On May 20, the ArtsQuest Center will feature a custom-built Tucker 48 created by Rob Ida of Ida Automotive in New Jersey, along with a member - Sean Tucker - of the family from which the car takes its name.
To call the Tucker automobile a unique, classic car is a bit of an understatement. Hailed as the car of tomorrow when it debuted in the late 1940s, only 51 original Tuckers were built before the company closed in 1950. Today, the car is prized by collectors, with one of them selling at a Barrett Jackson auction in 2012 for almost $3 million and another on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
A custom coachbuilder, Ida has worked on eight Tuckers over the years, some originals and some built from scratch. Six years ago, the Ida started designing a new custom Tucker, enlisting the help of his dad, Bob, and Sean in the process. Jack and Carolyn Keily, owners of a New Jersey construction company and “Traffic Plan” in Bethlehem, are the owners of the car, and now that the vehicle is completed it will be displayed at SteelStacks as part of the May Cars & Coffee.
To celebrate the occasion, Ida and Tucker will take part in a special screening of the 1988 Francis Ford Coppola film “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” followed by a talkback on the making of the car and the Tucker legacy.