirby, Tucker's lawyer, referred to Tucker-Miller associations on other projects which young Miller said he knew nothing about.

“Senator Blamed for Probe

“Travers, who also testified Wednesday, did not elaborate on Sen. Ferguson’s supposed activities in connection with the Tucker enterprise. However, Tucker corporation spokesmen in the past have charged Ferguson with responsibility for the series of government agency investigations of the corporation.

“Travers asserted Tucker justified his billing of the wedding photographs to the corporation by saying many dealers and distributors were asking for copies.

“Meanwhile, in another court room, Judge Michael L. Igoe was authorizing Tucker corporation’s trustees to sell on behalf of the company 2,000 automobile radios, seat covers, luggage, and other accessories for which the corporation paid about $200,000. They were never used. The trustees, Aaron Colnon and John H. Chatz, also were permitted to invite dealers and distributors to the plant to haul away some $417,000 worth of accessory groups for which they have already paid.

“Judge Igoe also told the trustees to return to the senders two cashier s checks, one for $6,000 and one for $4,000, sent in as payments on franchises several months ago and never acted upon by the corporation.

“Atty. Norman H. Nachman, representing the trustees, asked for interim allowances of $20,000 each for Colnon and Chatz and $22,500 for himself, saying the three had devoted virtually all their time to the Tucker property since their appointment last March. Judge Igoe scheduled a hearing on the allowances Nov. 17 and set Feb. 17 as the deadline for filing claims against the corporation.”

October 29, 1949 Associated Press newswire:

“Tucker Ads Shown Jury

“Chicago - (AP) - Advertising claims about the proposed Tucker automobile's performance were presented at the mail faurd trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates.

“Gerald R. Thorp, of Chicago, formerly employed by an advertising agency that had the Tucker account, identified various advertisements and press releases.

“The Government contended they would show that false claims were made about the car.”

The October 31, 1949 edition of the Chicago Tribune included highlights of the previous week's testimony:

“Trial of Tucker Will Enter its 3d Week Today

“The fraud trial of Preston Tucker and seven present and former associates In Tucker corporation will begin its third week today in federal District court before Judge Walter J. LaBuy and a jury of six men and six women. All defendants are charged with conspiracy and use of mails to defraud in connection with the now bankrupt Tucker automobile enterprise.

“Government attorneys produced 11 witnesses in the first two weeks of the trial, the second attempt to convict the Tucker group. The first ended in a mistrial Oct. 11 when a witness referred on the stand to the criminal record of Harold Karsten, one of the defendants.

“Several of the witnesses have been advertising and public relations men who have identified early advertisements heralding the Tucker Torpedo as a ‘dream car.’ and forecasting high volume production. Actual production did not pass the experimental stage. Two surprise witnesses were the widow and the son of the, late Harry Miller, racing car builder, who testified Tucker did none of the engineering or designing on Miller's cars. Tucker has based much of his claims to engineering experience on his association with Miller.”

On October 31, 1949 the Goverment called several Tucker employees, the first being Alex S. Tremulis, the car’s designer, who testified the prototype was made of reformed body parts from a 1942 Oldsmobile. He nearly got the car’s ‘Tin Goose’ moniker into the official trasncript, but Tucker's defense attorneys cut him off just in the nick of time. He was followed by two Tucker Corp. engineers. William D. Stampfli testified that car’s springs suddenly broke while the band played ‘God Bless America’ and beautiful models strutted across the reviewing stand during its June 19, 1947 unveiling while Carl H. Scheuerman admitted that none of the factory’s 36 pilot cars were equipped with any of the advanced mechancial features that Tucker had promised. Once again the Chicago Tribune’s William Clark covered the events whose highlights appeared in the following day’s (Nov. 1, 1949) edition of the Tribune:

“Tucker’s ‘Dream Car’ Captured As Nightmare

“Breaks Down Three Times at Initial Showing

“by William Clark

“The Tucker ‘dream car,’ unveiled with a brand flourish before thousands at the Tucker plant in June, 1947, had no transmission, no disk brakes, no hydraulic torque converter, and no fuel system. A mechanical hodge podge consisting of reshaped 1942 Oldsmobile body parts, Chrysler fluid couplings, and a half dozen batteries wired in the rear to stimulate the indisposed engine, the car was pushed onto the reviewing stand by six husky plant employees.

“This description of the Tucker Torpedo at its widely heralded debut was given by witnesses yesterday before a jury in the federal District court of Judge Walter J. LaBuy, where Preston Tucker and seven associates in his ill-fated auto company are on trial on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy.

“Dream Car a Nightmare

“William Stampfli, Tucker corporation’s master mechanic until the production shutdown in June, 1948, said the individual wheel suspension apparatus in the first car had to be reinstalled three times the day of the initial showing because of persistent breakdowns. An engine displayed in an open chassis at the unveiling ceremonies was incomplete with missing parts, he said.

“Carl H. Scheuerman, member of Tucker's engineering staff, said none of the 36 cars built while he was at the plant had the hydraulic torque converter, disk brakes, or fuel injection system so highly touted by Tucker in his advertising and publicity campaign. The majority had a modified Cord automobile type transmission and a Franklin motor car engine converted from air-cooled to water-cooled, he testified.

“Auto Unable to Reverse

“The two Chrysler fluid couplings used on the first car were removed after the first showing, Scheuerman said. It was explained out of court that the couplings permitted some power to be transmitted to them, but the power could not be adequately regulated without a transmission nor could the car be driven in reverse. One spokesman said that with the couplings the auto was able to make a journey of about 20 feet at the unveiling program. After the couplings were removed, the car could provide none of its own motive power.

“Scheuerman told the Jury he saw one hydraulic torque converter in the Tucker plant before he left the company in the summer of 1948, but it was not in a car. He said Tucker officials met in March, 1948, in an effort to settle their transmission difficulties. They finally decided to abandon the hydraulic torque converter idea for the time being and adopt a conventional transmission with standard parts that could be bought from established manufacturers, he asserted.

“Alexander S. Tremulis, the day’s first witness and the man who designed the body style used on the Tucker car actually built, was the one who said the first car was made of reformed body parts from a 1942 Oldsmobile. He said it was started as a metal mock-up, a full size model without mechanical parts. It was later decided to make it an operating car.

“Tremulis almost - but not quite - managed to get the plant nickname for the first car, ‘Tin Goose,’ into the trial record. Asst. United States Atty. Robert Downing asked him what name the car was known by around the plant.

“I well, unfortunately, it was dubbed the ‘…’, the witness began, but defense attorneys were efficiently prompt with objections to halt the sentence at that point. He filled in the blank with ‘Tin Goose’ out of court.”

Tucker engineers Carl H. Scheuerman and William Stampfli's testimony continued into the next day, Nov. 1, 1949 where the Government introduced a third engineer, Robert P. Walder, who testified that Tucker's original '589' engine - which didn't make it to production - was in a “relatively primary state of development”. Once again William Clark covered the trial for the Chicago Tribune, his report being published in the following day's (Nov. 2, 1949) Tribune:

“Kaiser-Frazer Loan Bobs Up In Tucker Case

“U.S. Lawyers Shut Off Defense Queries

“by William Clark

“The government’s kindly treatment of Kaiser-Frazer corporation was brought to the attention of a jury in federal District court yesterday in the fraud trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates In the Tucker automobile manufacturing.

“Cross-examining government witnesses who Monday described the first Tucker car as hybrid contraption equipped with none of the highly publicized Tucker features, Atty. William T. Kirby managed several references to Henry Kaiser's auto ventures. He asked Carl H. Scheuerman, former Tucker engineer, if he knew the first Kaiser-Frazer model was part wood and that K-F promised a front wheel drive that never was produced.

“Quiz on Huge Loan Halted

“‘Kaiser-Frazer didn't get indicted and they got 44 million dollars from the government, didn't they?’ Kirby inquired. The witness’ answer was drowned in a storm of objections from government attorneys.

“Kirby, who, with Frank J. McAdams Jr., represents Tucker and two other defendants, questioned Scheuerman closely on the latter s assertion that none of 36 Tucker cars he saw built had a hydraulic torque converter. He asked if Scheuerman knew that Warren Rice, another Tucker engineer, developed a ‘100 per cent hydraulic torque converted fully automatic transmission’ for later Tucker cars. Scheuerman professed ignorance of the development.

“Tucker Decries Criticism

“A new government witness, Robert P. Walder, mechanical engineer and holder of several patents in the automotive field, testified the Tucker engine was in ‘a relatively primary state of development’ when he exhibited it in August, 1947. Questioned by First Assistant United States Atty. Lawrence Miller, Walder said he visited the Tucker plant in that month at Tucker's invitation, then discussed his findings with the corporation president.

“Walder testified that there was no production line set up and that he told Tucker he thought it would be some time before the car was ready for production. He told the jury that in his conversation with Tucker he questioned the fuel economy in an engine the size of the one Tucker proposed to use.

“‘Tucker said the engine was farther along in its development than I thought,’ Walder observed.

“Master Mechanic Quizzed

“The day's first witness was William Stampfli, former Tucker corporation master mechanic, who told Monday of the breakdown of the first Tucker car on the day of its unveiling before thousands at the Tucker plant.

“Kirby sought confirmation from Stampfli that the car collapsed because aluminum castings were used in the wheel suspension arms although the blueprints called for forgings. The lawyer asked if the witness knew Tucker abandoned his first engine In favor of the so-called modified Franklin engine because the latter developed more horsepower and occupied less space. To these and most of a series of similar questions Stampfli replied that he did not know.

“Stampfli showed flashes of annoyance at the cross-examination but stuck to his story that the Tucker plant was never set up for sustained, steady production of complete automobiles. He was asked why he did not conduct tests of the first Tucker engine after being instructed to do so in a memo from a superior.

“‘I had no way to test anything,’ he flared. ‘I could only manufacture. I can’t help what it says in the memo.’

“Asked if he had access to Tucker's research department, the witness snapped, ‘I didn't know they had one.’”

Lee Treese, former Tucker vice-president in charge of manufacturing, began his testimony on November 2, 1949 where he recalled telling Tucker's advertising directorCliff Knoble that “it was wrong to advertise to the public something we didn’t have ready.” His testimony continued into the following day (Nov. 2, 1949) where he said his engineering plans were taken directly from photographs of George Lawson's 1/4 scale model by sketching the silhouettes onto drafting paper.“Then we stood back and tried to figure out what it resembled,” Treese said. “We decided it looked like a 1942 Oldsmobile and we went out and bought one to give us a start.” He also testified that the “Tin Goose” included wooden facsimiles of parts of  the chassis, the generator, oil actuator and fuel injectors. The day's testmony was covered in an Associated Press newswire story dated November 3, 1949:

“Government Recalls Ex-Production Chief At Tucker Corporation

“Chicago, Nov. 3.—AP—The government recalled a former Tucker corporation executive for further examination today in the multibillion dollar mail fraud and conspiracy trial.

“The witness, Lee Treese, former vice president in charge of manufacturing at Tucker corporation testified yesterday of a conversation he had in 1948 with Cliff Knoble the firm’s advertising director.

“‘I told him I thought it was wrong to advertise to the public something we didn’t have ready,’ Treese said. He testified he referred to an ‘extruding windshield’ which he understood was not actually planned.

“‘I said he should at least get approval from the engineering or manufacturing divisions before sending that stuff out,’ Treese testified.

“Treese, an engineering consultant of Ypsilanti, Mich., said he was employed with the Ford Motor Co., for 25 years before accepting his job with Tucker in 1946 at a salary of $25,000 a year. His job ended late in 1948.

“The former Tucker corporation executive testified today the first model of the assembled Tucker car was made partly of wood. He said these wooden parts were facsimiles of the real thing. There were wooden parts in the chassis, and the generator, oil actuator and fuel injector also were made of wood.

“Treese also said that only the first Tucker car assembled had disc brakes. The others made were not so equipped, he added.

“Earlier, the jury in the trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates or former associates in the $28 million rear-engine car venture heard testimony by Robert B. Walder, Detroit engineering consultant.

“Walder, who worked for Tucker less than two months in 1947, testified he told Tucker the firm’s engineering department ‘could do a much better job that it was doing.’

“Tucker and seven associates or former associates are charged with mail fraud and conspiracy in handling the firm's operations.”

“The testimony was given by Lee Treese, of Ypsilanti, Mich., former vice-president in charge of manufacturing at the Tucker. Corp.

“Testifying as a government witness at the multimillion dollar mail fraud and conspiracy trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates, Treese also said that only the first Tucker car assembled had disc brakes. The others made were not so equipped, he added.”

Treese's testimony continued into the following day which ended with testimony from
Paul G. Wellenkamp, former manager of Tucker’s engineering department who claimed one of the first Tucker engines delivered only 20 hp instead of the 160 hp expected. He also recalled that although several types of disc brakes were tested none proved satisfactory. Additional details of Treese's testimony were included on the November 3, 1949 United Press newswire:

“Official Says Tucker Plant Never Equipped

“Chicago - (UP) - Lee Treese, former Vice President in charge of manufacturing for Tucker Corp. testified today that the Tucker plant ‘never was equipped for mass production.’ Treese was a government witness in the trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates on charges, of mail fraud, stock issuance violations and conspiracy in financing the firm. He testified that the first hand-made Tucker rear-engine car, built for promotion and display purposes and dubbed the ‘Tin Goose’, was built on an Oldsmobile chassis ‘to save time.’

“Treese, who worked for Tucker from 1946 to 1948, said he was given only photographs of models, for his engineering plans. From these, he said, he sketched an automobile silhouette onto drafting paper. ‘Then we stood back and tried to figure out what it resembled.’ Treese said. ‘We decided it looked like a 1942 Oldsmobile and we went out and bought one to give us a start.’ He said final plans never were completed for the Tucker disc brakes and torque converter, and he said he was ‘not sure’ that plans ever were finished for the engine.”

Under cross-examination Treese admitted that 90% of the dies required to manufacture the Tucker’s steel components had been completed by June of 1948. Details of Paul G. Wellenkamp's testimony was featured in a November 4, 1949 Associated Press wirestory:

“Chicago - (AP) - A former Tucker Corp, engineer testified Thursday [Nov. 3] that one of the first Tucker auto engines built delivered only 20 horsepower instead of the 160 horsepower expected. He also testified that several types of brakes were tested but that they would not have fit on the car even if they had proved satisfactory.

“The testimony was given by Paul G. Wellenkamp of Bernardsville N. J., former $20,000 a year manager of the Tucker engineering department. He testified at the multimillion dollar federal court mail fraud and conspiracy trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates.”

On November 7, 1949 aerospace engineer and former Tucker employee Enea Bossi - the designer of the Budd BB-1 stainless steel airliner - testified that the Tucker car, as advertised, was merely a“dream” and told how he was dismissed after refusing to cooperate in the sale of a Tucker-owned Chicago apartment. The day's testmony was covered in an Associated Press newswire story on November 8, 1949:

“Tucker Engineer Says That Planned Car Was a ‘Dream’

“Chicago, Nov. 8 (AP) - A former Tucker Corporation engineer testified in federal court yesterday that a car with all the features promised in the corporation's publicity was a ‘dream.’

“The witness, Enea Bossi, of North Wales, Pa., testified at the trial of Preston Tucker and seven other present and former Tucker officials on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy.

“Bossi told the jury that Tucker hired him in February, 1947, and later fired him because he refused to cooperate in the sale of a Chicago apartment house.

“Bossi, who said he was a graduate of the Royal Institute of Technology at Milan, Italy, described Tucker as ‘the best salesman in the world.’ He said Tucker brought Secundo Campini, an Italian turbo-jet engineer, to this country after Bossi had made an inspection trip of foreign motors in Italy in 1947.

“He testified Tucker wanted him to urge Campini to buy a Chicago apartment from Tucker for $180,000 of which Bossi could keep a ‘couple of thousand dollars.’ Bossi said that when he refused, Tucker called him a ‘simpleton’ and told him ‘that was the only way to make money.’

“Although Tucker fired him, Bossi testified he was re-hired the next day. Campini is slated to appear later as a government witness.”

The next day's (November 8, 1949) witnesses included James D. Stearns, onetime Tucker Corp. controller and treasurer who testified that Preston Tucker endorsed a $100,000 check made out to the Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Co., exchanged it for a $100,000 check made out to him, and used it to purchase 1 million shares of class 'B' Tucker Corp stock. Stearns also claimed that his replacement,Otis Radford, conceded that “a $300 a month girl could do a job in the accounting department better than he could.” The Chicago Tribune's William Clark reported on the day's testimony in the November 9, 1949 edition of the paper:

“Judge Demands U.S. Speed Up Tucker’s Trial

“Urges Lawyers to 'Get Down to Meat'

“by William Clark

“Government lawyers prosecuting Preston Tucker and seven others for fraud and conspiracy yesterday probed into the financial maneuvering of the ill-starred Tucker auto manufacturing enterprise. The prosecutors got a stern admonition from federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy to ‘get down to the meat of the case’ and start proving the charge.

“The principal witness was James D. Stearns, Tucker corporation controller and treasurer from February thru October, 1947. Questioned by Assistant United States Atty. Robert Downing, Stearns testified Floyd D. Cerf, underwriter who handled the Tucker stock offering, once refused to itemize expenditure of a $10,000 check he received from the company. Cerf is one of Tucker’s co-defendants.

“Cerf Tells Off Controller

“Stearns said Tucker corporation sent the check to Cerf to pay attorney’s fees and subsequently Stearns called Cerf to ask about disposition of the money.

“‘It’s none of your business what it was spent for,’ Stearns quoted Cerf as saying. ‘You have no right to ask for an itemized statement.’

“The witness also identified a $100,000 check which he said was drawn on Tucker corporation in March, 1947, to pay off claims of Ypsilanti (Mich.) Machine and Tool company, owned by Tucker's mother, and others.

“Tucker then issued a personal check for the same amount in exchange for the corporation check, and received 1 million shares of class ‘B’ corporation stock as part of the transaction. Stearns testified.

“Tucker Finds a Bargain

“He also identified a $69,892 corporation expense item as money paid Ypsilanti Machine and Tool for two racing car chassis, eight experimental racing car engines, and some jigs and dies. He was prevented by defense objections from giving the results of a subsequent appraisal of the items. However, he said Tucker termed the purchase a bargain.

“Stearns observed the duties of treasurer of Tucker corporation were ‘meager.’ He also said defendant Otis Radford, who later became treasurer, conceded upon his arrival at the company a $300 a month girl could do a job in the accounting department better than he could.”

James D. Stearns continued his testimony the following day (Nov. 9, 1949) where he told of a $19,000 party for Tucker dealers and distributors following the June 19, 1947 debut of the Tucker, the November 10, 1949 Associated Press newswire reporting:

“Witnesses Tell of $19,000 Party For New Tucker Car

“Chicago (AP) - The Tucker Corporation paid more than $19,000 for a party for dealers and distributors after the unveiling of the Tucker car, a government witness testified in federal court yesterday.

“James D. Stearns, former treasurer-controller of the Tucker corporation, identified a check for $19,619, which he said was the cost of the party.

“Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Downing said the party at the Stevens hotel on June 19, 1947, followed the showing of the first Tucker car. Further testimony on the party was prevented by defense objections.

“Earlier, at the trial of Preston Tucker and seven business associates on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy, Stearns testified Tucker made a $15,000 profit in three months from the corporation on purchase of an airplane. He said Tucker, using funds he drew from the corporation as advances on his salary, bought the $42,238 plane to carry the first Tucker car around the country for display purposes.

“Stearns said Tucker used it for three months, charging the corporation rental of $5,000 a month. Then he sold the plane to the corporation for $42,238.”

On November 10, 1949 Fred Offenhauser, noted racecar builder, testified that “Tucker did none of the engineering work on Miller's racing cars.” Martin Breitenbach, another ex-Tucker Corp. controller, testified that Tucker issued a series of checks to the Washington architectural firm of Beasley & Beasley, a firm which had performed no services for the Tucker Corp. The day's events were reported by the Associated Press on the following day (November 11, 1949):

“Tucker A Busy Man - Appears In Three Courts In Same Day

“Chicago, Nov. 11, (AP) - The month-old multi-million dollar mail fraud and conspiracy trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates was in recess today until Monday.

“Tucker, president of the corporation which planned to manufacture rear-engine cars, was involved in three courts yesterday. A brief recess was held in the federal court trial while he posted $1,000 bond in municipal court for his future appearance in a $6,000 judgment case. The Judgment was obtained against Tucker and his wife, Vera, by Mrs. Justine C. Perkins, owner of a Noblesville, Intl., farm which the Tuckers allegedly bought in 1937 and failed to keep up payments.

“The third legal action Involving Tucker was in the court room of Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe, where Tucker corporation is in bankruptcy proceedings. Judge Igoe authorized a stockholders’ committee to send letters to all other stockholders soliciting their support for the committee's reorganization plan.

“The government called its 22nd and 23rd witnesses in the mail fraud and conspiracy trial before a jury in the court room of Judge Walter L. LaBuy.

“Fred Offenhauser, noted designer of automobile engines and racing cars, testified regarding Tucker's relationship to Harry A. Miller, with whom Tucker was associated at various times. Offenhauser said Tucker did none of the engineering work on Miller's racing cars.

“Martin Breitenbach, former controller of the corporation, identified a series of checks paid to the Washington architectural firm of Beasley & Beasley. The amounts were not specified. Previous witnesses have testified the firm performed no services for Tucker Corporation.”

Breitenbach continued his testimony on Monday, November 14, 1949, the Associated Press reporting:

“Chicago - (AP) - Preston T. Tucker drew $1,000 monthly for 17 months as expenses, Federal Court was told.

“The witness in the fraud trial of Tucker and seven associates was MArtin Breitenbach, formerly controller of the defunct automobile concern.

“Breitenbach also testified that Fred Rockelman, a co-defendant and former Tucker vice president, drew $700 extra monthly.

“Otis Radford, another defendant, drew $400 monthly for expenses, Breitenbach added.

“He also testified that Tucker Corp. paid the Ypsilanti (Mich.) MAchine & Tool Co. $200,000 for reworking 25 'junkyard' transmissions from old Cord automobiles. The Ypsilanti company is owned by Tucker’s mother.”

The Government called Herbert Morley, Tucker’s former vice-president in charge of materials procurement to the stand on Thursday, November 17, 1949. Exactly one year earlier, Morley had resigned as a Tucker Corp. vice-president and director shortly after Tucker refused to answer his questions in regards to an $800,000 disparity on the firm’s balance sheets. Morley, the government’s 24th witness, began by testifying that Tucker had given the work of building transmissions to the Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Company, which, was owned in part by Tucker’s mother, the Associated Press reporting:

“‘I remember the date, March 3, 1948, because I busted my elbow pounding it around when I was arguing with Tucker. Tucker knew perfectly well Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Company didn’t have adequate equipment to build transmissions. I told him, “You’ll rue the day.”’

“Morley testified that he and Fred Rockelman, executive vice president and a defendant in the case, teamed up in a plan to learn how $800,000 not specifically accounted for in monthly balance sheets or approved by the board of directors had been spent. His round face was beet-red and his voice harsh and strained as he told of confronting Tucker late in October to find out about the expenditures.

“He said Tucker called him ‘an insulting name,’ under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miller.

“‘He told me I didn’t run my department efficiently and he didn’t want me around anymore. I told him he could fire me as a vice president and the head of purchasing, but I had been elected a director by the stockholders and I’d stay around as long as I wanted to. Fred Rockelman said, “If this is the kind of treatment Herb is going to get, you can have my resignation too.”’

Morley's testimony was followed by that of Glenn Madden, Tucker Corp.'s general purchasing agent, who merely identified certain records as originating from his department.

On November 18, 1949 the Government called Emery Hughett, office manager of the Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Co. as a witness to identify his firm's records. The testimony was covered in the following day's (Nov. 19, 1949) edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“Admit Mother’s Firm Records In Tucker Trial

“Judge Walter La Buy of federal District court yesterday admitted a dozen ledgers and records books from the Ypsilanti Machine and Tool company, Ypsilanti, Mich., into the evidence in the trial of Preston Tucker, head of the Tucker automobile corporation, who is on trial with seven other men on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy.

“The Ypsilanti company is owned by Tucker's mother, and the government wanted the books in the records to show business transactions between this company and Tucker corporation. Emery Hughett of Oneida, Tenn., former bookkeeper of the Ypsilanti company, testified for the government to tie up the transactions.

“To queries concerning identification of entries and checks bearing Tucker's signature, Hughett replied, ‘I just can’t remember.’ However, he identified enough entries and check signatures to satisfy Judge LaBuy. Hughett was the government’s 26th witness. The 25th witness was Glenn Madden, Tucker general purchasing agent, who identified records from his department. The case was adjourned to Monday.”

November 21, 1949 United Press newswire story:

“Tucker Hearing Startled by Coercion Story

“Chicago - (UP) - A government witness in the mail fraud trial of would-be automobile maker Preston Tucker and seven associates testified before a startled courtroom today that he had been ‘threatened’ by government attorneys.

“Emery Hughett, office manager of the Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Works owned by Tucker’s mother, appealed to Federal Judge William J. LaBuy and said:

“‘I’ve been threatened so many times I don’t know what to do.’

“Hughett said he was ‘threatened’ because he refused to identify records taken from the Ypsilanti firm’s office by government investigators. He said he had disputed the right of government investigators to see the firm’s books before they had been subpoenaed by the grand jury which subsequently indicted Tucker.

“Threatened by Good

“The government claims that the Ypsilanti firm was used as a repository for Tucker funds.

“Hughett testified that later, when he appeared before the federal grand jury, he was threatened by ‘Mr. Good,’ (James Good, an attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission.)

“‘He told me I didn’t have to tell the grand jury what had happened at Ypsilanti,’ Hughett said.

“‘When I came out of the grand jury room he said, “You told them about that scrape at Ypsilanti, didn’t you?” ‘I said I didn’t, and he said, “You’ll be indicted if you do.”’

“Hughett said he could identify only those records in his own handwriting because government investigators had seized others and he could not vouch for their authenticity.

“Drum Up Charge

“Hughett said he told Good that ‘you’ll have to have some charge against me if you’re going to indict me.’ He quoted Good as replying: “We can always drum one up.”

“Hughett’s testimony was given on cross-examination by William Kirby, representing Tucker. Defense lawyers and defendants knew what was coming, but the sudden turn of the testimony appeared to catch the government by surprise.

“Hughett testified that once a U.S. Marshal tried to arrest him on a subpeona, but that he steadfastly refused to vouch for the authenticity of the records. He said the incident aggravated the condition of his wife, who was ill. Hughett said that because of the indictment threats, he had retained Tucker’s lawyers as his own counsel.”

On November 21, 1949 Emery Hughett, office manager of the Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Co. testfied that just prior to being shown to a Federal Grand Jury, Preston Tucker had made “certain adjustments” to the Ypsilanti firm's accounting books - one being the transfer of a $35,000 charge from the ‘marine experimental account’ to Tucker’s personal account. The Chicago Tribune's William Clark reported on the day's testimony in the following day's (Nov. 22, 1949) edition of the newspaper:

“Witness Bares Alteration In Tucker Record

“by William Clark

“Tells of Meeting Before Grand Jury Quiz

“Books of the Ypsilanti (Mich.) Machine and Tool company were altered at a hastily arranged meeting in Preston Tucker's Lake Shore dr. apartment two days before they were shown to the grand jury, a witness in the Tucker fraud trial testified yesterday.

“The witness was Emery Hughett, former bookkeeper of the Ypsilanti company, which is owned by Tucker’s mother. Hughett appeared before a jury in the federal District court of Judge Walter J. LaBuy where Tucker and seven Tucker corporation associates are being tried on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy. Deals involving Tucker, his company, and the Ypsilanti concern have been under fire frequently in the five week trial.

“‘Adjustments’ Made in Records

“Hughett said the Ypsilanti books were subpoenaed Feb. 15 for showing to the grand jury six days later. Tucker ordered the books taken to his department Feb. 19, the witness continued. There, at a meeting attended by William Kirby and Frank J. McAdams Jr., Tucker’s attorneys in the current trial, ‘certain adjustments’ were made.

“One was the transfer of a $35,000 charge from the ‘marine experimental account’ to Tucker’s personal account, said Hughett. The transfer was dated Dec. 31, 1948. The charge represented a $35,000 check paid by Ypsilanti to the Oak Park National bank. According to previous testimony, Tucker used the sum in settlement of a law suit.

“Hughett's recital drew frequent objections from Kirby, who termed it prejudicial, and Floyd E. Thompson, another defense attorney, who said it was simply confusing. The story was told on redirect examination of the witness by Assistant United States Atty. Robert Downing.

“Charges Threat by U. S. Lawyer

“Earlier, under cross-examination by Kirby, Hughett startled the court by asserting a government attorney threatened him with indictment if he dared tell the grand jury that federal agents raided Tucker’s Ypsilanti office in search of records. He said the threat came from Atty. James Goode of the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of two men he charged took records from the office without authority and without leaving a receipt.

“‘If you tell about the raid on the Ypsilanti company s office, you’ll be indicted,’ Hughett quoted Goode as saying.”

November 23, 1949 Associated Press Newsire:

“$197,002 Fund Transfer By Tucker Told Court

“Chicago - (AP)- An accountant testified yesterday that Preston T. Tucker, president of the Tucker Corporation, withdrew $197,002.54 from a salary account with the Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Co. during the four-year period of 1945-1948.

“The testimony was given by Deloss E. Gilbert of Detroit, Mich., a certified public accountant.

“William T. Kirby. Tucker’s personal counsel, objected to the salary account withdrawal testimony as ‘confusing and prejudicial’ to the rear-engine automobile firm head.

 “Kirby said the account was used by Tucker as a means of withdrawing money from the Ypsilanti firm for loans to Tucker Corporation in Chicago and that the money had been paid back.

“Overrules Objections

“Judge Walter J. LaBuy, who is hearing the case, overruled Kirby’s objection, to Gilbert’s testimony was part of the government’s presentation of evidence in an attempt to prove mail fraud and conspiracy charges against Tucker and seven other present and former officials of the Tucker Corporation, organized to produce rear engine automobiles.

“The government has been amassing testimony for more than five weeks in the district courtroom trial.

“Gilbert said his audit of the Ypsilanti firm’s accounts began in February 1948. He gave extensive testimony as to balances and disbursements of the firm’s accounts.

“Testifies on Sales

“Gilbert testified the Ypsilanti firm’s gross sales to the Tucker Corporation in 1948 amounted to $384,422.31. He said a special experimental account for the Tucker firm listed expenditures of $145,403.27 for materials and $65,284.62 for labor.

“Robert Downing, assistant U.S. district attorney, asked about a special marine engine experimental account. This brought another objection from Kirby. But Downing said details of the marine engine account were important to the case because there will be further testimony relating to it.

“Judge LaBuy declared a recess in the trial until next Monday.”

November 23, 1949 Edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“2 Federal Aids Deny Charge In Tucker’s Trail

“James Goode, a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Everett House, a Treasury Department agent, yesterday denied charges of a witness in the Tucker fraud trial that they seized office records for evidence against Preston Tucker and threatened the witness with indictment if he dared tell a federal grand jury about their acts.

“Two days ago, Emery Hughett, former Ypsilanti Machine and Tool company bookkeeper, testified Goode took records from the company s without authority and without leaving a receipt. He said House also invaded the office, and quoted House as saying he had been instructed to get incriminating evidence against Tucker ‘any way possible.’

“Goode and House were government witnesses yesterday. They denied the charges out of court but on the witness stand they were permitted only to identify the Ypsilanti company’s books. The company is owned by Tucker's mother. Federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy ruled that the government would be impeaching its own witness if Goode and House were permitted to dispute Hughett’s story. Judge LaBuy also denied a prosecution request to have Hughett testify as a court’s witness.”

After taking several days off for Thanksgiving, the Tucker trial resumed on Monday, November, 28, 1949 with a week of testimony from disgruntled Tucker dealers and distributors, many of which testified that they had purchased their dealerships through the US Mail, seemingly conclusive evidence that Tucker Corp. had engaged in mail fraud on a farily large scale. On Wednesday, November 30, 1949 Iowa Tucker distributor Dale C. Gambs testified that A.R. Peterson, Tucker Corp.'s regional sales manager, told him 71,000 cars would be available in 1947, the December 1, 1949 Associated Press newswire reporting:

“An Iowan Testifies At Trial of Tucker

“Chicago - (AP) - An lowan testified Wednesday that a Tucker Corporation executive once told him the company had 71,000 cars scheduled for production in 1947. Dale C. Gambs of Des Moines, who was Tucker distributor for central Iowa, said that estimate was given him by A.R. Peterson, former Tucker regional sales manager. Gambs testified at the Federal trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates on charges of mail fraud and violation of the Federal Securities Act. Gambs said he paid $8,000 cash for his franchise and signed a note for an additional $8,000.”

Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe's 60-day delay in returning the Tucker plant to the War Assets Administration expired on Sunday December 4th, 1949 and the following day the government took physical possesion fo the plant, the December 6, 1949 United Press newswire reporting:

“U.S. Takes Over Tucker Corp. Plant

“Chicago - (UP) - Any hope of eventual production of the ‘Tucker Torpedo’ automobile collapsed Monday when the government took physical possession of the huge war-surplus plant where Preston Tucker founded his ill-fated Tucker Corp.

“Tucker and seven associates now are on trial in federal court on mail fraud and conspiracy charges in the attempt to build the new rear-engined car.

“Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe Oct. 4 approved return of the Tucker plant to the War Assets Administration (WAA), but gave court-appointed trustees 60 days in which to attempt to sell Tucker’s WAA lease or effect a reorganization.

“The deadline on Igoe’s order expired Sunday with no action taken. The plant still contained some $2,500,000 worth of equipment and accessories of the firm, which must be removed by the trustees.”

On December 8, 1949 a former Tucker distributor, Daniel J. Ehlenz of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, was the Government's main witness. He testified that he had paid $28,000 for a distributorship and $5,000 for his 1948 Tucker pilot car, which“had no automatic transmission, no advanced type disc brake, no fuel injection, and no sealed cooling system.” Although becoming a Tucker distributor had cost him dearly ($280,000 in 2014 dollars), Ehlenz admitted that he had driven his Tucker 35,000 miles and it was“the finest car he had ever driven.” Portions of his testimony were included in the December 9, 1949 edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“Tucker Dealer Testifies of his $5,000 Model

“A distributor for the Tucker Corporation testified yesterday that the Tucker car requires further engineering development. The testimony was given by D.J. Ehlenz, White Bear Lake, Minn., on cross-examination in the federal District court trial of eight present and former executives of the corporation on charges of violating a mail fraud statute and the securities act. Ehlenz said he bought a Tucker model for $5,000. He testified that his model had no automatic transmission, no advanced type disc brake, no fuel injection, and no sealed cooling system. The government charges the corporation sold stock and made representations that the Tucker automobile would have these advancements.”

Also testifying Thursday December 8, 1949 was Texas Tucker dealer Clarence Russell Carter, who testified that he had purchased his dealership through the mail, the Associated Press reporting:

“Texan Tells Of Buying Tucker Auto Dealership

“Chicago, Dec. 9 – (AP) - A Texas Tucker dealer testified yesterday that he brought his dealership by mail for $2,000 and was promised car deliveries in the fall of 1947. The witness, Clarence Russell Carter, Breckenridge, Texas, testified for the government in the mail fraud trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates. The charges resulted from operations of the ill-fated Tucker Corporation, rear-engine automobile concern, now in bankruptcy.

“Under questioning by Robert Downing assistant U.S. Attorney, Carter, now an automobile salesman, testified he became interested in a Tucker dealership after reading a Tucker ad in a Dallas newspaper in March of 1947.

“He said he wrote to the Tucker firm and received a reply in June, 1947, from Blair McPhall, Tucker regional manager. Thereafter, the witness said, he formed a partnership with Bob Roth, football coach at Breckenridge High School, to set up a Tucker salesroom. He said the automobile firm offered a dealership for $2,000. Ha and Roth put up $500 each in cash and signed a note for another $1,000.

“Later, he said he declined to pay the firm $1,000 due.”

On Monday, December 12, 1949 Chicago auto parts dealer James Lynch testified that he saw several race cars - most likely the Harry A. Miller-built cars that Tucker Corp. sponsored at the 1946 and 1947 Indianapolis 500 - at the Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Co., the United Press reporting:

“Racers Linked To Tucker

“Chicago, Dec. 13 – (UP) - A Government witness testified that he had seen racing cars and parts being used in the automobile plant operated by Preston Tucker and associates now on trial on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy.

“James Lynch, of Chicago, who said he was an auto-parts dealer, testified that he examined a rear-engined car and a front-engine car at the Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Co., Ypsilanti, Mich., and that later when he went to the Tucker plant he saw men workingon the parts to the cars and putting them to use in one way or another.

“Lynch also testified that while he made the value of the cars $85,000 on his inventory report, the value would 'far' exceed that figure.”

On Wednesday, December 14, 1949 Secundo Campini, Italian jet propulsion expert and former Tucker Corp. employee, testified that shortly after his arrival in Chicago Tucker and several 'business associates' coerced him into buying a $30,000 apartment from Tucker that he was never allowed to see or live in. The amount was taken from an $85,000 signing bonus he was given by Tucker Corp. upon his arrival in the US. Campini was subsequently relieved of the remainder when he was coerced into loaning $45,000 to George P. Lochner, one of Tucker's 'associates', the December 15, 1949 edition of the Chicago Tribune reporting:

“Italian Expert Says He Paid Tucker $30,000

“Secundo Campini, Italian jet propulsion expert and former employee of the Tucker corporation, testified yesterday regarding two transactions which virtually depleted his checking account the day he opened it. He gave the testimony in the trial in federal District court of eight present and former executives of the Tucker company on charges of violating the mail fraud statute and the securities act.

“Campini said he received $85,000 to leave Italy and become associated with the company and then went to the Oak Park National bank to open an account. He was accompanied by Preston Tucker, president of the company; George P. Lochner, Johannesberg, Union of South Africa; and Edgardo Fronteras, Tucker consultant and interpreter.

“Campini testified Tucker made out the first check on the account and that he (Campini) signed it. He said it was for $30,000 and went to Tucker for an apartment at 999 Lake Shore drive. Campini said he objected to the transaction but that he was persuaded to comply by Lochner and Fronteras who said Tucker would be embarrassed if Campini did not buy the apartment. Campini said he never received a key for it or lived in it. At the same time, Campini said he loaned $45,000 to Lochner and paid $1,000 to Fronteras as an agent’s fee.”

Campini, whose 1931 Italian patents jet propulsion patents had garnered the attention of Preston Tucker, and he was put on the payroll as“vice-president in charge of turbo-jet motor development and research” in order to develop a turbine engine for use in a proposed turbine-engined Tucker-Campini automobile that was pictured in a March 3, 1948 Alex Tremulis rendering seen to the right.

The Associated Press covered Campini's testimony as follows:

“Says Tucker got back $76,000 in Fast Order

“Chicago – (AP) - An Italian jet expert told the Tucker faud trial jury in Federal District Court that $85,000 he obtained from Prestion Tucker shriveled within an hour to $9,000 and an apartment he didn't want.

“The testimony was given by Secundo Campini, imported in March, 1948, by the Tucker Corp. to do jet propulsion research.

“He said Tucker, president of the $28,000,000 rear-engine auto firm, started a sales talk on an apartment as soon as he had signed a contract with the firm.

“‘He said I would have to buy one,’ the witness testified. ‘He said he had one for $30,000.’

“Campini said he told Tucker, ‘It is neccessary that my wife see it, and she won't arrive until April.’

“He testified that Tucker then gave him $85,00 in checks covering a bonus, payment on patent royalties and salary.

“Then he was ushered immediately to a bank by Tucker; Philip Lochner, of South Africa, a Tucker vice president, and Edgardo Fronteras, a Tucker executive.

“As soon as he opened a checking account, Campini said, Tucker wrote himself a check for $30,000.

“I asked him, ‘What's this for?’ Campini testified. He said, ‘For the apartment.’ I told him, ‘I don't want it’.

“He said, however, that he persuaded to sign the check and two others -  one made out to Lochner for $45,000, a loan, ‘for a few days’, and the other for $1,000 to Frontreras.

“He ended up with the apartment and $9,000, he said.”

Securities and Exchange Commission accountant Sydney Ohrbach later revealed the entire “Campini Project” cost Tucker investors $158,734 and resulted in no useful prototypes.

Dec. 16, 1949 Associated Press:

“Promoter Received $55,000 In Tucker Show That Failed

“Chicago – (AP) - A Glendale, Cal., promoter testified in the Preston Tucker trial today that he got a total of $55,000 from the Tucker Corporation for a show which folded after two weeks.

“The show, known as ‘American Science and Industry, Inc.,’ was to inform the public ‘how industry operates.’ Harry Joyce of Glendale, testified in Federal Court.

“Joyce said he suggested the show to Tucker and two of his seven co-defendant in the mail fraud trial as ‘a good public relations item’ for the corporation. A model of the proposed Tucker car was to be displayed at the show.

“It opened in Rock Island in the spring of 1948 and during five days there drew about 3,000 persons. It was then moved to Des Moines and the admission price lowered from 90 to 60 cents. After four or five days in Des Moines the show folded.”

On December 17th, 1949 the trial was recessed until Tuesday January 3, 1950 by Judge LaBuy for the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holidays. It resumed with Securities and Exchange Commission accountant Sydney Orbach testifying that Tucker Corp. took in$28,491,653  from the sale of stock, accessories, and franchises and spent $28,309,280, the January 3, 1950 Associated Press newswire reporting:

“Tucker Spent $28 Million But Company Never Got Into Production

“Chicago - (AP) - An SEC accountant testified Tuesday that the Tucker Corporation spent $28,309,280.18 in the development of a car which never got on the market.

“The accountant was Sydney Orbach, of Washington. He testified at the mail fraud trial of Preston Tucker, president of the firm, and seven associates. Orbach was in charge of a Securities and Exchange Commission staff that spent several months going over the books of the firm. The rear engine Tucker car never got into mass production.

“The defendants also are accused of conspiracy to defraud and violation of SEC regulations. The federal court trial resumed Tuesday after a holiday recess. Speaking of the period between Jan. 1, 1947 and March 3, 1949, Orbach testified that gross receipts from the sale of stock, accessories, and franchises added up to $28,491,652.99.”

The Detroit Free Press reported on Orbach's January 3, 1950 testimony as follows:

“Tucker Firm Auto Outlay Called Low

“Chicago -  Little more that one-seventh of the 28 million odd dollars that folowed in and out of Tucker Corp.'s cofferes in its brief career went for engineering and development of an automobile, a Government accountant said.

“The accountant, Sydney Orbach, testified in the fraud and conspiracy trial of Preston Tucker and seven others.

“In the two years and two months ended March 3, 1949, when all operational efforts ceased, the corporation took in $28,491,652 and spent $28,309,280. Engineering and development, Orbach said, accounted for only $4,506,021 of the outgoing funds.

“Other expenses were: pre-productìon,$3,880,884; administrative, $3,625,111: consumer influence (advertising and promotion), $1,306,256 ; and selling expenses,$639,907”

Newspapers ran these figures under headlines that read ‘Little Found Spent On Tucker’s Design and “SEC Statistician Says Only Seventh of Income Went for Engineering, Development.’

The defense moved swiftly to counter this impression. Under cross-examination by attorney Kirby, Orbach admitted that salaries and wages for employees other than the eight defendants comprised the largest single expense item. When looked at with the aid of defense questioning, it turned out that almost three million dollars was paid to Federal, State and local governments for rentals on the vast Dodge-Chicago war plant occupied by the company and for various taxes and fees.

Kirby asserted that of the twenty-eight million dollars described as receipts, only twenty-five was actually available to be spent on the production of the automobile. The difference included discounts to securities dealers who sold the stock and funds placed in escrow in connection with the sale of accessories.

Orbach resumed his testimony on Wednesday January 4, 1950 stating that Tucker Corp. took in $112,000 from the sale of the pilot cars, which were chiefly sold to Tucker dealers and distributors at $5,000 apiece.

Orbach testified that on Dec. 31, 1946, Tucker Corp. had only $36,820 in cash, but during the next 12 months the amount increased exponentially to $12,099,824. That cash had come from three sources; $7,202,767 from the sale of Tucker distributorships and franchises; $3,024,402 from the sale of Tucker accessories to the same individuals; $237,469 from customers for certain Tucker accessories whose purchase “guaranteed” them a spot on the waiting list; and $15,007,000 from the sale of class “A” stock.

A January 5, 1950 United Press wire story reported on Orbach's testimony that evening (January 4, 1950):

“SEC Man Says Tucker Salary $96,833.18

“Chicago - (U.P.) - An SEC accountant testified today that Preston Tucker’s salary between January 1947 and March, 1949, was less than 4/10th of one per cent of the Corporation’s expenditures for the period.

“The accountant, Sydney Orbach, was cross examined by defense attorneys as the government neared the completion of its case against Tucker and seven associates charged with mail fraud and conspiracy in manufacture of a new automobile.

“Orbach, who previously testified that the corporation spent about $28,000,000 in the same period, said Tucker’s salary in the same time was $96,833.18. He testified in cross-examination by Defense Attorney Albert Dilling. Dilling by his questioning, was attempting to refute government claims that Tucker and his associates made excessive personal profits from the corporation.

“Dilling also attempted to have Orbach cited for contempt after drawing from him an admission that he conferred in a U.S. district attorney’s office with Joseph Turnbull, also a SEC accountant, who is expected to be the government’s last witness. Federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy withheld his ruling on the request.”

The government had saved what it believed to be the most damaging testimony for the end. On Friday, January 5, 1950, it summoned to the stand its seventy-third and final witness, Securities and Exchange Commission accountant, Joseph Turnbull. Turnbull testified that Preston Tucker alone had netted more than $500,000 from his operation of the ill-fated automobile enterprise and that payments of various kinds to all eight defendants totaled almost one million dollars. “Turnbull had a list of $527,000 in what he called ‘questioned transactions,’ which included the purchase of race cars and several payments made to a boat manufacturer and coal delivery company - the January 6, 1950 edition of the Chicago Tribune reporting:

“U.S. Attorneys Plan Last Move In Tucker Case

“Prosecution’s Case May Be Closed Monday

“Government attorneys, with the help of the man expected to be their final witness, yesterday began a review of the financial deals through which they allege Preston Tucker and seven other Tucker corporation officials defrauded the public of millions of dollars. Monday the trial will enter its eleventh week before federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy and a jury.

“The prosecution’s case will be finished either today or early next week, depending on the time required for cross-examination of the witness, Joseph Turnbull, a Securities and Exchange Commission accountant. Defense attorneys have not said how many witnesses they plan to call but it is expected that Tucker will take the stand.

“Check Transactions Traced

“Turnbull, questioned by Asst. United States Atty. Robert Downing, traced check transactions involved in the corporation’s purchase of an airplane from Tucker after he had paid for it with salary advances. The witness also reviewed the corporation’s $70,000 payment to Ypsilanti Machine and Tool company, owned by Tucker's mother, for two racing car chassis and some experimental engines. He told of payments to Foster Boat company for ‘marine engine experimentation and boat hull development’ for which the government charges no services were rendered.

“He said Tucker corporation paid some $144,000 to Hughett Coal company, including a $35,000 advance before any coal was delivered. The company was headed by Emory Hughett, former bookkeeper for Ypsilanti Machine and Tool. The witness also summarized check exchanges involved in Tucker's alleged repayment of a $77,000 personal loan with funds obtained from the Ypsilanti company, and quick sale of an apartment for $30,000 to Secundo Campini, the imported Italian jet propulsion expert.

“May Hold Night Session

“Direct examination of Turnbull will continue this morning. Attorneys and Judge LaBuy have agreed to stay overtime tonight, if necessary, in an effort to complete cross-examination and dismiss the witness. Prosecutors have called 73 witnesses to lay the details of Tucker corporation’s finances and the activities of its officials before the jury. United States Atty. Otto Kerner Jr. and his assistants have asserted the extent to which the testimony supports the charges of fraud and conspiracy will be spelled out in the prosecution’s summary at the end of the trial.

“Earlier, Sydney Orbach, another SEC accountant, testified Tucker corporation took in $112,000 from sale of cars, chiefly to dealers. He said that was about 2 per cent as much as the corporation paid out in salaries to top officials.”

Turnbull's testimony continued into Friday, January 6, 1950 wher he discussed the salaries paid to various Tucker Corp. executives, the Associated Press reporting:

“Salaries Paid Tucker Staff Listed At Trial

“Chicago - (AP) - A Government accountant testified that Preston Tucker and seven associates in the defunct Tucker Corp., were paid $850,138 for purported services before the firm went broke.

“All are on trial before federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy in connection with operations of the company that filaed to mass produce a rear-engine automobile.

“Joseph Turnbull, of Boston, an accountat for the Securities and Exchange Commission, listed the following defendants and the amounts he said each received for services to the Tucker Corp.:

“Preston Tucker, president, $402,860; Fred Rockelman, vice president, $75,156; Floyd Cerf, the LaSalle St. (Chicago broker who sold the common stock, $1,504 personally and $255,149 for his company.

“Robert Pierce, treasurer, $23,089: Otis Radford, controller, $30,480; Mitchell Dulian, sales manager, $41,259; Cliff Knoble, advertising manager, $11,891, and Harold Karsten, a promoter, $8,750.”

After Turnbull completed his testimony for the Government, Judge LaBuy recessed the trial until Monday, January 9, 1950. Tucker's attorney, William T. Kirby, began what would turn into three days of cross-examining the SEC accountant. Once again the Chicago Tribune's William Clark provided highlights of the day's events in the January 10, 1950 edition of the paper:

“Try to Prove Tucker Gains Not Excessive

“by William Clark

“Defense lawyers yesterday sought proof from the last government witness in the fraud trial of eight Tucker corporation officials that Preston Tucker's monetary gains as head of the enterprise were neither excessive nor ill-gotten. The witness was Joseph Turnbull, securities and exchange commission accountant, spending his third day on the stand before Federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy and his first full day under cross examination.

“Most of the cross-questioning was by Atty. William T. Kirby, who, with Atty. Frank J. McAdams Jr., represents Tucker. Kirby directed his fire at the figure of $527,000, identified earlier as the amount Tucker netted out of the company, in an effort to show the total consisted of legitimate expense items plus amounts paid Tucker In deals approved by the SEC.

“Explanation In Prospectus

“Under questioning Turnbull said the Tucker corporation prospectus cleared by the SEC in 1947 contained an explanation of how Tucker was paid $100,000 by the corporation in a claims settlement, and of salaries paid all officers.

“Kirby also displayed documents indicating Tucker sold a Cadillac car to the corporation for $2,985 only after he had bought it a few months earlier for $3,305, and that he sold the company a Ford for $1,763 a few days after buying it from a dealer for the same amount.

“Contention of Kirby

“Kirby contended these amounts should not be classed as net gain by Tucker. He also said funds drawn by Tucker from his account with Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Company, owned by Tucker's mother, were largely offset by repayments.

“Turnbull said that he could not describe any of Tucker’s deals as fraudulent on the basis of his examination of Tucker corporation's and the Ypsilanti company's books.

“Turnbull will return to the stand this morning for further cross-examination. The government is expected to rest its case when he is dismissed.”

On Tuesday, January 10, 1950, SEC accountant Joseph Turnbull returned for his fourth day of testimony, the January 11, 1950 edition of the Chicago Tribune reporting:

“Cerf Lawyer To Ask Order For Acquittal

“The last of 73 government witnesses was dismissed yesterday in the fraud trial of eight Tucker corporation officials, but federal attorneys delayed resting their case pending a night’s study of the 7,000 pages of prosecution testimony. Defense Atty. Floyd E. Thompson said he would argue today in support of a motion for a directed verdict of acquittal for his client, Floyd D. Cerf, underwriter in the sale of Tucker stock. Federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy allowed other defense lawyers until Friday to prepare similar motions for the other seven defendants.

“The last witness was Joseph Turnbull, Securities and Exchange Commission accountant, whose fourth day on the stand was devoted largely to cross-examination by Albert W. Dilling, attorney for defendant Robert Pierce, former director and treasurer of the company.

“Holds Car Cost store

“Dilling put into the trial record that a Packard car sold to Tucker corporation by Pierce for $2,600 was a custom built model priced originally at more than $4,000. He also that some of the corporation’s officers who were not indicted were paid more than many of the defendants in the case.

“Redirect examination by Assistant United States Atty. Robert Downing and re-cross by William T. Kirby, one of Preston Tucker's lawyers, centered around the net amount Tucker, president, realized from his operation of the enterprise. The government has charged Tucker netted $521,000 as president of the company. Kirby again contended that amount is inflated with sums which Tucker either repaid or never received.

“The trial is in its 11th week before a jury of six men and six women. An earlier attempt to convict the same defendants ended in declaration of a mistrial last October.

“Tucker Expected on Stand

“Preston Tucker, central figure in the case, is expected to take the stand to testify in his own behalf unless freed by a favorable ruling on the impending motions for directed acquittal before any defense witnesses are called. Other defendants also are expected to testify.

“Maximum penalty faced by each of the men on trial is 15 years in prison and $60,000 fine. In addition to Tucker, Cerf, and Pierce, the defendants are Fred Rockelman, director and executive vice president; Mitchell W. Dulian, former director and general sales manager; Otis Radford, former director and treasurer; Cliff Knoble, advertising director, and Harold Karsten, former business associate of Tucker.”

On Wednesday, January 11, 1950 Government prosecutors announced they had completed their portion of the trial, the International News Service reporting:

“Government Rests in Tucker Case

“Chicago – (INS) - The government rested its case Wednesday in the trial of Preston J. Tucker shortly after Judge Walter J. LaBuy turned down a defense offer to have the jurors take a ride in a Tucker auto.

“Tucker and seven associates also on trial in federal court were charged with mail fraud and violation of SEC regulations.

“The Tucker Corp. which the auto designer headed was organized to build a rear engine car.

“The trial opened Oct. 17 and the government brought 72 witnesses to the stand.

“The offer of a ride for the jurors was made by Albert W. Dilling, one of the defense lawyers. Dilling,  who said 37 Tucker cars now are in operation, declared:

“‘The whole question here is whether these defendants intended to make a car or didn't intend to. This auto can truthfully be said to be out of this world.’

“Judge LaBuy rejected the offer as he dismissed the jury until next Monday to allow time for argument on an acquittal move asked by Floyd E. Thompson, another of the defense attorneys.”

Although the trial recessed for Thursday, arguments for directed acquittal by the defendants' attorneys were heard by Judge LaBuy on Friday, January 13, 1950 as reported in a January 14, 1950 Associated Press wirestory:

“Preston Tucker Trial Recessed Chicago (AP) - Arguments for directed verdicts of acquittal will be returned tomorrow in the trial of would-be auto builder Preston Tucker and seven associates on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy. The 11-week-trial was in recess today after defense attorney Floyd Thompson asked immediate freedom for Floyd D. Cerf, underwriter for the sale of Tucker stock.

“Thompson argued that government prosecutors failed to link Cerf with the charges or to show that a conspiracy existed in the firm’s efforts to build a revolutionary rear-engine automobile.

“Attorneys for Tucker and the other defendants are scheduled to be heard by Federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy tomorrow.”

January 12, 1950 Chicago Tribune:

“Ask Directed Acquittal of Tucker, Aides

“Counsel for Preston Tucker and other defendants made their first moves yesterday to free their clients from charges of fraud by requesting directed judgments of acquittal from Federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy. Motions were made on behalf of four of the eight defendants immediately after the government rested its case shortly after court opened for the day, others will be filed tomorrow.

“The four motions already on record ask immediate acquittal of Tucker, Otis Radford, Mitchell Dulian, and Floyd D. Cerf. Floyd E. Thompson, Cerf’s attorney, argued for two hours in support of his contention that Cerf should be acquitted without calling defense witnesses. William T. Kirby, one of Tucker’s lawyers, and attorneys for all other defendants, are scheduled to give oral arguments tomorrow. There will be no hearing in the 11 week old case today.

“Head of Underwriter

“Thompson contended the government’s 73 witnesses failed to prove either conspiracy or fraud, and that his client, Cerf, had nothing to do with documents or activities which the prosecution alleged were involved in fraud. Cerf was the head of the underwriting firm that organized the dealer syndicate which marketed Tucker corporation stock.

“Thompson, one-time candidate for Governor of Illinois, described Tucker as a man who ‘undertook the impossible’ by trying to build both an automobile and a manufacturing and sales organization from the ground up.

“‘In his failure, he has contributed more to the automobile industry than anyone else has contributed in a long time,’ the lawyer asserted.

“Ridicules Fraud Charge

“The trouble with the Tucker organization was that it tried to do too much with too little money in too short a time, said Thompson. He ridiculed the charge it was organized only as part of a scheme to defraud and insisted the defendants could hope to make money out of the enterprise only by making it a success.

“Thompson sought unsuccessfully to compel government attorneys to reply immediately to his arguments. The prosecution elected to withhold its answer until all defense lawyers have been heard.”

The trial resumed on Monday, January 16, 1950, with a brilliant move by Tucker's defense team. One by one the attorneys announced they would be calling no witnesses, with Harold Karsten’s attorney, Daniel Glasser, explaining: “You cannot put up a defense where there is no offense.” The Chicago Tribune's William Clark reported on the historic events in the next day's (Jan. 17, 1950) edition of the newspaper:

“Tucker Calls No Witnesses; Defense Rests

“Lawyers to Begin Arguments Today

“by William Clark

“Trial of Preston Tucker and seven others charged with fraud and conspiracy moved abruptly toward an early close yesterday when the defense rested its case without calling a single witness.

“Final arguments by prosecution and defense attorneys will begin this afternoon before Judge Walter J. LaBuy in federal District court and a jury of six men and six women, who have heard testimony from 73 government witnesses in the 11 weeks of the trial to date. The case is expected to go to the jury for a verdict tomorrow night or Thursday.

“Court Astounded by Move

“Defense lawyers astounded a courtroom full of onlookers and apparently the judge and prosecutors as well by announcing, one by one, they would rest without summoning witnesses. It was generally expected the defense part of the trial would produce a long parade to the stand, climaxed by the appearance as witnesses of Tucker and his seven associates.

“By electing to rest, the defense precluded introduction of any further testimony or documentary evidence in an effort to prove innocent the eight men charged with operating Tucker corporation merely to defraud the public. The team of defense attorneys clung to its contention that the government has failed to prove the defendants did anything but try in good faith to produce an automobile with too little money.

“Offense Unproved, Defense Stand

“‘It is impossible to present a defense when there has been no offense,’ Atty. Daniel Glasser, representing Defendant Harold Karsten, told the court. Other defense lawyers made statements to the same effect. All renewed motions for directed judgments of acquittal. Judge LaBuy said he would defer ruling until after the jury had returned its verdict, thus reserving authority to reverse a verdict of guilty if he sees fit. However, observers considered it unlikely he would overturn a jury decision.

“The government agreed to dismissal of some counts in the indictment against three defendants, Mitchell Dulian, formerly Tuckers sales manager, Otis Radford treasurer, and Cliff Knoble, advertising manager, on the ground they were not with the company when the alleged offenses were committed.

“Penalty Liabilities Reduced

“At the outset of the trial each of the defendants was charged on 25 counts of mail fraud, five counts of violating securities and exchange commission regulations, and one count of conspiracy to defraud. The maximum penalty for each man, if found guilty on all counts, was 155 years in prison and $60,000 in fines. The dismissal of counts reduced Dulian’s maximum possible penalty to 115 years and $48,000, Radford’s to 95 years and $36,000, and Knoble’s to 75 years and $32,000.

“Other defendants, in addition to Tucker, are Fred Rockelman, executive vice president of the corporation, Robert Pierce, its first treasurer and later a consultant; Floyd D. Cerf, head of the underwriting firm that handled the offering of Tucker stock, and Harold Karsten, who was associated with Tucker in the formative stages of the venture.

“Defense counsel include William T. Kirby, who, with Frank J. McAdams Jr., represents Tucker, Dulian, and Radford; Floyd E. Thompson, Cerf’s attorney; Albert W. Dilling for Pierce; Justus Chancellor Jr. for Rockelman and Knoble, and Glasser for Karsten.”

On Tuesday January 17, 1950, the attorneys involved in the case held a closed session with Judge Walter J. LaBuy to review a list of 163 proposed instructions to the jury, the United Press reporting:

“Attorneys Confer With Federal Judge Over Tucker Trial

“Chicago. Jan. 17 - (UP)- Attorneys in the trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates conferred in chambers today with Federal District Judge Walter J. LaBuy about 163 proposed instructions to the jury.

“Defense attorneys recommended 148 Instructions to LaBuy. Final arguments were scheduled to begin before the jury of six men and six women late today with Robert Downing, assistant district attorney, opening the arguments.

“The defendants are charged with mail fraud and conspiracy. Defense attorneys, in a surprise move, rested yesterday without offering a word of testimony to refute government charges that Tucker and his associates were guilty of fraud and conspiracy in their $28,000,000 attempt to build a new, rear-engined automobile. They contended that the government, which produced 73 witnesses and 11 weeks of testimony, failed to show any evidence of guilt.”

Although closing arguments had been scheduled to commence at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, January 17, 1950, Judge Walter J. LaBuy granted the preosecution’s request to  postpone them until Wednesday, January 18, 1950, the Associated Press reporting:

“Delay Final Arguments In Tucker Auto Case

“Chicago. Jan. 17. - (UP) - Closing arguments were postponed today in the trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates on mail fraud and conspiracy charges, but, the case still was expected to reach the jury Thursday.

“Defense attorneys objected bitterly when the government asked permission to begin closing arguments tomorrow instead of today. Federal Judge Walter J. LaBuy granted the request.

“Tucker and his associates charged with fraud in a $28,000,000 attempt to produce a rear-engined automobile.”

Wednesday January 18, 1950 United Press:

“Tucker Case Seen Going to Jury Today

“Chicago - (UP) - Asst. U.S.  Atty. Robert Downing told a jury Wednesday that this would-be automaker Preston Tucker and his associates knowingly produced one of the largest frauds ever perpetrated in the United States.

“The case is expected to go the jury today after the defense has made its final plea. Downing took the entire day to sum up the government's mail fraud and conspiracy charge against Tucker and seven others.”

One of the Government's most damaging charges - that Preston T. Tucker told Arnold Peterson, a former superintendent in Ford Motor Co.’s Willow Run bomber plant, that “if the project (building a rear-engined Tucker car) doesn't go through we’ll make a lot of money,” was reiterated by Assistant US attorney Robert Downing in his closing statements before the jury on Wednesday January 18, 1950, the Associated Press reporting:

“Government Starts Summary

“Chicago - (AP) - ‘It's up to you jurors whether Preston Tucker goes back to Ypsilanti and watches the rest of the world go by,’ a prosecutor said as the Government began its summary in the Tucker mail fraud trial.

“Assistant United States Attorney Robert Downing was recalling to the Federal Court jury testimony presented in the  11 weeks of the trial of the president and seven associates of the bankrupt Tucker automobile firm.

“Downing quoted Arnold Peterson, a Government witness.

“Peterson was employed at the Ypsilanti (Mich.) Machine & Tool Co., a Tucker firm now owned by his mother.

“Peterson said Tucker told him in 1944, Downing said, ‘that if the project (building a rear-engined Tucker car) doesn't go through we'll make a lot of money and go back and operate the Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Co. and watch the rest of the world go by.’

“Tucker and the others are charged with mail fraud, conspiracy and violation of the Security and Exchange Commission's regulations.”

Although they had called no witnesses, the Tucker attorneys; William T. Kirby, Frank J. McAdams Jr., Floyd E. Thompson, Albert W. Dilling, Justus Chancellor Jr. and Daniel Glasser, commenced their closing arguments before the 12-member jury and Judge Walter J. LaBuy on Thursday, January 19, 1950. Once again the Chicago Tribune's William Clark covered the trial's events in the January 20, 1950 edition of the Tribune:

“Lawyer Calls Tucker Honest Man of Vision

“by William Clark

“Preston Tucker is a man of honesty and vision whose automobile building enterprise was crushed by the weight of malicious government investigations and the ‘horrible abuse’ of an unfair prosecution. A defense lawyer in the fraud trial of eight Tucker corporation officials yesterday gave that description before federal District court jury which only 24 hours earlier had a government prosecutor label Tucker the perpetrator of a gigantic fraud.

“The defense lawyer was William T. Kirby, who, with Frank J. McAdams, has represented Tucker and two other defendants in the 12 week trial before Judge Walter J. LaBuy.

“May Reach Jury Tomorrow

“The case will go to the jury tomorrow if other defense attorneys and the one remaining prosecutor to be heard complete their final arguments today. If not, court will recess until Monday for the remainder of the arguments and the court instructions to the jury.

“At the close of his day long summary of Tucker's defense, Kirby asserted the Securities and Exchange Commission had worked to bleed away Tucker corporation’s strength so that it could be despoiled by other manufacturers. He reiterated charges that Sen. Ferguson (R., Mich.) helped instigate the SEC probes, and said safety and engineering features popularized by Tucker already are being by other builders.

“‘God helping us, we hope to go back in there and fight for our rights to stop this picking of the turkey,’ he told the jury.

“Contends Charges Are Unproved

“Kirby contended that the government had failed to prove Tucker and his associates had any intention of defrauding the public. Therefore the defendants should be acquitted, he said.

“‘There could not have been a good faith attempt to build a car and an attempt to defraud at the same time,’ said Kirby. ‘Why would these men go into a venture of this type and go thru the agonies they have gone thru if all they wanted to do was perpetrate a fraud, It just does not make sense.’

“Kirby accused the prosecutors of, ‘shabby treatment’ of the defendants and the jury. At one point, in the middle of an argument about the unlikelihood of Defendant Fred Rockelman knowingly committing fraud ‘in the twilight of his life,’ Kirby appeared overcome by emotion. He paused and wiped his eyes, ‘I’m sorry,’ he told the jury, ‘but you get fond of these people.’”

The United Press reported on Thursday's proceedings in a Friday, January 20, 1950 newswire story:

“Failure Not Fraud, Auto Builder Argues

“Chicago - (UP) - Defense Atty. William Kirby said Thursday that the failure of Preston Tucker to mass-produce his rear-engined auto ‘doesn't prove fraud.’

“Kirby used the entire day in presenting his closing arguments on behalf of Tucker, who is being tried with seven associates, for mail fraud and conspiracy.

“Kirby pointed to a stack of the defunct firm’s books and said: ‘There is not a single false entry in them.’

“Attorneys for Tucker and the seven other defendants in the three-months-old trial reportedly differed on whether the case should be sent to the jury Saturday or Monday.

“In any case, tomorrow’s time will be used by the six other defense lawyers prepared to follow Kirby.

“One group at the defense table reportedly favored asking for a Saturday session so that the government could complete its arguments, the Judge issue his instructions, and the Jury begin deliberations.

“Another group proposed the jurors be given a week end's rest before deciding the case.”

January 20, 1950 International News Service:

“Tucker Jury May Get Close Saturday

“Chicago - (INS) - Final arguments were slated for today in the long Chicago mail fraud trial of Preston Tucker and seven associates, and observers predicted the case would go to the jury tomorrow.

“U.S. District Judge Walter J. La Buy has ordered a Saturday court session.

“Final arguments for the individual defendants will be presented first at today's session.

“The last prosecution rebuttal will follow. Defense Attorney William T. Kirby told the jury yesterday that the government ‘has taken more time to investigate the Tucker venture than it gave the defendants time to produce a car.’”

January 20, 1950 Associated Press:

“Tucker Case Goes To Jurors Today Mail Fraud Charged In Federal Court

“Chicago. Jan. 20. - (AP) - Defendants in the Tucker mail fraud trial were described variously as ‘unscrupulous and very clever fellows’ and as tragic figures ‘who have lost everything.’

“The descriptions were part of summations made by government prosecutors and defense attorneys at the close of the three-month-long trial. Federal Judge Walter J. La Buy will give instructions to the jury tomorrow morning.

“Preston Tucker, president of the bankrupt Tucker Corporation, and seven associates are charged with mail fraud, conspiracy and violation of SEC regulations. Their corporation was formed to put a rear-engine automobile, which never reached the mass production stage.

“Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence Miller, in summing up the government’s case, contended:

“‘The evidence shows that this group of defendants started off on a scheme to defraud. That scheme is continuing until today. They have twisted and exaggerated the facts.’

“‘That they intended to build a car isn't the question in this case. The question is: Did they at the time they made the advertisements have what they said they had?’

“He described the brochures and advertisements on the Tucker car as ‘a pack of lies,’ and added: ‘The public is entitled to be protected from these unscrupulous and very clever fellows.’

“Taking issue with defense contentions that all eight defendants had been wiped out financially in their venture, Miller contended they had lost none of their own money.

“Attorney Floyd E. Thompson, representing Floyd D. Cerf, one of the defendants, countered with the statement that ‘this case is without any criminal element in it.’

“‘If the defendants can raise two or three millions dollars,’ he said, ‘they’ll go ahead and build this automobile.’

“Thompson added: ‘Tragic as it is to the stockholders who’ve lost money, it is more tragic to these defendants who have lost everything.’”

Saturday morning, January 21, 1950 Judge Walter J. LaBuy spoke before the jury with his final charge:

“‘The fact that the defendants and those associated with them failed to mass-produce an automobile and accomplish what they undertook is not of itself proof of fraud. Erroneous judgment may be as consistent with good intentions as with bad intentions.’

“‘You are dealing here with offenses which require specific intent. Unless there is proof that the particular defendant whose case is being considered was acting in bad faith and with an intent to do wrong, he must be found not guilty. Good faith is a complete defense.’”

Saturday January 21, 1950 Associated Press:

“Tucker Mail Fraud Case Is Given To Federal Court Jury

“Chicago - (AP) - The Tucker mail fraud trial went to a federal district court jury today.

“The six men and six women retired at 10:55 a. m. (CST) after Judge Walter J. LaBuy had spent 45 minutes reading his instructions.

“In addition to mail fraud, the eight defendants are charged with conspiracy and violation of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.

“If convicted on all 31 counts of the indictment, Preston T. Tucker and four other defendants would be liable to a maximum penalty of 155 years of imprisonment and fines totaling $160,000 each.

“Three others who obtained dismissal of various counts were subject to lesser penalties. The judge began his charge to the jury shortly after 10 a.m.

“Final summations were given Friday by government prosecutors and defense attorneys. They spent three days in final arguments after a three-month trial.”

Sunday January 22, 1950 Associated Press newswire story:

“Jury Deliberates Fate of Tucker, Seven Associates

“Chicago - (AP) - A Jury deliberated Saturday night whether the multi-million dollar Tucker ‘dream car’ venture was a fraud or an honest business effort that collapsed for want of ready cash.

“On trial are Preston T. Tucker, 46, handsome and well-groomed president and board chairman of the bankrupt Tucker Corp., and seven business associates.

“Twelve hours after the jury of six women and six men received the case at 10:59 a.m., they still had reached no verdict. Testimony and arguments in the case lasted six months. While awaiting the verdict, Tucker and the other defendants lolled in the nearly empty courtroom or walked in the corridors of the federal building.”

At 3:30 pm, Sunday January 22, 1950 - twenty-eight and a half hours after he had received the case on Saturday morning - jury foreman Joseph Kouba indicated that they had reached a verdict. Soon after the numerous attorneys, defendants, and their friends and families returned to the courtroom and rose when Judge Walter J. LaBuy entered from his chambers.

The court clerk read the “not guilty” verdict* and a cheer of jubilation arose from the seventy-five friends and relatives of the defendants.

(*Initially, the verdict was not unanimous as four ballots were taken, with two jurors voting for conviction on the first two, one for conviction on the third, and all twelve for acquittal on the fourth.)

Newspaper reporters crowded around the defendants to ask their plans. Fred Rockelman said that he would make a trip to New York before looking for a new job. Cliff Knoble planned a brief vacation in Ohio before seeking an advertising agency job in Detroit. Robert Pierce was considering a trip abroad. Preston Tucker announced that he would take a brief vacation. His first concern was for the health of his wife, who had been attending court sessions against doctor’s orders.

On Monday morning, January 23, 1950, the verdict made the front page of the nation's leading dailies - one representative story comes from the January 23, 1950 edition of the Sheboygan [Wisc.] Press:

“Defendants Found Not Guilty

“One of the most unusual cases in the history of the federal government was that waged against Preston T. Tucker of the Tucker Corporation and seven of his associates charged with mail fraud, conspiracy, and violation of federal securities regulations in promoting the manufacture and sale of the Tucker car.

“The jury which deliberated in this case heard the evidence of 73 witnesses over the three months’ trial and reached a verdict of not guilty on the fourth ballot.

“We class it as a most unusual case because the defendants did not present a scintilla of evidence to counteract the charges that had been made. The attorneys for the defendants contended that no evidence of fraud or conspiracy had been proven. The government contended that it was not the intention of the corporation to manufacture cars and that it was launched with the idea of fraud. The defense met this issue admitting that there might have been some misinformation, but there was no evidence of fraud and criminal intent.

“The Tucker car when it first appeared was a sample of a rear engine car, something new in the automobile field. When the case was tried before a jury of twelve, comprising men and women, and the government had submitted its entire case with over 1,000 exhibits, the attorneys representing the defendants took the position that there was no evidence of fraud and closed without submitting any evidence. The jury deliberated seventeen hours, taking four ballots and found the defendants innocent. Evidently it was no gamble on the part of the defense attorneys inasmuch as they openly announced in court that no charge of fraud had been proven.

“The judge’s charge was favorable to the defendants and placed the burden clearly upon the prosecution when he said, ‘Conjecture and suspicion cannot take the place of evidence.’ He cautioned the jury that it must find whether there was intention to defraud; and that it ‘must believe the facts are inconsistent with innocence.’

“What was in the mind of the defendants throughout the trial never came to the attention of the jury because the defense rested without introducing a single iota of evidence, Preston Tucker announced after the verdict was read that the company would now proceed with re-organization and manufacture of the newly-designed car.”

Seen at the right is an Associated Press wire photo taken of the defendants (several of whom no longer spoke to one another) late Sunday afternoon which was accompanied by the following caption:

“Preston Tucker, fourth from right, head of ill-fated Tucker automobile firm, stands at Federal Court in Chicago Jan. 22 with seven of his associates after they were acquitted on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy, and accusations of Federal SEC violations in financial promotion of the corporation. Left to right: Mitchell W. Dulian, sales manager; Floyd D. Serf, underwriter who handled the Tucker stock offering; Harold Karsten, promotion; Fred Rockelman, executive vice-president; Tucker; Robert Pierce, treasurer; Otis Radford, a former treasurer, and Cliff Knoble, advertising manager.”

However Tucker's worries were far from over, he still had to deal with numerous civil lawsuits that were subsequently filed against the bankrupt Tucker Corporation, and him personally, the January 25, 1950 United Press newswire reporting:

“U.S. Court Opens Way for Civil Suits Against Tucker

“Chicago - (UP) - Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe opened the way Tuesday for possible civil action against Preston Tucker, who was cleared of fraud charges in the attempted manufacture of a ‘dream car.’

“Igoe signed an order permitting civil proceedings and appointed Bankruptcy Referee Austin Hall to question Tucker and associates of his company on what happened to $28,000,000 which his firm once owned.

“Tucker and seven officers in his rear-engine automobile venture were acquitted of fraud, conspiracy, and violation of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations last Sunday.

“Norman Nachman, attorney appointed last year to handle Tucker Corp. affairs during voluntary bankruptcy proceedings, requested the hearing.

“Nachman said he would start civil proceedings if assets are revealed. The U.S. District Attorney’s office joined him in seeking the hearings.

“No date was set for the hearings.”

Like many others personally involved in the Tucker affair, Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe believed  that Tucker's acquittal on conspiracy and mail fraud charges in no way cleared him of responsibility for the $30 million failure of the Tucker Corp. - as evidenced by the following aricle that appeared in the January 28, 1950 edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“Igoe Refers to ‘Fraud’ in Tucker Case

“The word ‘fraud’ in connection with Tucker corporation cropped up again in federal District court yesterday - and from the lips of a judge - a scant five days after Preston Tucker and seven others were acquitted of criminal charges of fraud and conspiracy in a neighboring courtroom.

“The judge was Michael L. Igoe who has jurisdiction over the Tucker corporation bankruptcy proceedings and a civil suit filed by a stockholder-dealer group before the recent 12 week criminal trial began. Tucker attorneys asked Igoe yesterday to vacate a five month old restraining order prohibiting Tucker from selling his apartment, furniture, or any other personal property.

“Hearing Set for Feb. 27

“Igoe scheduled a hearing for Feb. 27 on the request to give Tucker corporation trustees time to conduct a scheduled examination into the personal assets of Tucker and other officers of the inactive automobile company.

“‘I want Mr. Tucker in here,’ Igoe said. ‘The only revelation that will satisfy this court is full disclosure of how and under what circumstances he acquired that property.’

“‘The difficulty with this matter is that the people who were defrauded here were the poorest and smallest people in America, the five and ten dollar people.’

“‘That is yet to be proven,’ observed Atty. Joseph Keig.

“‘There's been no denial, has there?’ snapped Igoe.

“Keig and Atty. John Dowdle represented Tucker in the day's proceedings. Asking immediate removal of the restraining order, they said the stockholders’ suit on which the order was based alleged fraud and asked for appointment of a receiver. Tucker has been acquitted of fraud and the court already has 'taken possession of Tucker corporation.

“Apartment Value Drops

“Meanwhile, they said, the best current offer for the 999 Lake Shore dr. apartment for which Tucker paid $40,000 is only $20,000, and if Tucker is not permitted to sell it soon the market may weaken further.

“Tucker faced difficulties Thursday because he did not have enough money to pay a $3,567 judgment obtained against him in Municipal court in connection with his purchase of an Indiana farm in 1935. Friends raised $1,700 toward payment of the debt, and Tucker was permitted to go free.”

Tucker blamed everybody but himself for the failure of his company and never apologized to the 1,872 Tucker dealers and distributors, nor the 44,000 stockholders who provided the $30 million he blew though in a little over 18 months. Consequently it came as no surprise that just two weeks after the acquittal Tucker announced he would be building another car, the January 31, 1950 United Press newswire reporting:

“Tucker Eyes 2nd Try at Car Firm

“But Trustees’ Suit May Halt Move

“Chicago, Jan. 31 (UP) - Preston Tucker hopes to reorganize his dream-car firm, but a lawyer predicted the Tucker Corp. first must prepare to meet $30,000,000 in claims.

“Tucker said he was ready for another try at building a radical rear-engine car following his acquittal, along with seven associates, on mail fraud and conspiracy charges.

“But Norman Nachman, attorney for Tucker trustees John Chatz and Aaron Colnon, announced he will start civil court proceedings against Tucker in an effort to obtain funds to meet claims of stockholders, dealers, creditors and distributors.

“Nachman said he believes the claims will amount to more than $30,000,000. He said he would have to show the firm’s affairs were improperly conducted, in order to obtain property or other assets held by Tucker.

“But Nachman said this would not mean an attempt to show criminal conduct. During the trial, the Government failed to convince a jury of its charge that Tucker and the other defendants promoted the automobile venture with no real intention of ever producing the revolutionary car.

“Left Out of Plans

“Tucker may find trouble getting himself included in any reorganization of his firm.

“Two plans for reorganization - one prepared by a stockholders committee, the other by dealers - would not contain any role for the 46-year-old Cinderella boy of the automotive world, according to authoritative sources.

“Tucker’s passive defense during the trial held that the corporation made an honest effort to produce the bug-shaped, widely publicized car, but was hobbled by Government investigations instigated by Detroit competitors.

“Actually, the firm built, by hand, 31 of its super-streamlined Tucker Torpedoes. Tucker promised a 150- horsepower airplane-type engine utilizing a 24-volt electrical system that would push the car along from the rear at a cruising speed of 100 MPH.

“Despite fancy features like an extra headlight that turned with the front wheels, Tucker said the car would be one of the lowest-priced models ever built. At moderate speeds he expected it to travel 35 miles on a gallon of gasoline.

“But the factory he leased here from the Government never got its production lines rolling. The plant, largest under one roof in the world, was used during the war to produce aircraft engines.”

February 21, 1950 United Press newswire story:

“U.S. in Claim Against Tucker

“Chicago (UP) - The government Monday filed a $3,374,000 claim against the ill-fated Tucker Corporation, whose president, Preston Tucker, recently was acquitted of mail fraud in his attempt to build a rear-engine automobile.

“The government claim included $188,465 in back rent on the surplus war plant Tucker used; $2,192,500 for rent of machinery and equipment; $202,904 in real estate taxes; and $790,206 to put the plant back in its former condition.”

February 22, 1950 Chicago Tribune:

“U.S. Offers Tucker Plant

“Larson to Ask Bids on Sale or Lease Early in March

[Chicago Tribune Press Service]

“Washington, Feb. 21-The government announced today that the 173 million dollar Chicago manufacturing property which Preston Tucker envisioned as the home of his dream car is again up for sale.

“Jess Larson, head of general services administration, said the GSA plans to advertise for bids on the vast plant early in March.

“Purchase proposals will be given first consideration, Larson said, but GSA will consider leasing the property if a satisfactory sale cannot be arranged.

“Leased for 10 Years

“Larson indicated that this time the property will be sold or leased on more attractive terms than when it was leased to Tucker. Liberalization by the munitions board of the ‘national security clause,’ which it tacks onto all sales contracts of surplus war plants, accounts for the change.

“Tucker leased the plant in September, 1946, for 10 years. He agreed to pay $500,000 annually for the first two years, and $2,400,000 annually in succeeding years, or 3 per cent of his gross automobile sales, whichever was the larger.

“The Tucker plant is one of 56 surplus war properties valued at a total of $733,593,000 the GSA is putting on the ‘bargain counter.’

“Disposal of the Tucker plant and the others had been delayed until the munitions board acted on the security clause.

“Built for Chrysler Corp.

“The Tucker plant was built by the government in 1942 for use by Chrysler corporation to build aircraft engines. It was operated as the Dodge-Chicago plant.

“Included in the 480 acre facility are numerous office, shop, forge, and foundry buildings containing machinery, equipment, and standard purpose tools for general manufacturing, Larson said.

“‘The property and equipment are adaptable for purposes for which there is a current demand - general manufacturing, assembly, machine shops, forging, foundry, warehousing, and offices,’ he asserted.

“No Current Bidders

“‘A purchaser could operate the property intact or lease sections to smaller enterprises.’

“The buildings contain 6,523,891 square feet of floor space, Larson said.

“Officials in Larson's office said that GSA currently has no bids for the property. They reported Larson has indicated a willingness to lease segments of the plant if he cannot sell or lease the entire unit to one party.”

For Preston Tucker the desire for vindication, not vengeance, burned strongly within him - and he instituted a series of libel suits against the men, the newspapers and the magazines that had pilloried him so unmercifully. The March 11, 1950 International News Service reported on one $3 million suit Tucker filed on March 11, 1950:

“Preston Tucker Files $3 Million Damage Suit

“Detroit, March 11, (INS) - Preston T. Tucker, promoter of the revolutionary ‘torpedo’ automobile, today filed a $3 million damage suit against the Detroit News and four of its employees.

“The federal court suit charged that an article by Martin S. Hayden, News Washington correspondent, was libelous.

“The president of the defunct Tucker Corp. blamed Hayden's article directly for the criminal indictment of which he recently was acquitted in federal court in Chicago. He charged the story destroyed his reputation and the reputation of his firm and made his holdings in the Tucker Corp. worthless.

“Named besides Hayden were William S. Gilmore, editor; Fred Gaertner Jr., managing editor, and Carl K. Lysinger, news editor.”

March 12, 1950 Detroit Free Press:

“Tucker Sues Detroit News for $3 Million

“Preston T. Tucker personally filed a $3,000,000 libel suit in Federal Court Saturday against the Evening News Association, publisher of the Detroit News, and four News employees.

“Another suit, asking $300,000, was filed in Wayne County Circuit Court by Tucker’s mother, Mrs. Lucille C. Holmes, of Ypsilanti.

“Tucker alleged in his complaint that a story printed by the News on March 13, 1949, and written by Martin S. Hayden, News Washington correspondent, was in part responsible for his indictment in Illinois on fraud charges.

“Tucker and his associates were found innocent.

“He also alleged that the News story caused Tucker stock, of which he owned 476,000 out of a total of 1,000,000 shares, to drop in value.

“Named as individual defendants were Hayden, William S. Gillmore, editor; Fred Gaertner, Jr., managing editor, and Carl S. Lysinger, news editor.

“A similar suit, asking $100,000, was filed by Emery Hughett, a former Tucker associate.

“In her suits, Mrs. Holmes alleged that Hayden’s article accused her of fraudulently obtaining money from the Tucker Corp., through her Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Co.

“Tucker managed the company under power of attorney for his mother.”

March 21, 1950 Chicago Tribune:

"Forced Out of His Apartment, Tucker Testifies at Hearing

"Preston Tucker said yesterday he has been 'forced out' of his expensive apartment at 999 Lake Shore Dr. and now is living at the Illinois Athletic club, 112 S. Michigan av. He made the disclosure at the end of his 62 hour session under the questioning of Atty. Norman Nachman, representing Tucker corporation trustees, before Austin Hall, federal referee in bankruptcy.

"'They took it away from me because I was back on my monthly assessments by a considerable amount,' said the president of the inactive automobile company.

“Nachman's rapid fire questioning was concentrated on why $15,000 of a total of $25,000 paid for a Tucker franchise by two Chicagoans was placed in Tucker’s personal bank account Sept. 3, 1946.

“Tucker’s frequent pleading of faulty memory drew from Nachman the comment that the only thing Tucker seemed to remember was that he was out of town on that date.”

In a sworn deposition he made in response to Tucker's $3 million suit, Detroit News writer Martin S. Hayden stated that his information came directly from a confidential Securities and Exchange Commission report provided by SEC Commissioner Harry A. McDonald that he (Hayden) was allowed to read in the Hotel Statler in Washington, D.C.

Not only did McDonald admit giving the report to Hayden, but he later justified his actions before a Senate investigating committee stating:

“My purpose was to protect the Commission against unjustified criticism and to maintain public confidence in the Commission. I would unhesitatingly do the same thing today under similar circumstances.”

Similarly, Lester Velie, who along with Colliers MAgazine (his publisher) were also sued by Tucker for libel, swore in his deposition that he had twice been allowed to read the sameSecurities and Exchange Commission report - the first time was in prosecutor Otto Kerner’s offices in the Chicago Federal Building and the second in the Chicago offices of SEC Commissioner Thomas B. Hart, who even furnished him with a desk.

Ironically when the various Tucker defense teams requested to see the very same report in preparation for the trial, Assistant U. S. Attorney Lawrence Miller, not only denied them access to it, but claimed he had no idea where the Detroit News and Colliers' reporters had gotten their information. Referring to the documents that would be made available to the defense during the trial, Miller stated in court:

“But among these documents certainly is not the confidential report of the Securities and Exchange Commission. As for the reference to Colliers and the Detroit News is concerned, why we don’t know anything about those newspapers or where they got their information, if they got it.”

If Tucker and his seven co-defendants had been found guilty, the leak of the SEC report would certainly have been a big deal. However, Tucker couldn't disprove any of the facts it contained and the lawsuits he filed against The Detroit News, Colliers, Readers' Digest and their writers and editors were summarily dismissed.

March 22, 1950 Associated Press newswire story:

“Tucker Asks U.S. Attorneys in His Case Be Dismissed

“Chicago, (AP) - Preston T. Tucker, president of the defunct Tucker Corporation, has demanded that Attorney General J. Howard McGrath dismiss three federal attorneys who prosecuted the mail fraud case against him.

“At the same time, Tucker filed a suit in superior court against the government attorneys and five other persons for $1,000,000 damages, charging malicious prosecution.

“The suit is based on the government’s recent unsuccessful attempt to convict Tucker and seven associates on charges of violating the mail fraud statute and the securities act. The government charges stemmed from the collapse of Tucker’s $28,000,000 project to mass produce a new type of rear engine automobile.”

March 29, 1950 United Press newswire story:

“Tucker Trustees’ Reorganizing Fails

“Chicago - (UP) - Trustees for the Tucker Automobile Corp. reported to Federal Judge Michael L. Igoe Tuesday that no practical plan for reorganizing the company has been found.

“The trustees submitted an 18-page report asking that their control be extended until next August and hinting that a plan to produce air-cooled motors might be evolved later.

“They reported that neither public nor private money was found for investment and that the public was ‘not now ready to accept a new car.’

“The corporation is being reorganized under federal bankruptcy laws.

“Preston Tucker, who started the company to produce a radical rear-engined auto, and several of his associates were acquitted recently of mail fraud and other charges growing out of the operation and promotion of the company.”

June 24, 1950 Chicago Tribune:

“Seek Removal of All Tucker Plant's Tools

“Government attorneys  plan to go into court next week, probably Tuesday, to seek an order forcing trustees of the bankrupt Tucker corporation to remove all of the company’s property from the big plant at 7401 S. Cicero av., it was learned . The purpose of the removal order would be to clear the way for the projected transfer into the plant of several Chicago area offices of the federal government.

“The physical remnants of the once highly publicized rear engine automobile enterprise of Preston Tucker consist mainly of machine tools with an original cost of about 3 million dollars, paint booths, and elements of a production line. A legal spokesman hesitated to put an over-all value on it, remarking, ‘It isn't worth anything if nobody wants it.’

“Speculate on Reviving Firm

“Report of the impending federal request caused speculation over its likely effect on whatever chances remain for restoring the automobile company to life. Opinion in some quarters was that it would deal such chances a body blow. However, the parties still interested in reorganization reportedly are reconciled to the idea of seeking a smaller, less expensive plant anyway - should Judge Michael L. Igoe rule that a re-organization attempt is feasible.

“Igoe has deferred ruling on that question to Sept. 22. Trustees have said more than 70 million dollars would be required to put the enterprise on its feet. A Tucker dealer group has suggested it could be done for as little as 40 million.

“The government reclaimed the plant last December while Preston Tucker and seven associates were on trial in federal court on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy. They were acquitted by a jury in January.

“Plan Federal Center

“After futile attempts to peddle the property, the government announced three weeks ago it would make use of the plant itself. Plans, disclosed initially in Washington by General Services Administrator Jess Larson, provide for converting the vast installation into a sort of ‘federal center.’

“The first government office to move into the plant will be the treasury department s bureau of public debt, the announcement said. The federal supply service and the public buildings service of the general services administration will follow. Both are expected to occupy the premises early next year.”

By September of 1950, the handful of lawsuits that Tucker had filed against his accusers  for libel and malicious prosecution totaled $19 million dollars. However I couldn't locate any evidence that any of them made it to trial - most were dismissed like the following  one Tucker filed against United States District Atty. Otto Kerner Jr. and seven others, the June 29, 1950 edition of the Chicago Tribune reporting:

“Tucker Appeals Dismissal of Suit on Prosecution

“Preston Tucker yesterday filed notice of appeal from a federal District court ruling dismissing his 1 million dollar malicious prosecution suit against United States District Atty. Otto Kerner Jr. and seven others. Kerner and the other defendants conducted the prosecution last winter of Tucker and other Tucker corporation officials on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy. The trial ended in a jury verdict of acquittal, but Tucker’s subsequent suit charging malicious prosecution was thrown out by Judge Michael J. Igoe.”

July 16, 1950 Edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“Seek Removal of All Tucker Plant’s Tools

“Government has a plan to go into court next week, probably Tuesday, to seek an order forcing trustees of the bankrupt Trucker corporation to remove all of the company s property from the big plant at 7401 S. Cicero av., it was learned . The purpose of the removal order would be to clear the way for the projected transfer into the plant of several Chicago area offices of the federal government.

“The physical remnants of the once highly publicized rear-engine automobile enterprise of Preston Tucker consist mainly of machine tools with an original cost of about 3 million dollars, paint booths, and elements of a production line. A legal spokesman hesitated to put an over-all value on it, remarking, ‘It isn’t worth anything if nobody wants it.’

“Speculate on Reviving Firm

“Report of the impending federal request caused speculation over its likely effect on whatever chances remain for restoring the automobile company to life. Opinion in some quarters was that it would deal such chances a body blow. However, the parties still interested in reorganization reportedly are reconciled to the idea of seeking a smaller, less expensive plant anyway - should Judge Michael L. Igoe rule that a re-organization attempt is feasible.

“Igoe has deferred ruling on that question to Sept. 22. Trustees have said more than 70 million dollars would be required to put the enterprise on its feet. A Tucker dealer group has suggested it could be done for as little as 40 million.

“The government reclaimed the plant last December while Preston Tucker and seven associates were on trial in federal court on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy. They were acquitted by a jury in January.

“Plan Federal Center

“After futile attempts to peddle the property, the government announced three weeks ago it would make use of the plant itself. Plans, disclosed initially in Washington by General Services Administrator Jess Larson, provide for converting the vast installation into a sort of ‘federal center.’

“The first government office to move into the plant will be the treasury department’s bureau of public debt, the announcement said. The federal supply service and the public buildings service of the general services administration will follow. Both are expected to occupy the premises early next year.”

July 16, 1950 Edition of the Chicago Tribune:

“Tucker Plant Points Up New Deal Attitude

“Symbol of Drive on Big Business

“by Thomas Furlong

“Chrysler corporation was barred from purchasing or leasing the big airplane engine plant at 7401 S. Cicero av. that it operated during the war. Instead the plant went to Preston Tucker, an ex-motorcycle policeman from Ypsilanti, Mich.,who figured he was going to revolutionize the automobile industry, but wound up in federal court defending himself against charges of fraud.

“Today the plant, considered one of the finest industrial facilities built during the war, is being partially converted for use as government offices (among the agencies to be housed there is the bureau of public debt). Last week Federal District Judge Michael L. Igoe, presiding in the Tucker corporation bankruptcy case, ordered removal from the plant of the corporation’s equipment including the assembly line that never assembled.

“Choice Between Two

“There was never any serious consideration given to the sale or leasing of the plant to an industrial enterprise with a proven record of industrial accomplishments and a management organization capable of utilizing the property. The only question was whether the plant would go to Tucker or to Lustron corporation.

“The latter enterprise lost out but was subsequently awarded another big war plant in Columbus, O., and 37 million dollars of public money through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Like Tucker, Lustron wound up in the bankruptcy court. The money that the government furnished to Lustron and the 25 millions poured into the Tucker venture by the public are gone - the receivers and their attorneys are trying to find out where the money went.

“For five years the two plants have been utterly wasted from a production standpoint. Meanwhile, privately owned industrial enterprises have been pouring capital into plants at a rate never before equaled in peace time. The plants that industry has built made possible the highest industrial production of all time last month.

“Insight on Attitude

“The story of these two plants provides an interesting insight into the government s attitude toward big business - an attitude for which it is seemingly willing to pay any price to maintain. The surplus administration made quite clear to Chrysler corporation that it would not entertain a bid from Chrysler on the Cicero av. plant.

“Only a short time before, however, the government had turned to Chrysler in times of stress when it was seeking somebody to build and operate a plant to meet the urgent need for aircraft engines. To have awarded the plant to Chrysler, it was explained, have fostered ‘concentration in industry’ and promoted monopoly. The government was taking no chances in this respect and chose Tucker.

“Big corporations are called upon in war time to accomplish production jobs that cannot be entrusted to others. When the last shot is fired, however, they are transformed into monsters intent on economic evil, so runs the thinking of the trust busters.

“Campaign Gains Speed

“The administration drive to break up big corporations is gaining momentum. Among the targets of such suits is the duPont company, one of the most valuable of the production organizations in the last war. The big oil companies that pushed expansion to the utmost to meet urgent war now find themselves either defendants in anti-trust actions or uneasy bystanders waiting their turn.

“The steel industry, frequently chastised by government spokesmen for failure to expand fast enough, is under investigation. Soon the government will launch a ‘major’ case against United States Steel corporation, largest in the industry, to break up its properties, according to Washington reports.

“Should there be an urgent demand to step up the production of steel, oil, and other industrial products the government will probably again turn to the big corporations, slowing temporarily in the drive on ‘bigness.’

“Why industrial organizations that prove their efficiency in war are suspect in peace is a question that is yet to be answered in any of the lengthy complaints filed by the government ‘monopoly’ prosecutors.”

August 5, 1950 Chicago Tribune:

“Tucker Charges Libel By Digest; Seeks $5 Million

“Preston Tucker, former president of the Tucker corporation, filed suit in Superior court yesterday asking 5 million dollars damage from Readers Digest Association, Inc. The suit alleges he was libeled by an article appearing in the September, 1949, issue. This was a condensation of an article in Colliers magazine June 25, 1949. Tucker also has a libel pending against Colliers. Yesterday’s suit was prepared by Attorneys Albert W. and Kirkpatrick W. Dilling.”

September 30, 1951 United Press Newswire:

“Tucker Starts Over at Ypsilanti Tool Firm

“Atlanta – (UP) – Preston Tucker, who [planned a fabulous postwar automobile and his ideas blow up in bankruptcy, said that he’s ‘starting all over again’ at his former general manager’s job in a machine and tool company at Ypsilanti, Mich.

“Tucker was in town looking for machinery needed to manufacture jet engine parts for a contract he said the Ypsilanti Tool and Machine Co. has landed with Curtiss-Wright.

“Tucker said that he had contemplated setting up business in South America after his acquittal last year on charges of fraud.

“He said he changed his mind when ‘defense officials asked me not to go.’

“Tucker and seven associates in his automotive deal were cleared in January, 1950, of charges of mail fraud, conspiracy and violation of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.

“Tucker started in the Ypsilanti plant, owned by his mother, 35 years ago as an apprentice.”

During 1952 Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky was retained by Preston T. Tucker to help him design a second Tucker, a sports car that was christened the Carioca. The Count wrote a short article about the project shortly before his death that was published posthumously in Automobile Quarterly (Vol. 4, No.1) and titled 'The Second Tucker'. The car was later featured on the cover of the July 1955 issue of Car Life which included an article entitled 'Preston Tucker's Production Line Rod'.

In his article for Automobile Quarterly the Count fondly recalled his friend:

“Preston Tucker was easy to know and hard not to like. In the four years prior to his death of lung cancer, our acquaintance, which began strictly on a business level, grew into a close friendship. And I came to admire his unvarying optimism and consistently logical approach to the most complex problems. How can I describe such a man as Tucker? 'Audacious' is the word that comes quickest to mind, for it was indeed audacious of him, in the first place, to have tried to invade a field dominated by experienced industrial giants. Then, though he suffered a moral as well as monetary defeat in the downfall of his enterprise, he began immediately to conceive of means to try again.

“Hounded by creditors, his own credit at its lowest ebb, and bitter at the manifest injustices that had been dealt him, Preston racked his brain to find another approach to the problem of turning his dream of a car into a reality. He came to me to seek help in putting down on paper what he planned as the Tucker Number Two.

“Preston felt that much of the sheer enjoyment of motoring was missed when you drove a boxy family sedan, functional though it may be. He wanted to build cars that were fun to drive. His conception of a fun car was a sporty looking vehicle of intriguing design, whose performance was sparkling, and which could be sold at a profit for $1,000.

“My first meeting with him took place in 1952 in his Ypsilanti, Michigan, headquarters where he had salvaged a rather well-equipped machine shop from his first automotive venture. There, laid out on long tables, was a complete assortment of automotive parts that could be purchased readily on a C.O.D. basis. Noting my surprise, Preston explained that as soon as a new model produced by any of the Big Three automakers reached the manufacturing stage, the 'gray market' immediately tooled up to produce identical or facsimile parts for the replacement business. Such facsimile parts included wheels, steering mechanisms, electrical systems, transmissions, radiator cores, brakes and what have you. Some of them were already in sub-assembly form.

“The designer's problem had thus been simplified, or made more complex, depending on how you looked at it: he would have to create a car that utilized a maximum number of available parts and a minimum number of parts that had to be built from new tooling. Also, it should be a car that could be put together with little difficulty. Aware of the pitfalls, but fascinated by the thought of becoming associated with such an incredibly imaginative man as Preston Tucker, I agreed to submit ideas for the design of the Tucker Number Two.

“In his original car building program, Preston had employed a team of bright, young engineers who had helped him develop the first Tucker car. Later, unable to remain idle, these men drifted away, accepting jobs with various established manufacturers. It is a tribute to Preston's magnetism that all these men remained on call in the event he would ever be able to start up again. The loyalty of some of the men I met personally was heartwarming.

“Preston's ideas were unorthodox, to say the least, and he was unabashedly dogmatic about imposing them. For one thing, he claimed that research had proved that from ten to twelve pounds of accumulated mud, gravel and tar are carried at times under each of the four fenders of a conventionally designed car. His solution: cycle fenders, which could be removed easily for cleaning and thereby abet the road performance of the car. He also insisted on what I can only describe as Pierce-Arrow-like headlights, rising part-way out of the front fenders, which would turn with the wheels as the car was steered. And of course there would be a third headlight—in the center, and stationary — because it had now become a sort of Tucker trademark.

“The third Tucker mandate was a rear engine. Preston believed that this location offered several advantages. There would be much less noise; the front end could have a slim and streamlined shape; and there would be added safety for passengers in case of a front-end collision.

“The instrument panel of the new car was to be the acme of simplicity: an oversized speedometer surrounded by four blinkers—for fuel, oil, temperature and amperes. The pointed tail of the eventual design had been advised by the racing car designer Harry Miller, with whom Preston had worked earlier in his career and whom Preston deeply respected. In fact, one of Miller's sketches was turned over to me for inspiration. To further the fun car notion, there was to be an unusual, curved rear-seat design, reminiscent of that of a motorboat.

“The greatest deterrent to producing the car was the cost of body and sheet-metal dies. Naturally, some die work (hood and rear-engine cover, specifically) had to be considered. But for constructing doors and other components involving simple one-way stretch or rolled operations, Preston received an enthusiastic response from a number of house-trailer builders. He believed, and I concurred, that since composite bodies had given more than satisfactory service to trailer owners for many years, there was no reason why such assemblies could not be used on the new Tucker car and shipped directly to the buyer along with the rest of the parts. The Tucker fun car was to be sold in kit form.

“Since Preston's credit was nil, a Detroit bank was designated to act as a kind of trustee and deal directly with the parts manufacturers. When a customer made a suitable and sufficient payment to the bank— either directly or through a finance company—orders were to be immediately dispatched by the bank to participating manufacturers, who in turn began shipping parts to the customer. Bills of lading were also to be credited by the fiduciary bank to each manufacturer, but no bill was actually to be paid until all the parts had been delivered.

“Tucker knew that among the nation's repair garage owners there were a great many who were eager to obtain Big Three franchises, but unable to, for one reason or another. Preston hoped to tap this reservoir of frustrated car dealers and also to provide the future Tucker owner with a service outlet. The customer would be urged to have his car assembled by a specially authorized garage owner for a prearranged fee of $60 (that is, ten hours at $6 an hour, as outlined in a manual accompanying the components). In this manner, the new Tucker company would acquire a dealer organization, and the customer would be assured of service for his car.

“Hearing about plans to build this car, Juscelino Kubitschek, who was then the president of Brazil and a friend of Preston's, offered inducements in the form of tax-free plants, if the car could be assembled in his country. Intrigued by the offer, Tucker made several trips to Brazil and even considered launching the car in South America. Because of this possibility, Preston and I agreed to call the car the Tucker Carioca — Carioca being the name of the ballroom version of the samba and also the name applied to a citizen of Rio de Janeiro.

“Although I did not agree entirely with Preston's conception of how the car should look, I prepared a number of roughs that embodied his ideas, and from these he selected the design herewith. Close scrutiny of the concept will reveal some flaws, of course, but it is reasonable to assume that many of the inherent problems would have been solved eventually. Unfortunately, the project progressed no farther than the rough-sketch stage, which was a profound disappointment to me, for the idea of a strictly fun car is always present in the auto designer's mind. And I think this would have been a fun car to build.”

Although a prototype of Carioca was never constructed by Tucker, one enterprising fan of the vehicle claims to have one currently under construction.

While visiting Brazil in advance of getting the Carioca project going, Preston T. Tucker developed a debilitating fatigue that he initally attributed to the climate. His condition worsened and, realizing his time might be short, he boarded a flight back to the States,  and upon his arrival discovered he had a very aggressive case of lung cancer. Complications arose and he passed away in Ypsilanti on December 26, 1956 - his death certificate lists pneumonia as the direct cause of death, with lung cancer being a contributing factor. Tucker's remains are interred in Flat Rock, Michigan at the Michigan Memorial Park.

The Tucker Corporation's problems did not end with the death of its founder, the firm's receivers kept busy for the next two decades collecting receivables and paying off its creditors.

On July 31, 1963 Federal district judge Michael L. Igoe signed a liquidation order against the Tucker Corporation calling for the firm to pay off its $1.9 million in liabilities with its remaining assets of $1.6 million, taking away from Mr. Nachman a sinecure, for he had been legal counsel under a trusteeship ever since his appointment in March of 1949. Most of that $1.6 million came from the 1962 sale of the firm’s only profitable subsidiary, Aircooled Motors, Inc., the July 31, 1963 edition of the Chicago Tribune reporting:

“OK's Tucker Liquidation Plan Today

“By Louis Dombrowski

“One of the last steps in Tucker Corporation’s dissolution will be taken today when Judge Michael L. Igoe in Federal District Court signs a liquidation order.

“Fifty elderly stockholders and automobile dealers, who along with others invested more than 12 million dollars in the late Preston T. Tucker's dream car, will be the only mourners.

“They were told yesterday, for the first time since the company went bankrupt in 1949 after trying to produce a rear engine car, that there would be no return on their investment.

“Nachman Outlines Plan

“Atty. Norman H. Nachman, who represented the Tucker trustee, Nathan Yorke, outIined a plan of liquidation which proposes to pay off the corporation’s $1,900,000 liability to the federal government, 100 former Tucker employees, and unsecured creditors with assets of $1,600,000.

“The assets were accrued in large part through the liquidation last year of Aircooled Motors, Inc., a wholly-owned Tucker subsidiary in Syracuse, N. Y.

“The federal government, which originally filed a lien of $3,374,075 for rent and other charges on a Chicago plant site leased to Tucker, agreed to settle for $325,345, Nachman told Judge Igoe.

“More than 100 former Tucker employees will receive $40,000 in back wages.

“75 Cents on Dollar

“‘Even if unsecured creditors were to accept a settlement of 75 cents on the dollar,’ Nachman said, ‘there will be no equity for the stockholders.’

“With the approval of the liquidation plan by Judge Igoe, Yorke will ask the creditor’s approval and begin the payout.

“Tucker Corporation will be erased from the official records but not from the minds of the investors who dreamed of a windfall from the dream car.

“Many of the gray-haired shareholders in the courtroom yesterday complained they could not hear what Nachman told the judge. There was no loud speaker system in the courtroom and the stockholders crowded around the attorneys after the hearing to find out what happened.

“Nachman, who wrote the shareholders telling them to appear in court with their stock certificates, told the judge, ‘There will be no equity for stockholders.’

“If There's Windfall-

“Nachman softened the liquidation plan statement by saying that if some sort of windfall comes up, some attempt might be made to pay shareholders.

“The late Preston Tucker began a meteoric rise in 1947 when he announced the development of a rear-engine car. He leased the former war plant of the Dodge division of Chrysler corporation at 7401 S. Cicero av. and built between 53 and 58 hand tooled models.

“His decline was even faster than his rise. In 1948 the company went into bankruptcy with reported debts of nearly 29 million dollars. Tucker died in 1956.”

In the half-century since their introduction, 52 genuine Tuckers have been accounted for. The first and only hand-built prototype, popularly known as 'the Tin Goose' was constructed in mid-1947 and was first unveiled on June 21, 1947. During the next 6 months 29 prototypes - known as the pilot models - were constructed to be used in testing, advertising and dealer exhibition. A reported 13 cars were constructed using parts on hand by a skeleton crew of Tucker employees during 1949.

8 unfinished body shells and numerous spare parts and accessories were left in the plant when it was shuttered by the receivers in early 1949. The War Assets Administration got control of the plant back in December of 1949 and what remained of the Tucker Corp.'s assets were auctioned off along with what remained of the unsold cars in October 1950. One of those unfinished body shells was used to build a 51st Tucker in 1980 and a second shell (body no.52) was subsequently combined with parts from 2 severely damaged cars to make another complete car.

While we have Preston Tucker to thank for creating the Tucker automobile, another man, long-forgotten outside of the small Tucker community that survives today, is responsible for keeping the legend of the man and his car alive during the ensuing decades. His name is Nicholas “Nick” R. Jenin (originally Janjanin), and if not for his “Fabulous Tuckers” roadshow of the 1950s and 1960s it’s entirely possible the Tucker would be considered just another failed postwar automaker.

For over half a century Nick and his two younger brothers Paul and Pete Jenin owned and operated Chicago’s Raceway Park, a quarter mile racetrack located approximately 11 miles southeast of the Tucker plant at the corner of 130th St. and Ashland Ave. (now the southeast corner of Vermont St. and Ashland Ave.) in the town of Calumet Park, just east of Blue Island, Illinois.

Originally built by Harry Malone and Ed Rippe in 1937 as a one-fifth mile dog track, the owners had counted on a repeal of the Illinois law against betting on dog racing. When the law failed to materialize promotor Harry Malone led a local group of businessmen into turning it into a one-quarter mile D-shaped (aka bull-ring) midget racecar track, and it re-opened on Sept. 24, 1938. The track changed management several times with Art Folz and Wally Zale managing the track from 1940-1942 when all motorsports went on hiatus for the duration of the Second World War. Rudy Nichels began promoting the track immediately after the war, and in 1947 three Hazel Crest, Illinois brothers named Nick, Paul and Peter Jenin purchased the facility, it’s opening day was covered in the May 22, 1947 edition of the Blue Island Sun Standard:

“New Owners Renovate Speedway

“The 12 acre site at the southeast corner of Ashland ave. and Vermont st., has been purchased by Nick and Pete Jenin, of Blue Island, who are opening there next Wednesday with midget auto racing. Time trials start at 7 p.m. and actual racing starts at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 28.

“However their plans for the park go far beyond midget auto racing as they plan a permanent sports center in the locality. Steel grandstands, in addition to the present wooden grandstand are being installed so that the seating capacity will be raised to 5,500. Arrangements are being made for motorcycle racing and there will be boxing and wrestling. In winter an ice skating rink will be operated.

“The track will be available for local organizations for various events” said Nick Jenin. Nick is the owner of one of Florida’s largest night clubs, the Spotlite, just opposite a famous dogtrack at Hollywood. He recently leased the Spotlite to some Cleveland operators for a period of five years and returned to Blue Island for a rest, he says. Instead of a rest, he became interested in this newest venture with his brother, Pete, who is also a Blue Islander and connected with the Great Lakes refinery. Both boys went to high school here. Racing at Raceway will be by the Calumet Auto Racing Association”.

As stated Nick was living in Florida where he had purchased a large home in the Lauder Del Mar subdivision of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 111 N. Birch Rd. and converted it into a hotel named ‘Pillars by the Sea’. He also ran the Spotlite, a famous South Florida nightclub located across the street from the Hollywood Greyhound Track in Hallandale Beach.

Nick and Peter had both raced midgets before the War, Nick on the fairground circuit, and Peter, who owned a ‘460’ midget, at Raceway Park. The brothers slightly banked the oval, erected grandstands and concessions, and purchased more land for more parking. The brothers soon tired of rain-outs and the constant maintenance required to keep the clay surface groomed and in 1952 paved it over with macadam. During its prime, races were held Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The track soon took on the nickname “World's Busiest Track”. The track became so popular that the Jenin brothers entertained the thought of racing 7 days a week, so they could handle the massive crowds.

Some of the greatest names in racing were Raceway Park regulars: Johnnie Parsons (won the Indy 500 in 1950);  Tony Bettenhausen (competed in 14 Indy 500’s); Bill Holland (won Indy in 1949); Duke Nalon (started 10 Indy 500's); Bud Koehler (winningest driver in Chicago history); Pete Romcevich, (midget driver, entered 1 Indy 500); and Billy Vukovich, Sr., (won Indy 500 in 1953 and 1954).

Just four years after purchasing the track the Jenin brothers had created a world-class raceway, but it had been a long and hard journey from their ancestral home of Vrgin Most, Kordun, Croatia (now Serbia) to Blue Island, Illinois’ Raceway Park.

Their father, Stojan Janjanin, was born in 1869 near Vrgin Most, Kordun. The skilled forester emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland in 1900 where he opened a small Serbian restaurant (aka kafana). Soonafter the ‘Bogati iz Amerike’ or ‘rich man from America’ returned to Kordun to find a wife. He chose Indjia Sucevic from a bevy of local beauties and they married and returned to Baltimore and on Sept. 2, 1905 their blessed union resulted in the birth of a son, Nicholas R. Janjanin. For reasons now lost to time, the Janjanins returned to Vrgin Most where two more children - Mali Stevan and another who died at birth were born.

Stojan Janjanin returned to America alone and left Indjia and their two sons, Nicholas and Stevan, to wait until Stojan sent for them. In 1912, Indjia and her 18 mo.-old son Stevan took a steamer to the United States while Nick stayed behind with an aunt. They were detained at the Castle Gardens immigration station for two weeks, during which time a nurse approached Indjia and took Stevan, explaining that he needed inoculations. A short while later immigration officials approached Indjia and gave her the bad news that her young son had died after suffering an allergic reaction to the shots. She spoke no English and was convinced Stevan was kidnapped by white slavers.

In 1914 Nicholas returned to the United States and the Janjanin family moved from Baltimore to Worth, Illinois where they ran a boarding house for Serbian immigrants who were building a canal (the Sag Canal) which connected Lake Michigan to the Mississippi river by tying together the Calumet and Des Plaines Rivers.

Four younger children - Danica, Peter, Paul and Eli – joined the Janijin family while they ran the boarding house, and upon the completion of the Sag Canal in 1922 the family moved to nearby Hazel Crest, Illinois and opened a grocery store.

In 1932 Stojan Janjanin developed pneumonia and passed away at the age of 62, leaving his widow to care for their five surviving children. She developed a knack for buying and fixing up old properties, and several of her children lived in some of the very same properties their mother Indjia had purchased when they were little. In 1945, while carrying a load of bricks in the trunk of her car, it bottomed out while going over some railroad tracks, and unable to get out in time, the Jenin family's 62-year-old matriarch was killed by the oncoming train. Unfortunately Stojan and Indjia Janjanin ever got to see their successful sons’ race track, which opened just three years later.

In 1952 Nick Jenin sold his share of the track to Jimmy Derrico who co-owned the track with Paul and Peter Jenin until 1968. Nick returned to his adopted home of Ft Lauderdale and began promoting stock car racing at a new track located in Medley, Florida.

Constructed just north of Miami Springs in 1951 for a reported $200,000, Medley Stadium was a paved one-third mile oval which was operation in partnership with his younger brother Peter. Like Raceway Park, Medley Stadium hosted all kinds of events from wrestling to concerts, but the focus was on stock car racing. In 1954 the Jenin’s Medley Stadium operations were leased to a syndicate of Hollywood, Fla. businessmen, who resumed Jenin’s popular program of stock car racing at the track.

Nick Jenin had long been fascinated with the Tucker automobile and was friends with its creator, who stayed at Jenin’s hotel* during one of his visits to Florida.

(*Another famous guest was actor Gary Cooper, who stayed at the hotel for several days while he was filming 'Distant Drums,' a 1951 Warner Bros. action-adventure. On pictures survives of Cooper standing next to Nick's 7-year-old daughter Sandra Anne.)

Jenin subsequently bought a used Tucker and once the seasoned promoter experienced first-hand how much interest they could draw, decided to build a Tucker ‘road show’ he called ‘The Fabulous Tuckers’.  With the proceeds from the sale of his third-interest in Raceway Park, he began buying up as many Tuckers as he could find – eventually purchasing two used auto transporters and an old Metro van to haul the collection around. He eventually purchased 10 Tuckers – one of which was the ultra-rare 589 test chassis that’s now the centerpiece of the AACA’s Cammack collection.  Known Jenin-owned Tuckers include nos. 1007, 1026, 1045, 1049 and he also owned a Tucker unibody (no. 57*) that was auctioned off in August of 1950. When Jenin acquired it in the mid-1950s, the body was reported to be in poor condition, so he cut away much of the sheet-metal in order to expose the floorpan/cowl/chassis, which was displayed as the ‘skeleton’ of a Tucker. He was forced to reinforce parts of the floorpan/cowl/chassis so that it wouldn’t collapse while it was loaded and unloaded from the car carriers.

(*Decades later Jenin’s no. 57 floorpan/cowl/chassis were cobbled together with a few genuine Tucker parts [front bumper, front fenders, hood, firewall, frame, rear deck lid, rear bumper], some Cadillac parts [windshield, convertible top, side glass, door shell] and hand-fabricated parts to form Justin Cole’s much-chastised Tucker convertible. Although the car, which has a genuine Aircooled O-335 Tucker engine [no. 33539] taken from Tucker no. 1044, is very well-done, it’s not a factory-built convertible. It’s simply a Tucker sedan shell that was brought back from the grave and restored into a car that portrays what a Tucker convertible would have looked like. There is absolutely no evidence that Tucker Corp. constructed, or planned to build, a convertible prototype, pilot car, or production convertible. Several Tucker employees, including designer Peter S. Egan, drew illustrations of what a Tucker convertible might look like, but he claims it was never seriously considered for production.)

Jenin also wanted to have a Tucker that could be easily maintained and driven across the country if need be (one source claims he wanted a dependable car for his daughter to drive). As there were no Tucker distributors left – and getting parts for the drivetrain was near impossible - he reasoned a more conventional drivetrain would be advantageous so he purchased a wrecked late-model Oldsmobile and put its drivetrain into Tucker no. 1046.

Jenin removed the front and rear stub chassis and Aircooled O-335 engine and Cord transmission from Tucker no. 1046 and mated the body to the Oldsmobile chassis and drivetrain. The job wasn’t easy and both the Tucker unibody and Olds chassis required significant modification to work. The Olds’ front-mounted radiator required that the Tucker’s front grill be modified to allow air into the former trunk, and the sides of the hood were treated to some louvers to increase the airflow through the radiator. Tucker no. 1046 became the only Tucker to ever have a conventional layout: engine in the front, differential and axle in the rear.

Jenin spent most of the next decade touring the nation’s racetracks, fairgrounds, armories, and shopping plazas with his Fabulous Tucker show and we probably owe him a debt of gratitude for keeping Tucker in the public eye during a period when a Tucker was a very undesirable used car, due to the fact there were no spares parts, or mechanics qualified to work on them.

Several Tucker “aficionados” have questioned whether Jenin owned 10 Tuckers. If you count the 589 test chassis, the Olds-engined no. 1046 and the butchered no. 57 body shell as 3 cars, that leaves 7 complete Tuckers – all of which can be plainly seen in the pictures of the Fabulous Tucker roadshow trailers to the right. An article/interview in a 1963 issue of Newsweek states that Jenin had 10 cars:

“Ten have been cornered by Fort Lauderdale auto enthusiast Nicholas Jenin. ‘It's an awful shame that the Tucker didn’t make it.’ Jenin observes. ‘Our Tucker cars still drive wonderfully, and they really hold up. I have one with 109,000 miles on it, and I’ve never touched the motor.’”

Several years earlier Tucker biographer Charles T. Pearson invited Jenin to New York City for the launch of his book, the Indomitable Tin Goose, the May 5, 1960 edition of the Blue Island Sun Standard reporting:

“Ghost Of The Industry Displayed in New York by Former Blue Islander

“After 13 years, the Tucker car, this one pictured at the curb in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., still receives public admiration. The car is one of 10 in the ‘hobby-collection’ of Tuckers owned by former Blue Islander Nick Jenin.

“An immaculate rear engine black Tucker—a ghost in the automotive field—appeared on display in New York City recently near the International Auto Show at the Coliseum. The occasion of the showing, at a private press party at New York's Tavern on-the-Green, marked the forthcoming publication of a new book, ‘The Indomitable Tin Goose,’ described as the true story of the Tucker car. The car was driven to New York by Nick Jenin, former owner of Raceway Park here and today an operator of a Fort Lauderdale, Florida hotel.

“Jenin now owns 10 Tuckers, some costing as high as $6,500, including one car that has gone more than 10,000 miles without a valve or ring job. Host with the publishers (Abelard Schuman) at the private showing in New York was Charles T. Pearson, author of the book which is scheduled to be released today (May 5.) and guests were book reviewers, classic car buffs, and Auto and Business Editors. Many of the group had covered earlier showings of the Tucker under happier circumstances, when it was hailed as the true ‘car of tomorrow.’ The book tells the moving, often humorous and always dramatic story of how Tucker almost produced his dream car in Chicago, until he was forced out of business after constant government harassment and multiple suits by frightened and impatient creditors.

“The Tucker on display in New York was a six passenger, four door sedan, with doors that open into the roof, a center headlight that turns with the wheels, aluminum opposed engine and individual wheel suspension. When it was built, it was the lowest car manufactured in America, and longer than the largest Cadillac.”

Pearson's book also included a short interview with Jenin:

“There are still Tucker drivers who can give firsthand testimony to the car’s performance and one of the best qualified is Nick Jenin of Fort Lauderdale, who with ten Tuckers has the largest collection in the country. Jenin tells of driving one back to Florida in 1954 after buying it from a dealer in Chicago for $6,500.

“‘This car was in storage seventeen months and it was its first trip when I got it,’ Jenin said. ‘I didn’t check the ignition or the plugs, nobody knew how the valves were set up. I just bought it and drove it out; put air in the tires and checked the oil, and hoped the car would make it. I had my wife follow me in a brand new Cadillac Fleetwood so if the damn thing broke down we could leave it.’

“‘We stopped for gas every 200 miles or so, put fourteen or fifteen gallons in the Cadillac and eight or nine in the Tucker. We drove the same route and had the same mileage and we stayed together on the road, about half a mile apart.

“‘It was a red car and attracted a lot of attention, and north of Atlanta some kids in a ‘54 Buick Road master needled me for about ten miles. When we hit that straight stretch about thirty-five miles long, I stepped on it. The speedometer showed 110. The kids finally caught up when I stopped at a gas station, and they said they were doing 105 when I left them.’”

“Jenin said this is his favorite Tucker and he has driven it to Chicago and back five times; that it now registers 63,400 miles and still has the original engine, and nothing has ever been done to it.

“‘You don’t need power steering and you don’t weave,’ he said. ‘Before power steering came in a lot of my friends who drove the Tucker complained that the steering didn’t feel right. After they got used to power steering they never complained about the Tucker again.’

“‘The timing has to be right for fuel economy, but when it’s right I would say that it does twenty-four miles to the gallon without any trouble. It will take off and go in sand without slipping. Take a Cadillac or a Buick and the rear end will lift. The engine has tremendous torque and you have to be careful starting.’

“‘If you know how to drive a Tucker properly it will run forever. If you goose it, you’re gone.’”

An upcoming appearance of the Fabulous Tucker roadshow was advertised via the following display advertisement which was placed in the November 15, 1962 edition of the Blue Island Sun Standard:

“Don’t Miss This!

“Fabulous Tucker Automobile Exhibit

“First appearance in 15 years of the world’s only complete exhibit of truckloads of fabulous Tuckers, still America s most controversial cars. For the first time, learn the astounding facts! What happened and why! See the thrilling and fantastic $700,000 experimental engine and chassis! How it was made with 800 less pads. See styling and safety features still ahead. Don’t miss the auto show that's in a class by itself.

“McCormick Place November 15th thru 25th Adult $1.50 Children 50¢ 11 AM to 11 PM.”

The advertisment was accompanied by a small news story:

“Tucker Display Opens In Chicago

“Eight automobiles manufactured in Chicago by the late Preston Tucker will go on public display today and continue through Nov. 24 in the southwest wing of McCormick Place. The cars are the property of Nick R. Jenin, a former Blue Islander and once operator of Raceway Park. Jenin is now the owner of an apartment hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He collected the cars as a hobby.

“Among the cars shown will be a $700,000 experimental engine and chassis, designed with 800 less parts than conventional cars - which was one of Tucker’s largest projects. It took 350 engineers to develop the engine.

“There are no gears to propel it, other than the starter gear used to start the motor. This is the only experimental chassis of Tucker’s and has never before been displayed publicly. Besides the showing of the eight cars there will be loads of engines and miscellaneous parts on display and visitors will learn the astounding facts as to what happened and why the car was never built.

“The book entitled ‘The Indomitable Tin Goose; the True Story of Preston Tucker and His Cars’ is available at the display and is now being considered as an aspect for movie possibilities.”

By 1964, Jenin’s interest in operating his decade-old Tucker promotion had waned, and he began to sell off his collection. It was initially offered “complete,” for $38,000 but there were no takers - even Reno, Nevada hotelier William “Bill” F. Harrah, the owner of the world-famous Harrah Collection, thought it was “far too much for a bunch of cars that will never amount to anything”. Consequently Jenin's collection was sold off one car at a time until no. 1026, the Olds V-8-equipped Tucker, remained. Alexandria, Virginiacollector Dave Cammack negotiated a deal with Jenin in 1974 for no. 1026, the 589 chassis and several other items of interest. Incidentally, Cammack did not purchase body shell no.57, whose remains had  already been sold off. Its remains ended up with Al Reinert, who later sold it – along with the engine (no. 33539) from Tucker no. 1044 - to Justin Cole, who consequently used it to construct his Tucker convertible.

After Nick Jenin's passing on February 1, 1978, what remained of his unsold Tucker memorabilia was left to rot under Ft. Lauderdale fairground bleachers, only to be discovered years later and recovered and restored by Tucker collectors.

In 1968 Peter Jenin leased Raceway Park to N. Perry Luster of National Racing Affiliates Insurance fame but ownership reverted back to Jenin in 1970. During his second term as track promoter Jenin repaved the track, enlarged the pits and erected a digital scoreboard and bandstand. In 1980 Jenin wanted to spend more time on his other business, so he joined a 5-man promotional team. But the pact was voided in 1982 and Jenin once again became the sole owner of the track. By 2000 attendance was too low to keep the park profitable and the following year Jenin sold the property to a developer who turned it into a retail shopping center named the Raceway Park Center that now houses an Ultra Foods, A.J. Wright and Aldi Food Store among other businesses.

©2004 Mark Theobald for with special thanks to Tribune Publishing

Appendix 1:

Tucker Videos:

TUCKER "The Man and the Car" 1948 (part 1)

TUCKER "The Man and the Car" 1948 (part 2)

Appendix 2:

Tucker Patents:

Gun control mechanism - US Pat. No. 2366072 - ‎Filed Jul 18, 1939 - ‎Issued Dec 26, 1944 to ‎Casson Wesley Collver assigned to ‎Tucker Aircraft Corp.

Gun mounting and control mechanism - US Pat. No. 2408707 - ‎Filed Aug 16, 1941 - ‎Issued Oct 1, 1946 to ‎ Willis G. Stewart assigned to ‎Tucker Aircraft Corp.

Design for an automobile – US Pat. No. D149824 - ‎Filed Jan 16, 1947 - ‎Issued Jun 1, 1948 to ‎George S. Lawson

Steering wheel mounted instrument panel - US Pat. No. 2465825 - ‎Filed Mar 24, 1947 - ‎Issued Mar 29, 1949 to ‎ Preston T. Tucker assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Quick disconnector for electrical systems - US Pat. No. 2496732 - ‎Filed Mar 1, 1947 - ‎Issued Feb 7, 1950 to Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Independent wheel suspension - US Pat. No. 2501796 - ‎Filed Aug 14, 1946 - ‎Issued Mar 28, 1950 to ‎ Preston T. Tucker assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Fluid pressure operated disk brake - US Pat. No. 2535763 - ‎Filed Jul 29, 1946 - ‎Issued Dec 26, 1950 to ‎ Preston T. Tucker assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Front wheel spindle and bearing assembly US Pat. No. 2536819 - ‎Filed Mar 10, 1947 - ‎Issued Jan 2, 1951 to ‎Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Automobile frame suspension - US Pat. No. 2571908 - ‎Filed Mar 24, 1947 - ‎Issued Oct 16, 1951 - ‎ Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Tucker automobile - US Pat. No. D154192 - ‎Filed Mar 15, 1947 - ‎Issued Jun 14, 1949 to ‎Preston T. Tucker

Motor vehicle frame construction - US Pat. No. 2485500 - ‎Filed Mar 24, 1947 - ‎Issued Oct 18, 1949 to ‎ Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Collapsible vehicle steering column assembly - US Pat. No. 2511165 - ‎Filed Dec 5, 1947 - ‎Issued Jun 13, 1950 to‎ Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Automobile headlight switch mechanism - US Pat. No. 2536828 - ‎Filed Apr 11, 1947 - ‎Issued Jan 2, 1951 to‎ Lee S. Treese assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Adjustable speed indicator for motor vehicles - US Pat. No. 2538218 - ‎Filed Apr 14, 1947 - ‎Issued Jan 16, 1951 to‎ Lee S. Treese assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Automobile dome light - US Pat. No. 2534921 - ‎Filed May 8, 1947 - ‎Issued Dec 19, 1950 to ‎ Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Combination steering column support and instrument panel - US Pat. No. 2535744 - ‎Filed Jun 21, 1947 - ‎Issued Dec 26, 1950 to‎ Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Engine mounting for automobiles - US Pat. No. 2538214 - ‎Filed May 31, 1947 - ‎Issued Jan 16, 1951 to‎ John M. Salwin assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Diaphragm operated disk brake - US Pat. No. 2541707 - ‎Filed Jul 5, 1947 - ‎Issued Feb 13, 1951 to ‎Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Wheel and brake assembly - US Pat. No. 2542545 - ‎Filed Jul 12, 1947 - ‎Issued Feb 20, 1951 to‎ Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Cylinder structure for internal combustion engines - US Pat. No. 2563348 - ‎Filed Nov 7, 1947 - ‎Issued Aug 7, 1951 to Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Warning signal for vehicles - US Pat. No. 2564984 - ‎Filed Jan 21, 1948 - ‎Issued Aug 21, 1951 to‎ Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Transmission - US Pat. No. 2564999 - ‎Filed Sep 18, 1947 - ‎Issued Aug 21, 1951 to ‎ Carl H. Scheuerman Jr. assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Automobile spring suspension - US Pat. No. 2571736 - ‎Filed Apr 19, 1947 - ‎Issued Oct 16, 1951 to‎ Kenneth E. Lyman assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Suspension frame bumper - US Pat. No. 2571784 - ‎Filed Mar 29, 1947 - ‎Issued Oct 16, 1951 to ‎Harold C. Tellock assigned to ‎Tucker Corp.

Hydraulic mechanism for actuating valves - US Pat. No. 2615438 - ‎Filed Aug 4, 1948 - ‎Issued Oct 28, 1952 to Preston T. Tucker

Appendix 3:

Surviving Tuckers

Chassis Number Location Owner Engine Transmission Front Suspension Version Original Body Color
1000 (Tin Goose) Huntingdon, PA Swigart Antique Auto Museum Tucker 589 cu in. Direct Drive (Original); Converted to Franklin O-335 by Tucker after first showing. Direct drive torque converters (Original); Converted to Tucker Y-1 by Tucker after first showing. Rubber Disc Type Maroon
Tin Goose was the only complete Tucker with Rubber Disc prototype suspension, the 589 engine, and direct torque converter drive (with no reverse gear). After the first showing it was converted to an O-335/Y-1 at the Tucker factory.
1001 Alexandria, VA Tucker Collection / Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 1 Maroon
1002 California Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 1 Waltz Blue
Fenders changed from 1003-on to allow rear wheel removal. Rubber Torsion tube front suspension plagued by severe toe-in when braking.
1003 California Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Maroon
Front bumper lengthened to protect the center headlight if pulled too close to a wall or barrier.
1004 Nagakutecho, Japan Toyota Automobile Museum Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Grey
Car was originally Grey but was re-painted Maroon when it was restored in 1978.
1005 Tallahassee, FL Tallahassee Antique Car Museum Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Waltz Blue
1006 California Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Green
1007 Tacoma, WA LeMay Family Collection Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Green
1008 Chicago, IL Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Beige / now Maroon
Car was originally Beige but is now Maroon. It is currently located in The Richard Driehaus Collection at Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage.
1009 California LucasFilms, LTD Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Grey
1010 Washington Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Waltz Blue
After 50 years stored in a barn near Tacoma, WA Tucker #1010 was sent to auction in January 2011 via Gooding and Co in Scotsdale, AZ for a starting bid price of $750,000. Reports and photos indicate the engine was seized, with rust damage throughout the vehicle and some minor exterior parts missing, including original hubcaps. Major restoration is necessary.
1011 Montana Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Beige
1012 LaPorte, Indiana Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Maroon
1013 Huntingdon, PA Swigart Antique Auto Museum Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Grey
1014 San Francisco, CA Privately owned by Francis Ford Coppola Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Waltz Blue
1015 St. Clair Shores, MI The Stahls Collection Franklin O-335 Cord 810/812 Rubber Sandwich Green
1016 Dearborn, MI Henry Ford Museum Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Black
1017 Colorado Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Green
1018 Grand Rapids, MI Incomplete / Remains are privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Beige
This car was wrecked / damaged beyond repair in 1953, broadsiding a tree in South Wales, NY. The remnants of the frame are located in Grand Rapids, MI and some body panels are in Roscoe, IL with the owner of Tucker 1027. The engine and Y-1 transmission from #1018 are located at the Tucker Collection in Alexandria, VA.
1019 California Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Black
1020 Japan Hani Corporation Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Maroon
1021 California Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Black
1022 Alexandria, VA Tucker Collection / Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Grey
1023 Florida Destroyed in Fire
Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Maroon
In 1978, while in storage awaiting restoration in a Deland, FL warehouse owned by Allied Van Lines, #1023 was destroyed when the huge warehouse burned to the ground. Remains of car after fire were crushed and buried under the garage of the owner, a TACA founder.
1024 Lincoln, NE The Smith Collection Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Sandwich Waltz Blue
1025 Frankfort, IN The Goodwin Collection Franklin O-335 Cord 810/812 Rubber Sandwich Waltz Blue
Rubber sandwich front suspension abandoned due to severe stiffness
1026 Alexandria, VA Tucker Collection / Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tuckermatic R-1-2 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Maroon (repainted Bronze during restoration)
From #1026-on the fuel tank was moved to the front of the car and the Rubber Torsion Tube 2 style suspension with improved toe-in was used. Arguably the most valuable Tucker, #1026 is the only remaining complete Tucker with the Tuckermatic transmission.
1027 Roscoe, IL Historic Auto Attractions Franklin O-335 Unknown Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Waltz Blue
Car was rolled in testing at Indy by Tucker Corp, 1948. The engine / trans were removed at the factory, the chassis was sold at the Tucker factory auction after its closure. Museum also owns some body panels to wrecked Tucker 1018, other parts were either lost or used in restoration of other Tuckers.
1028 Tupelo, MS Tupelo Automobile Museum Franklin O-335 Cord 810/812 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Beige
1029 California Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Grey
1030 Los Angeles, CA Petersen Automotive Museum Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Black
1031 Los Angeles, Ca Breslow Collection Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Waltz Blue
1032 Reno, NV National Automobile Museum Franklin O-335 Cord 810/812 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Grey
1033 Maine Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Maroon
1034 Tucker, GA The Cofer Collection Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Waltz Blue
1035 Caçapava - São Paolo, Brazil Privately owned Franklin O-335 Unknown Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Black
1036 Nevada Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Maroon
1037 Rutherford, CA Privately owned / Francis Ford Coppola Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Maroon
1038 Unknown Privately owned Franklin O-335 Cord 810/812 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Green
#1038 was, for a time, owned by Bernard Glieberman. It was on display in Shreveport, Louisiana while Glieberman owned the Shreveport Pirates. Creditors moved to seize the car due to Glieberman's financial problems, and Glieberman's lawyer attempted to steal the car and hide it from authorities, only to run out of gas. Glieberman was eventually allowed to keep the car. The car was sold at auction in August 2006 for $525,000 and sold again in August 2008 for $925,000.
1039 Washington, DC Smithsonian Institution Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Grey
After years hidden in Smithsonian storage, Tucker #1039 was finally placed on public display in the Museum of American History in 2011. Tucker #1039 was acquired by the Smithsonian through the U.S. Marshall Service which had previously seized the car in a 1992 narcotics arrest. Instead of selling the car, the U.S. Marshall Service decided to donate the car to the Smithsonian. Currently on loan as of February 2012.
1040 Sylmar, CA San Sylmar Museum Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Beige
1041 California Privately owned Franklin O-335 Cord 810/812 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Black
Tucker #1041 sold at the Clars Auction on June 7, 2009 for $750,000
1042 Memphis, TN (Last seen) Abandoned / Destroyed / Lost Franklin O-335 Tuckermatic R-1-2 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Maroon
#1042 was sold at the Tucker auction without an engine. Rumors exist that it was used in a "Bash a Tucker" fundraiser in the 1950s or may have been hauled off from its storage location by a disgruntled renter. Its location was unknown until 1960 when it was reportedly found abandoned along the banks of the Mississippi River in Memphis, TN, totally destroyed. A Memphis policeman took possession of the remains, but they were later stolen from his property. Most of the Tuckermatic transmission was found and is currently located at the Tucker Collection in Alexandria, VA.
1043 Arizona Privately owned Franklin O-335 Unknown Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Waltz Blue
1044 Ohio Privately owned Franklin O-335 Cord 810/812 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Green
1045 Melbourne, Australia Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Grey
1046 California Privately owned Franklin O-335 / Oldsmobile V8 / Mercury V8 / Franklin O-335 Unknown Rubber Torsion Tube 2 (Removed for front engine conversion) but now restored back to orignal Maroon / Gold / Maroon
This car was converted to a Front-Engine Oldsmobile Rocket 88 V8 drive-train in the 1950s by Nick Jenin for his daughter. It was converted again in the 1960s to a 1964 Mercury Monterey chassis with 390 CID front engine and re-painted gold. Sold on eBay for $202,700 (8/20/07) and eventually restored by RM Auto Restorations in Blenheim, Ontario, Canada to its original 1948 color and configuration.
1047 Hickory Corners, MI Gilmore Car Museum Franklin O-335 Cord 810/812 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Waltz Blue
1048 Hartford, Wisconsin Privately owned Franklin O-335 Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Green
1049 Old Oxted, Surrey, England Privately owned Franklin O-335 Tucker Y-1 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Waltz Blue
1050 San Marcos, TX Dicks Classic Garage Franklin O-335 Cord 810/812 Rubber Torsion Tube 2 Maroon
Lowest mileage Tucker with 0.4 miles on the odometer.
1051 Butler, New Jersey Privately owned Franklin O-335 Unknown Rubber Torsion Tube 2 dark red
Tucker 1051 was not completed at the Tucker factory, so it is not technically considered one of the original 51 cars (Tin Goose + 50). The car was purchased at the Tucker auction in an incomplete state, and was finished in the late 1980s using leftover Tucker parts and fiberglass replica doors.


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