Preston Tucker's Legacy

This image is presented courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever had a hankering to watch a movie that you missed out on when it was initially released, only to find yourself searching for it years, even decades later? You finally happen upon it and commit yourself to watching it. Sometimes you're glad that you did, while at other times, you can at least say that you finally saw it.

I had been planning to watch the Francis Ford Coppola movie Tucker: The Man And His Dream for quite some time, as I didn't see it when it was initially released in 1988, back when I was 20 years old. For years, it had been grating on me in the back of my mind until finally, last night (Tuesday September 26, 2023) at the ripe age of 55 years old, I watched it for the very first time.

For those of you who don't know or haven't seen the movie, Preston Tucker was an enterpreneur and early imagineer, coming up with innovative ideas upon which to found a business. He'd designed and built (with the help of his mechanically skilled friends) automotive engines and an armoured car, planning to sell it as a military contractor. A deal which eventually fell through, but that didn't stop him.

He instead focused on designing the car of the future and from his designs (and dreams) was born the Tucker 48, which is the point of entry to the film: Tucker: The Man And His Dream, which I streamed on RiverTV, but its also available for your streaming enjoyment from Amazon Prime.

This film itself is perhaps one of the most relevant movies of the modern times, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs and innovation. Gwyneth Paltro, Zhang Xin, Martha Stewart, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Sara Blakely (who literally started her business from almost nothing), Elon Musk (for whom this movie likely has many life parallels), Shou Zi Chew, Sam and Greg AltmanHaig Farris, Geordie Rose, Bob Wiens, Alexandre ZagoskinLarry Page, Sergey Brin are all examples of entrepreneurs for whom this movie applies. Steve Jobs, Bill Wozniak and Bill Gates deserve honourable mentions, especially seeing as their grass roots inventions led directly to the personal computer revolution and eventually to the popularization and commercialization of the internet.

Like these entrepreneurs I mentioned above, Preston Tucker starts out with his family and friends on an adventure in pursuit of his (their?) dream only to run into the reality of trying to achieve such pursuits, especially when they clash with the interests and business models of other well established competing big businesses.

Tucker overcomes hurdle after hurdle before the obstacles against his startup whose goal is the assembling of the Tucker 48, start to mount. His wife plays a key role in the pursuit of his endeavors, both as a capable negotiator aptly taking charge of a boardroom full of wolves in one scene, to being a source of inspiration and renewal when the stress becomes too much for Tucker.

One of the great moments of the movie, without giving away too much is when he finds an ally in Aviator and fellow entrepreneur Howard Hughes. At this point in Hughes' life, its very apparent that he's been dealing with the same monsters as Tucker, albeit for much longer and it has started to take a toll on his mental stability. Dare I say from a mountain of evidence from many other reliable sources that Howard Hughes was likely gas lighted by those conspiring against him? Regardless, Hughes helps Tucker to overcome one of the biggest hurdles to achieving his vehicle assembly line milestone and the momentum continues to accelerate.

The movie isn't so much about Tucker himself as it is about the pursuit of one's dreams, especially when they involve entrepreneurship and innovation. How the wolves seeking to stop anything that upsets their empire will go to devious (and sometimes criminal) lengths to stop a dreamer like Tucker. When confronting such monstrous power with only meagre resources available, it quickly becomes a case of David versus Goliath.

Even Nicolai Tesla himself was lost in the pursuit of his dreams, losing countless patents to the companies that funded his research. Patents which are estimated to be trillions of USD in value today seeing as the entire world's electrical grid runs on his alternating current designs.

If you're interested in more information about Preston Tucker, check his Wikipedia page, though I highly recommend you watch the movie first.

In watching it, I saw some of my own entrepreneur friends in the guise of Tucker, and I saw myself to a degree as the CEO of Shhhh! Digital Media. It was a light hearted and very inspiring movie, that really has something to say. Not just about the late 1940s, but here and now.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, I'd highly recommend that you watch this movie as it has held up very well even in its age, but you know what they say? 

Wines become fine wines with age and time, 
but no wine is finer than that which you dine.

[Music: Dreamer - Supertramp - the people that push you down, the people that inspire you]

I'm still very much a man of Shhhh! Digital Media colours and the blue bruises from my recent social beatings are already healing.

I've been working on other things, one of them being some 3D modeling and sculpting for upcoming projects. You can see the unfinished results of a prototype here:

Have a great evening. Expect more content soon. :-)