Tucker 1028 brings $1.8M as auto museum ends run

Published 11:26 am Monday, April 29, 2019

(AP) — A Mississippi car museum’s four-wheeled stock was auctioned off for $8.6 million, with $1.8 million of that for one of the 51 Tucker automobiles ever made.

The Tupelo Automobile Museum’s signs and other “automobilia” brought in $428,000 a day earlier.

Designer Preston Tucker’s grandsons, Mike and Sean Tucker, were present as Tucker No. 1028 was gaveled down Saturday, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported.

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“It was one of the original Indianapolis test cars, which makes it unique in and of itself. All of them are unique,” Mike Tucker said. “But it has quite a story behind it. So we’re spending as much time with it as we can. We came to pay it a visit.”

They were also inspecting the Tucker — one of 47 that still exist — for a client.

“He was bidding, but it wasn’t his day today,” Sean Tucker said.

Preston Tucker had hoped to challenge the Big Three automakers with his design.

No. 1028 went to Tim Stentiford, representing the Maine Classic Car Museum in Arundel.

“We’re really excited,” Stentiford said. “We came to Mississippi with one goal in mind, and it was to try to take a run at the Tucker and see if we could add it to our place in Arundel. We’re a brand new museum and we’re set to open the June.”

The museum already has set aside a room for the Tucker, he said.

Ten other cars brought six figures. They included a 1934 Duesenberg Model J Prince of Wales Berline for $405,000, and a 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe Chauffeur for $300,000.

The Tupelo museum’s owner, Jane Spain, has said she’ll use auction proceeds to pay off the balance of a $3.2 million loan from the city, which was used to build the museum, and to start an education foundation. She also plans to sell the building.