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Custom-built Tucker ’48 Auto on Display at ArtsQuest Center

Film screening of ‘Tucker: The Man and His Dream’ includes talkback/Q&A with Sean Tucker and coachbuilder Rob Ida

Photo credit: Jonathan Oppenheim

 Car collectors and auto enthusiasts have the opportunity to immerse themselves in automotive history at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks May 20, 11 a.m., during a special screening of “Tucker: The Man and His Dreamland display of a custom built Tucker ’48.

The distinctive Tucker automobile created by Preston Thomas Tucker was hailed as ‘the car of tomorrow’ when it debuted in the late 1940sOnly 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.

The film screening of the 1988 Francis Ford Coppola film “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” will be followed by a talkback/Q&A with Preston Thomas Tucker’s great-grandson, Sean Tucker, and custom coachbuilder Rob Ida of Ida Automotive in N.J., who has worked on eight Tuckers over the years–some originals and some built from scratch.

The custom Tucker on display in the ArtsQuest Center is a project Ida started six years ago with the help of Sean Tucker. The job was commissioned by Jack and Carolyn Kiely, who own businesses in both New Jersey and Bethlehem.

The Tucker film starts at 11 a.m. inside the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas; tickets for the screening are $10 and on sale now at and 610-332-3378. Proceeds from the event will benefit ArtsQuest’s art and education programming for the region.

The ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks is located at 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem.

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