By on April 12, 2013

If you ever do any research about the Tucker automobile, you’ll eventually come across references to the collection of David Cammack. Cammack, of Alexandria, Virginia, passed away last Sunday at the age of 84. At the time of his passing Cammack owned the largest collection of Tucker automobiles, three of them, number 1022, number 1026, the only Tucker with an automatic transmission, and the first production Tucker made, 1001.

Only 51 Tuckers in total were built, some by the Tucker company and others assembled from parts and cars left unfinished when the Tucker assembly line was shut down. Forty seven survive (with a possible 48th if you accept Justin Cole’s story about the Tucker convertible), so three Tuckers is a substantial collection. There have been collectors that have owned more than one Tucker serially, and director George Lucas owned two at own time, but nobody else has owned three (well, except for Preston Tucker and his company). The three Tucker cars, though, are only part of the Cammack collection, he also gathered what is undoubtedly the largest existing collection of Tucker artifacts including components, like complete engines and spare parts, Tucker memorabilia, ephemera and even a complete set of engineering drawings for every part of the Tucker car.

Mr. Cammack was known throughout the auto enthusiast community for graciously sharing not only his collection, really a private museum of all things Tucker, but also his time. Considering that some in the Tucker collecting community can be a bit secretive, and that some in the Tucker enthusiast community (the Venn diagram for those two groups, by the way, has very little overlap) are more than a bit eccentric about the brand, David Cammack’s generosity of spirit was notable. That generosity survives Cammack. Some time before his passing, Cammack made it known that after his death the collection would not be broken up. He endowed the complete collection to the Antique Automobile Club of America’s museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it will eventually be displayed in a 3,500 wing that Cammack’s brother Bill, who predeceased him, funded.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS

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11 Comments on “David Cammack, Tucker Collector Extraordinaire, R.I.P....”

  • avatar

    Nice story. I’m glad they can stay together thanks to Mr. Cammack and his brother.

  • avatar

    Sad to hear that “Uncle Dave” has passed away. I had tried calling him that Sunday and received voice mail, something which never happened. I got the news a day later. Dave was a great friend of my dad, Richard Jones and on dads passing I spent a couple of days with Dave in Alexandria and the baby’s – 1001, 1022 and 1026.

    Dave was a great storyteller and loved talking all things Tucker. Dave – I miss you.

  • avatar

    My productivity level for the next 4 1/2 minutes?: Nil. (I am all up in one side of that Venn diagram, as my young son, Preston, will one day be able to attest.)

    Great short video. Makes me wish I would have found out about that little warehouse prior to his passing.

  • avatar

    Thanks for sharing that.

    It’s interesting that Elon Musk is receiving persecution for his unconventional sales practices, just as Tucker did.

  • avatar

    The Swigart Museum in Huntingdon PA has two Tuckers on display, one of them is the 1947 prototype. They also have Herbie there too.

    The Swigart Museum brought one of their Tuckers to The Elegance At Hershey car show when I was there 2 years ago. At that show they had cars such as Bugattis, Delahayes, Isotta-Fraschini, Duesenbergs, Packards, and Mercedes SSKs.

    This will make a trip to Hershey even better now that the AACA Museum is getting it’s own Tucker collection !.

  • avatar

    The world is always poorer for losing people like this.

  • avatar

    The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, AKA the Last Hudson Dealership, has a nice section dedicated to Preston Tucker. They do have a fake Tucker, a mockup made from a Ford LTD that was used in the movie “Tucker”.

    It would be nice if they could get a real Tucker for the museum, seeing how Ypsilanti was Preston Tucker’s home. In fact, his house is just a couple of blocks from the museum…

    • 0 avatar

      The Ypsi museum is cool, if only to see what a car dealership looked like in the 1950s. It’s a real time capsule and they do have some interesting Tucker artifacts. If you want to see a real Tucker, there are two Tuckers on display near Detroit. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn has one and Stahl’s Automotive Foundation, which is open to the public for three hours a week out in Chesterfield Twp, has another. Over on the west side of the state near Kalamazoo, the Gilmore museum has a Tucker, a Tucker engine and some other Tucker stuff, I think it’s affiliated with the Tucker Club.

  • avatar

    I bet Tucker’s cars did better justice to their marketing and sales literature. I recall vaguely, a few years ago, hearing about Toyota keeping a restored Tucker at home; a quick peek at wikipedia confirms this.

  • avatar
    Tucker Fan 48

    One small error in your article. Several people have owned three or more Tuckers over the years. Currently, a private collector in California owns four Tuckers. The most Tuckers that any single person owned at one time was six.

  • avatar

    I was fortunate to know David through our mutual membership at the Old Dominion Boat Club. I enjoyed talking with him. He was knowledgeable in a lot of areas. He was gracious to give my husband and I a tour of his “Tucker museum.” It was incredible. We will miss at the boat club.

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