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economic history, entrepreneurship, business economics
The mystery surrounding the rise and fall of the Tucker automobile company remains a fascinating piece of U.S. automotive history for both historians and economists. Francis Ford Coppola’s 1988 movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream brought to life the difficulties Preston Tucker faced as he tried to start producing a car years ahead of its time. The movie is captivating because it attributes the collapse of the Tucker Corporation to public choice theory. Despite the movie’s portrayal of an alliance between the automobile industry and the S.E.C. to bring down the Tucker Company, historians have found no evidence of a conspiracy. Rather, the collapse of the Tucker Corporation can be attributed to two problems. First, lack of financial planning and refusal to utilize conventional loans scared away venture capital. Second, the S.E.C.’s determination that preselling car features was illegal left the Tucker Corporation financially bankrupt.
The Journal of Private Enterprise
The Association of Private Enterprise Education
Copyright © 2008 George Langelett
Langelett, George, "What Caused the Tucker Automobile Corporation to Fail?" (2008). Economics Faculty Publications. 3.
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