1947 Tucker ’48 Prototype Makes Another Historic Debut

The “Tin Goose” Becomes Fifth Automobile to Enter the National Historic Vehicle Register Under U.S. Heritage Documentation Standards


Washington, D.C. (October 28, 2014) – The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) announced today the 1947 Tucker ’48 Prototype, known as the Tin Goose, will be the fifth automobile to be recorded under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Heritage Documentation. The documentation will be part of the HVA’s National Historic Vehicle Register and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) that is permanently archived in the Library of Congress.

The 1947 Tucker ’48 Prototype was the first automobile produced by the Tucker Corporation in the spring of 1947 and was a prototype for the Tucker ’48 production cars. The Tin Goose was hand–‐built and incorporated many innovative design, technology and safety features not previously available in American production automobiles. The prototype was used for promotional purposes across America.

The 1947 Tucker ’48 Prototype is among the most historically significant automobiles in America. Its historic significance is based on its association with important events in automotive and American history; its association with a significant person in American history; its significant design and construction value and its informational value as the first Tucker automobile constructed and as a prototype for the additional 50 Tucker automobiles eventually built.

Visit YouTube.com ThisCarMattersFilms to learn more about the 1947 Tucker ’48 Prototype. To view images, go to Tucker Images.

“HVA actively promotes the cultural and historical significance of the automobile and seeks to protect the future of our automotive past,” said Mark Gessler, President of the Historic Vehicle Association. “Although the Tucker Corporation was a financial failure, the prototype was met by enthusiastic crowds wherever it appeared – proving the public was more than ready to embrace Preston Tucker’s visionary product.”

“The selection of the 1947 Tucker ’48 Prototype is a wonderful example of the rich automotive heritage that exists in the U.S. and the efforts the Historic Vehicle Association is making to record this history and share it with future generations,” said Richard O’Connor, Chief, Heritage Documentation Programs, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Patricia B. Swigart, President of the William E. Swigart, Jr. Automobile Museum, commented, “We are very honored to have our 1947 Tucker, known as the Tin Goose, receive this important recognition and are proud to have this prestigious car part of our collection. Our Museum’s mission is dedicated to the collection, preservation and celebration of transportation in order for future generations to know the dedicated work of those going before us. The HVA and Department of the Interior have joined together to ensure these outstanding works of art are forever recognized in the history of the automobile.”

The 1947 Tucker ’48 Prototype was featured at the HVA’s third–‐annual National Automotive Heritage Summit. However, on the way to being formally recognized at a special presentation, the drive side rear hub broke. This car actually has a habit of creating drama around important presentations. Hours before its debut in 1947, the rear suspension failed and it took heroics to get it back in shape to drive on stage. While not quite as dramatic here, it was to be the start of the evening and the 5th car on the National Historic Vehicle Register. It made it without the unveiling.

Over the coming year, the HVA will focus its efforts on documenting additional vehicles and continued work with the U.S. Department of the Interior to refine guidelines and processes to eventually support future public submission. The documentation process includes: (i) a fully referenced narrative and description of the vehicle; (ii) technical drawings of important elements of the vehicle; and (iii) detailed photographs and film negatives for permanent archival in the Library of Congress. These standards for documentation involve the same level of care that has been used to record the Statue of Liberty and the Space Shuttle Discovery. Both domestic and foreign vehicles are considered provided they have significant American history.

About the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA)

The HVA is a membership organization dedicated to promoting the cultural and historical significance of the automobile and protecting the future of our automotive past. The HVA was founded by Hagerty in 2009 and represents the U.S. and Canada in the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA), an international organization to promote and guide the interests of the historic vehicle movement around the world. For more information, please visit www.historicvehicle.org

About the William E. Swigart, Jr. Automobile Museum

The William E. Swigart, Jr. Automobile Museum in Huntingdon, PA is the oldest automobile museum in America. The collection was started in 1920 by W. Emmert Swigart, and at his death continued by his son, William E., Jr. After William passed away in 2000, the collection has continued with the leadership of a board of directors. There are about 160 cars in the collection, which, in addition to the Tin Goose, also includes Tucker #1013 and many one–‐of–‐a–‐kind cars.

Media Contact

Steve Keyes, Communications Director
T +1 (248) 952–‐7022
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