Tucker #1043. Photos courtesy Barrett-Jackson
The big Scottsdale auction week is finally here, now with six companies set to to drop the hammer on literally thousands of collector cars in a mere handful of days. In typical fashion, Barrett-Jackson was the first to usher cars through the stage lights, and it’s here where we’ve been alerted to the probable sale of this 1948 Tucker (chassis #1043) currently owned by none other than noted Barrett-Jackson attendee and enthusiastic car collector Ron Pratte.
Specific details about the Tucker are lacking, other than mention of its restoration, on Barrett-Jackson’s auction description. And we use the phrase “probable sale” simply because unlike most of the lots at B-J, the Tucker is listed as having an undisclosed reserve. That said, Mike Schutta of the Tucker Historical Foundation, provided more insight.
This car is very nice and most Tucker fans are keeping a close eye on this auction to see if it will set a new record price for a Tucker. The current record is $1,127,500 paid for Tucker #1045 about 18 months ago. This Tucker is in much better condition.
An interesting tidbit is that Tucker #1043 was used as part of an advertising scheme for a golf driving range in a western suburb of Chicago back in the ’50s. It was painted Tropical Rose and Snowshoe White to match the driving range buildings.
While surfing through the Barrett-Jackson website for more information on the Tucker, we stumbled upon four other Ron Pratte-owned vehicles that will also be offered at Westworld during the weekend, beginning with the car pictured above: the 1947 Bentley Mark VI with coachwork by Franay. The Bentley was last offered for sale by Barrett-Jackson – at no reserve – at their 2006 Palm Beach auction, where the hammer fell at $1,728,000 (including buyer’s premium). At that sale, details of the Bentley were as follows:
4.5 Liter Inline 6 with a four-speed. Coachbuilt by Franay. Magnificent restoration to Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance winning standards. This is the first major winning Concours d’Elegance car after WWII. Winning the first two major Concours in 1948, back-to-back, on the 12th of June at Enghien and the 17th of June at Bois de Boulogne. Mr. Gudol, the original owner and visionary of the Franay, was an industrialist whose sole purpose was to prove to the world that France was not only back from the rigors of war, but ready to reassert its dominance of haute couture and automotive design elegance. The awards the Franay has won over the decades is proof of his timeless vision. Mr. Gudol, in his wisdom, continued to enhance and advance the performance capacity and design elements of the Franay to push the envelope of an ever improving competitive edge in Concours d’Elegance competition. Mr. Gary Wales, who has shepherded the Franay through over 50 major awards and honors since 1990, has scaled back the number of public appearances so that the car is currently eligible for any and all Concours d’Elegance events.
Like the Tucker, the Franay Bentley touts an undisclosed reserve.
Then there’s Pratte’s 1957 De Soto Adventurer convertible, again with an undisclosed reserve. Oft-repeated generic De Soto history aside, specific details provided by Barrett-Jackson state:
Powered by the famous 345/345hp Hemi V-8 with dual quads, an automatic transmission, push-button shifter on dash, and independent torsion bar front suspension. With the division’s top Hemi V-8 under the hood, the Adventurer was an early muscle car with a set of the most aesthetically pleasing tail fins ever seen on virtually any car.
The only two cars listed by Pratte without a reserve are this pair of 2007 Shelby GT500s, which are to be sold as a pair. Details per the auction site are identical for both Shelbys:
In January 2006 Ron Pratte bought the Ford Motor Company’s newest car, a 2007 Ford Shelby GT500 VIN 00001 that benefited Carroll Shelby’s Children’s Foundation. In the past, Ford reserved the first fifty cars produced for Ford family members and senior executives or by other people on a selective list. Ford was so grateful to Ron for his generosity, they offered him the opportunity to buy two more, VIN 00002 and VIN 00005. While Ron is keeping VIN 00001, he is selling the orange Coupe and matching convertible as a pair. The successful bidder will get both cars for one price. These cars are special in other ways as well, as part of the purchase of VIN 00001 was a trip to the Flat Rock assembly plant where these legendary cars are manufactured. At the end of the tour of the assembly plant, Ron was presented with the keys to VIN 00001, VIN 00002 and VIN 00005 by Carroll Shelby and Carroll autographed all three cars for Ron. Along with his cars were three other 2007 Shelby GT 5000′s, for Carroll Shelby, Steve Davis and Gary Bennett. Ron then threw Ford a curve and said he didn’t want any of these cars shipped by rail to the owners, he wanted them trucked, enclosed, to his facility in Chandler, Arizona, bypassing the traditional dealer delivery and inspections. All of the cars, including Carroll’s personal GT 500, were delivered to the respective owner this way. This is a unique opportunity to own two pieces of Shelby and Ford history.
Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction started Sunday and will run through this weekend. For more information, visit Barrett-Jackson.com.