Ypsilanti was home to Preston Tucker, whose family owned the Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Company
Prior to heading the company Tucker had been involved in automobile sales and administration and auto racing with the famed front-wheel drive race car designer and builder Harry Miller and also served as a Lincoln Park, Michigan motorcycle policeman.
Tucker’s lust for speed and innovation led to the creation during 1946 of the TUCKER 48, a rear engine car with safety features as a “Crash Compartment” and “Pop Out Windshield” and a “Center Headlight” which turned when the vehicle turned. Lack of raw materials after World War II and enough money to fund the company resulted in only fifty-one Tucker’s being manufactured. Today forty-seven remain valued at over a million dollars each.
Preston Tucker’s home which is located about four blocks from the museum and has been restored serves as a photo opportunity and a drive-by. Sometimes visitors are lucky and get to meet John Tucker, grandson of Preston Tucker and museum board member. Early work on the Tucker prototype was done here in Ypsilanti and production of the fifty-one cars manufactured was done in a plant in Chicago.