May 16 2017

Hemmings Daily:Restored-but-unrestored “barn find” Tucker to appear at Hemmings Concours

 Today's Hemmings Daily Blog has a profile on the Tucker '48 #1044 which will appear at the 2017 Hemmings Motor News Concours d'Elegance.

 This Saturday, the Tucker '48 #1044 will be participating in Newsday's Field of Wheels Exhibition & Show in Melville, New York.


Howard Kroplick

concours d'elegance
Restored-but-unrestored “barn find” Tucker to appear at Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance
Hemmings Admin on at 8:59 am 
Photos by Phil Greatorex, courtesy RM Sotheby’s.
In the complicated history of the Tucker 48, context is king. Preston Tucker himself didn’t build many of the handful he turned out to the exact same specification, and the vagaries of Tucker owners in the years since have introduced numerous alterations, adaptations, and interpretations. For a glimpse of Tuckerhood from 35 years ago, the once-restored-since-stored Tucker 1044 will roll into this year’s Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance.
Of course, most of those last 35 years the Tucker in question has spent on a pair of planks off the gravel floor of an Ohio barn, gathering dust, preserving the majority of the work that Les Scheaffer performed on the car circa 1980. That work, which earned Tucker 1044 an AACA senior award, resulted in a brown inside, brown outside car, notably different from how it rolled off the assembly line in 1948.
Originally painted Andante Green, Tucker 1044 also left the Cicero Avenue plant sans transmission, making it one of several to go unfinished before an SEC investigation led to the shutdown of production. Scott Rifkin of S&S Auto Parts in Schaumburg, Illinois, rectified the situation after purchasing it at auction in 1950, at the same time painting it bright red. A year later, Allen Rocco of Port Chester, New York, bought it; his widow then sold it to David Tunick in the late 1960s. Scheaffer then bought 1044 off Tunick in 1973 and embarked on the car’s restoration, fitting it with a replacement Tucker engine and Cord transmission and finishing it in the brown-over-brown paint and interior scheme it wears today.
Following its success in AACA judging, Millard “Skip” Groh of Freeport, Ohio, bought the Tucker and not long afterward stored it away in the aforementioned barn. While many Tucker aficionados tried to get Groh to sell it over the years, only Tucker parts replicator Mark Lieberman succeeded, extracting it from the barn last summer. Despite claims that he would restore 1044, Lieberman then sold the Tucker this January at RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction, where it sold for a total of $1,347,500.
Howard Kroplick, who owns a 1909 Alco, the Chrysler-owned Chrysler town car that took Best in Show at the 2015 Hemmings Motor News Concours, and the “shorty” Vince Gardner-built Mustang III, bought Tucker 1044 at auction and has since installed whitewall tires, but left the rest of the car essentially as Scheaffer restored it and as Lieberman cleaned it up. The Tucker has been recently confirmed to appear in the Preservation class at this year’s Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance.
Presented by Gullwing Motor Cars, the Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance is also proud to welcome Arkonik, as well as our new hospitality sponsor, Rogo Fastener Company, to our growing contingent of sponsors, including Covercraft Industries, Coker Tire, MPT Industries and Thermo-Tec. With their collective support, the gala event will take place on the weekend of September 15-17 at The Festival Commons — Charles R. Wood Park, in Lake George, New York, where we will honor six feature marques: 1967-’81 Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird, in honor of their 50th anniversaries; 1963-’73 Buick Riviera; Studebaker; MG; Wood-Bodied Station Wagons; and Professional Vehicles through 1980. These featured marques will be accompanied by our remaining traditional pre-1974 classes, headlined by Full Classics (as recognized by the Classic Car Club of America), along with American pre- and postwar cars, American Muscle cars, European cars, Vintage Trucks and Preservation cars.
As is always the case, due to class size restrictions, many categories fill to capacity quickly. If you would like to have your vehicle considered for this year’s Concours, we urge you to submit your entry early. To do so, please send full contact information, photos and a brief write-up about it to Hemmings Motor News Concours, Attn: Matthew Litwin, 222 Main Street, Bennington, Vermont, 05201, or by email at
A portion of the Concours proceeds goes directly towards the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Autism Speaks. For more information about the 11th Annual Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance presented by Gullwing Motor Cars, including tickets and accommodations, visit For more information about Lake George, including activities and attractions, visit For sponsorship opportunities, please email Jeff Yager at, or call 802-447-9679. Vendors can contact Mary Pat Glover at, or Kathy Ryder at

Photos by Phil Greatorex, courtesy RM Sotheby’s.


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