Nonprofit auto club merging with AACA Museum

The Tucker Automobile Club of America, an Illinois-based nonprofit founded in the early 1970s to preserve the legacy of the short-lived Tucker Corp., is merging with the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Dauphin County.

The two organizations announced the merger plans on Thursday. It is expected to be completed by Jan. 1, officials said.

The Tucker club, or TACA, will dissolve its nonprofit status and transfer its Tucker artifacts and archival materials, as well as about $200,000 in financial resources, to the AACA Museum. The volunteer club, which has about 200 members, will become a working committee within the AACA Museum.

The AACA Museum, which is in South Hanover Township, is already home to the David Cammack Tucker Collection, the largest single collection of rare Tucker artifacts. It includes three of the famed automobiles built in 1948.

Tucker Corp. was started in Chicago by Preston Tucker. The company built 51 of its rear-engine sedans before shutting down in 1949 amid negative publicity and an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“This merger gives the TACA a much larger, long-term platform to accurately share one of the greatest stores in automotive history,” said Eric Breslow, club president and the owner of one of 47 surviving Tucker cars.

Most of the surviving Tuckers are on public display in museums all across the United States, as well as in Japan and Brazil.

AACA Executive Director Jeffrey Bliemeister called the merger a logical step toward expanding the museum as a center of the Tucker universe. The museum hopes to grow the club’s membership and add new Tucker-related events and programs.

The merger also may help fuel a future expansion of the museum to better showcase the Tucker history, Bliemeister said. The AACA Museum currently gets about 70,000 visitors per year.

The museum will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Tucker in 2018. It also will be the 30th anniversary of the movie “Tucker: The Man and His Dream.”

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