300 days around the world in search of the lost Tuckers in a classic Aussie car.
By Brendan Edgerton
Well 1st of February I head to the states to begin my 300 day odyssey. The Commodore was loaded onto a ship in Melbourne a week earlier with ease, to easy I thought. I walked out of the terminal and received a call from a buddy of mine in WOWan where I have my shed informing me it was flooded. Well I have a completely free week before my flight so I head home to clean out the shed. Due to the weather and cancelled flights it took me nearly 72 hours to get back. The local fire brigade turned up and help me flush out the shed in a couple of hours. The only trouble I had was slipping over and breaking two bones in my right hand. Six weeks in plaster, oh well that is perfect it is six weeks till I get my car so the timing could not have been better. Arriving in LA on my birthday was great only to be greeted with customs issues over my visa, four hours being spent in customs sorting that one out. I originally planned to get to Brazil in the time I had in LA but Brazilian visas are not the easiest thing to get, you have to make an appointment up to two weeks waiting then another two weeks to get the visa. I make the appointment and begin to wait. While walking along a street in LA I tripped over and thought I had broken my left knee, a subsequent x-ray revealed only a torn crucial ligament. Was I a sight to see not only on crutches but my left arm in full plaster, I don’t think I could have looked any worse but I was very optimistic. I have never had crutches in my life and after one day of use I decided to dump the crutches and take off my plaster. Pretty stupid you’re thinking, well probably yes but I am not one to be sick or even look sick so I soldiered on walking as much as I could to get the leg moving. It worked with in a week I was walking fairly normal the hand was perfect.
So due to my injuries and lack of a visa I called off my trip to see 1035 very dissappointing.
I had a fairly quiet four weeks hanging around LA then moved up to SanFrancisco where my car is due to arrive 5th March. I am here on the fourth and the car arrives right on time on the fifth. Great you would think but, no issues over my importer paperwork and customs clearance find me still in San Francisco a week later. I have filled in most of the week on the phone and computer trying to get my car. I did see two Tucker's in the meantime #1040 at the Nethercutt Museum in LA (This is a museum not to be missed even if you’re not a car buff) and Tucker #1003 in a workshop in LA which was on its way to Florida to be auctioned off.
The Commodore was released eleven days later and I drove out of the dock not before I did a little bit of bonnet surfing to celebrate it's release. Yeh Bloody Ha!
By Brendan Edgerton
Well after a very slow and painfull start to the trip I am finally on the road, busting my gut to get going I head to Las Vegas, why? Well there is no Tucker there but what trip around the states would be complete without popping into Vegas, I ask you? I intend to drive via Vegas to Reno to Harrahs then back across to Coppola's wineries then north to Le Mays museum. That is the rough plan for the next week and you know what happens to plans! Yep within a day I got a phone call from Steve Tremulis (Alex Tremulis nephew) and custodian of the Gyronaut X1. Steve lives just south of SF and invited me to come and see the bike. A bit of research and wow yes that is a must, takes me a bit out of my way but hey I think this will be worth it. So I cruised Vegas saw a show Terry Fator ventriloquist extraordinaire I mean wow this guy was good if you go to Vegas do not miss this bloke a very entertaining two hours and it's not just puppets. I head off from Vegas and head to Reno which is apparently a very boring drive but I found it exhilarating the scenery was just magnificent or maybe I have been cooped up in LA for too long, either way I enjoyed the drive. Now Reno compared to Vegas is definitely the poor cousin but they do have a Tucker. So I look into the museum and Becky Contos gives me a very nice tour of the museum, not only the Tucker but they have the original 1907 Thomas Flyer from the New York to Paris race. Becky was very keen to show me this as she reckons one day my Commodore will be on display like this!!!!! Hmm maybe, I am a bit taken back by her statement, would be nice but right now I just need to get this trip done and the future can take care of itself. I have to admit standing next to the Flyer was an electric experience, I did touch it a few times hoping that its dna would rub off on me.
Well that is Reno done and I am heading back to SF for a Sunday lunch appointment with the Tremulis family. Now I don't know if you are aware but there are some things I just don't do, Late, cold (read snow) and cold spaghetti sandwiches. So here I am just out of Reno and there is bloody snow, the Commodore actually touched snow. Luckily it was a nice day so it didn't feel too bad, but you’re not fooling me I know how cold snow can get. I am a Queensland boy and I like it hot.
Okay so I get to the Tremulis household and meet Steve and daughter Ali and wife Sandra. I spent the whole afternoon there talking and looking at all the Tucker stuff Steve has and of course the GyronautX1. Wow what a bike currently undergoing restoration but is easy to see the finished product, in fact it was probably better to see the bike like this as you could see all the inner working's which are amazing. Steve is very passionate about this bike and is definitely the right person to own it as he is very giving of his time and information about the bike, Alex Tremulis and Tuckers in general. (Which can be a rare thing in Tucker circles) Not only did I get the tour of a lifetime oh yes and to sit in the X1 but they put on a BBQ lunch (Shrimps on the BBQ of course just to make me feel at home) but Sandra even did a load of washing for me. How thoughtful was that of them as sometimes on the road this can be a bit of a chore.
But I think the highlight of the day was Ali and her chalk drawing on the front patio of me and the Commodore doing a bit of bonnet surfing of course. Then when I was leaving Ali gave me the biggest hug, oh boy. The biggest thank you to the Tremulis family for making me feel at home for the day. So I head off heading north at last to the wine country and the Coppola cars.
Till my next report I say, Ye Bloody Ha!
If anyone has any Tucker information or anything of interest that I can film do contact me at email@example.com or facebook blokesinsheds or 8183192327
By Brendan Edgerton
Phew is this a big country I think I underestimated it but have finally got a handle on it at last. Well the car is going like a bullet and has virtually not missed a beat which has been a godsend as the pressure of doing this trip is taking its toll on me physically and mentally.
I am not sure where I left off on the last report but since leaving San Francisco I headed up north to Seattle having a wonderful drive up the coast most of the way staying in some gorgeous towns along the way Fort Bragg and Bandin. Turning the corner and seeing the Lemay Museum in front of me was a shock then looking through their five levels of cars was even more of a shock. Tucker 1007 had pride of place!
From there I headed south towards Denver. I ventured to Ketchum Idaho where the Tucker convertible is but was unable to find it. I then headed north to Missoula Montana where Rick Nash has 1011 undergoing restoration. He also had a very rare car there a Gordon Diamond of which this is the only one ever built, late nineteen forties and a daily driver for many years.
From there I headed to the Carpenters in Denver and Tucker 1017 in which Eileen took me for a drive in as Keith does not drive it, nor has he even started it! They also had a very different motorbike there a Pulse Honda Goldwing powered motorbike with two outrigger wheels to stop it falling over, looks like a jet. Had a lovely stay overnight even got my washing done again, thank you.
From there I had a bit of a hike to Phoenix Arizona to visit my friend Tiffany who assisted me in getting my car into the states, it was a bit of a hike to see her but a promise is a promise.
From there I started to head east to San Marcos to see Tucker 1050 at Dicks Classic Garage, another great museum, unfortunately Dick was not about so I toured myself around the museum.
I then headed further North to Dallas Texas because Richard Rawlings from Gas Monkey invited me to his shop to say Gday. Unfortunately he had forgotten about me turning up, he did say Sunday after lunch so there the door was open and I walked in the place was deserted but I eventually found Richard and introduced myself as Brendan. Pretty cool response, met his buddy Dennis and there were a, few awkward moments and I started to think about getting out of there. Then Richard twigged who I was and totally changed his demeanour, apparently blokes just turn up to his shop and expect him to welcome them with open arms. He could not do enough for me gave me T shirts stickers beer and even a pair of the wickedest Ostrich skin boots. Unfortunately he had an appearance commitment and could not spend long but he did some bonnet surfing and we had a good chat. He reckons he would like to come to Australia to do something so it could be on who knows I am up for any challenge. Well it was a long way to go just for a thirty minute meeting but it was great to meet Richard. He is just like he is on TV, out there.
Okay so I head off further east and south now I have decided to take some of the smaller roads and get off the motorways as I am finding them bloody boring. And instantly things change all of a sudden you are going through little towns and meeting people, this is more like it.
Okay I will have to leave it there as I have a plane to catch to Nassau for the weekend. I have worn out my tourist visa and need to fly out and back in again so a three day weekend in the Bahamas will just have to do. Hard life I have, well actually it is, I had no idea how hard this project would be but now I do, driving sometimes five hundred miles a day filming stuff, organising things to film, downloading footage, emails, Facebook, arranging accommodation, food. Then on top of that I have to do it all the next day and the next and the next. And I still have about 260 days to go. I am booked to leave New York on June 1st bound for London and the second continent of the trip.
On the 30 pubs documentary that I did last year Luke my producer in Melbourne has sold it to a number of European companies, which is pretty exciting as it might be shown on their television just as I am passing through their countries.
By Brendan Edgerton
Well is has been a long and arduous trip with so many good days and bad days mixed in. I had no idea when I was planning this trip just how hard it would be. Driving, filming, organising, media commitments, lodgings and sometimes just getting a meal is a big deal. Having a day off in Putin Bay turned out to be one of the best days on the trip. Since I last posted here so much has happened, the miles have slipped away but not too many Tuckers have slipped through my fingers. Amazingly as soon as I get in touch with a Tucker owner or Museum which has a Tucker and they find out about my quest nothing is too much from moving cars to get the right picture or to lunch, dinner or an evening out. Bloody amazing if I had any doubts about the value of this trip prior to starting I sure don’t now. Whilst I have not seen every Tucker or every Tucker spot of interest I have certainly seen more than most and then some. Some people don’t realise that this trip is not about the Tuckers it is about the Commodore and myself getting around the world and the adventure that we are having and the Tuckers are the turning points around the world and what better place to turn than at a Tucker.
Here is a bunch of pictures from the last month and I look forward to so much more on this trip with the car being shipped from NY to London 31st May where I will begin the next leg of the trip. Not so many Tuckers from here on in but I am sure there will be lots of adventure and great pictures to be seen.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook blokesinsheds. USA cell 8183192327