Jun 15 2019

The Search for the Two Original 1948 Tucker #44 License Plates

In 1948, the State of Illinois issued the #1 manufacturer license plate to the only major automobile manufacturer in the state -the Tucker Automobile Corporation. These plates today are rarely available and highly sought by Tucker memorabilia collectors.

Tucker 1044 is one of the few Tuckers to have two original 1948 Tucker manufacturer license plates with a plate number matching its chassis number. Here is the story behind how these two license plates found their way to the front and back bumpers of Tucker 1044.


Howard Kroplick

Above photo courtesy of Jerry Keefer

When I purchased Tucker 1044 in January 2017, I did a search to find two original 1948 Tucker license plates. I was surprised to see a Tucker #44 plate listed on Ebay. A perfect match! Unfortunately, this plate was sold in 2015. I was able to track down the original seller but attempts to reach its current owner were unsuccessful.

One year later, I was contacted by a  fellow Motor Parkway license plate collector Koby Vinokur. He informed me that his friend had one of the Tucker #44 license and would consider a barter license trade. It took another five months but the deal was made and one of the Tucker #44 plates was mine.

The second Tucker #44 plate was easier to find but just as difficult to acquire. This plate was owned by Tucker expert Mark Lieberman, the previous owner of Tucker 1044. Mark graciously lent me his plate for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance (seen here). However, to obtain this plate, Mark requested that I trade a 1948 Tucker license plate with a number #50 or lower. Not an easy task! However,  in December 2018, I was able to purchased a 1948 Tucker #45 plate on Ebay. The trade was made and Tucker 1044 became one of the few Tuckers with two original license plates with numbers matching its chassis number.


and back.


Jun 16 2019 Joseph DeBono 5:50 AM

Very cool story Howard

Jun 16 2019 Meredith 9:45 AM

That is a great story! BTW, I just started reading Philip Egan’s Tucker book.

Jun 16 2019 JeRita 6:49 PM

Your attention to detail is outstanding

Jun 16 2019 S. Berliner, III 10:10 PM

This story would be truly unbelievable if it didn’t come from HK!  What are the odds?  O.K., I’ll bite; which other cars are so blessèd (true original plates, NOT replicas)?  Sam, III

Howard Kroplick

Tucker historian Mark Lieberman believes that 2-3 other Tuckers have Tucker plates with #s matching their chassis #.

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