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[Picture of Tucker automobile]

The Great Tucker Caper

(Or: Glieberman Schlepped Here!)

by Daniel Tobias

Latest news: Tucker removed from Shreveport!

The Shreveport Pirates saga has taken another unusual turn, as Pirates' owner Bernie Glieberman's rare, classic Tucker automobile just took a strange journey.

The Tucker in question is no relation to Loadstar editor Fender Tucker here in the Softdisk building (aka the "Loadstar Tower"), though this Tucker does possess fenders. The 1948 Tucker Torpedo (one year younger than Loadstar's Tucker) is one of the few cars in existence from the short-lived Tucker automobile company, and it has been exhibited for the last few months at the Ark-La-Tex Antique & Classic Vehicle Museum.

Glieberman recently moved the Pirates from Shreveport to the Norfolk, Virginia area. A local group has since attempted to bring a new Canadian Football League team to Shreveport. But, meanwhile, a number of vendors have complained about the failure of Glieberman to pay the team's debts. One of them, the supplier of the scoreboard that the Pirates placed in Independence Stadium (as part of the team's deal with the city, this was done in lieu of rental payments for use of the stadium), decided to do something about it by filing a court claim to seize the Tucker car, valued at about $500,000. (The amount owed on the scoreboard is $273,932.)

The day after this claim was filed, November 30, 1995, Mark Gilliam (attorney for the Pirates) removed the car from the museum and drove it to the south side of town. Unfortunately, he didn't make sure its tank was sufficiently filled; it ran out of gas somewhere around Flournoy Lucas Road and Forbing Road. So, he called a tow truck, but by that time a federal judge had issued a seizure order for the car to be impounded, pending court action on the scoreboard claim. The police spotted the car being towed, and it was taken back to the museum, where it will remain until the court case is concluded.

According to Glieberman, "I go and give them my car on loan, I schlep it down there and now look what happens to me... If any damage happens to that car..." Well, Glieb, it was your guy who had to go driving the thing out of the museum, putting it in harm's way... have you kept the collision insurance up to date?

Discussion questions:

Updates:

Dec. 4, 1995: In a letter to the editor of the (Shreveport) Times, Byron A. Richie of Shreveport says that "not once [before] in its history has The Times ever used the word 'schlep' and certainly not on the front page," and that Shreveporters "mosey" and "shuffle," but don't "schlep."

June 12, 1996: In a Journalpage column, Tim Greening suggests funding a proposed Shreveport minor league hockey team by having a Tucker Bash: charge people $10 to take a swipe at the Tucker with a sledgehammer. This would serve the two goals of funding the team and getting revenge against the Gliebermans.

November 11, 1996: It's been recently reported that a deal had been reached between the Gliebermans, the scoreboard company, and the city of Shreveport to settle the whole issue of who has to pay for what, and that the court order keeping the car in place will soon be lifted. I don't know what Mr. Glieberman plans on doing with the car once this happens.

January 10, 1997: This story has finally reached its conclusion, as Mr. Glieberman has removed the Tucker from the museum in Shreveport, bringing it back to Detroit. He says this removal has nothing to do with the past conflicts between him and the city (which have apparently been resolved now, though the city still claims he may owe them $1 million), but is simply to get the car ready for a show it's going to appear at.

Related Links:

  • The Tucker Automobile Page
  • Ark-La-Tex Antique & Classic Vehicle Museum
  • Shreveport (CFL) Booster Club

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    This page was created 01 Dec 1995 and last modified 19 Jan 1997.

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