Monday, March 12, 2012

The adventure begins….

A small group of us left Stafford, VA Saturday morning and drove North on I-95 & Rt. 1 to our designated hook up point, right past Fort Belvoir. We met some other cruisers and continued North on the scenic Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway toward Alexandria, VA. This highway parallels the Potomac River and is a nice cruise in its own right….we have to come back when the cherry blossoms are out in a month or so. The Mt. V. M. H. turned into Washington St. when we crossed under the Washington D. C. beltway, by the new Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge. We traveled through old town Alexandria to west on Cameron St. The Tucker Collection of Mr. Dave Cammack is nestled behind a Fire House and is not marked….it’s a stealth museum!

The history of the Tucker automobile has been explained by many others much more qualified than I, so I’ll limit my ramblings to our visit on March 10, 2012. Mr. Cammack has the most comprehensive collection of Tucker automobiles and memorabilia in the world! He is a gracious and patient host as he explains almost every item in his collection. He has examples of all the engine versions used in the Tucker….he also has a new one that he is learning about! He led our group of about 20 people around his collection while he explained everything and always ended each station with “are there any questions?”….a truly genuine, caring host.

The tour began with a comparison of the Tucker chassis with a contemporary, a 1947 Cadillac. The differences are startling and the innovation in the Tucker is curious and at the same time astonishingly clever. Mr. Cammack strolled along the isle explaining the engines and the items near him each time he stopped. He spoke with a comfortable demeanor and the authority that he knew just about everything there is to know about the Tuckers. We wound around the room…learning….soaking it in. We were on the second trip around in the first room when Mr. Cammack walked through a door and there they were….three of the 47 surviving Tuckers! To actually see one Tucker is a life time experience but to be in the presence of three is beyond words. The three examples are pristine and each historically significant….but….I was mesmerized by the sheer presence of these cars that by the time I started to listen to Mr. Cammack speaking again we were leaving the room….about 45 min! I missed most of the stories of the cars. Some people stayed in the room but most followed Mr. Cammack to the “upper” room. There he had a trove of Tucker engineering drawings, paper work from the Tucker factory and many….many other artifacts of one of the most famous of the over 2000 independent American automobile manufacturers. Mr. Cammack also has his train collection in this room….some of the group that were ’train people’ enjoyed this collection too.

We all wandered down to the starting room where Mr. Cammack was taking donations for the Tucker DVD and other saleable Tucker items….the proceeds of which were to be donated by Mr. Cammack to the Tucker Automobile Club. At this time a couple of the people from the group that organized the day, Cruisin For Heroes, presented Mr. Cammack with a token of our appreciation for letting us experience his collection and for his kind tolerance of us asking questions and gawking at his cars. This was a day most car enthusiasts will never see and a place that some don’t even know exists. Please check out the pictures at and do some research online about the Tucker….it is amazing.

After bidding a fond farewell to Mr. Cammack we cruised to Glory Days in Lorton, VA for a late lunch then dispersed to all points of the compass and home. What a day….something to be treasured and shared