This triggered the memory of local historian and author Al Doane, who contacted me to point out something very interesting: that Arlington Popp had briefly operated a Tucker Automobile dealership at that same location.
It was pretty brief. An ad for the Tucker dealership only appeared in the October 1947 and October 1948 Lorain Telephone Company directories.
|A 1948 Tucker Sedan at the Blackhawk Auto Museum|
(Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Despite this, the car had only a brief life due to many controversial factors, and only 51 were produced before the company closed. (Preston Tucker and his cars were the subject of Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) starring Jeff Bridges and directed by Francis Ford Coppola.)
Al remembered one of the unique features of the car. “As the front wheels turned,” he noted, "the head lights also turned with the wheels.”
This is explained further in the Wiki entry on the Tucker 48 automobile. It states, “The most recognizable feature of the Tucker ’48, a directional third headlight (known as the “Cyclops Eye”), would activate at steering angles of greater than 10 degrees to light the car’s path around corners.”
Not surprisingly – since so few cars were manufactured – Al remembered that the dealership “was never able to get one of the Tucker autos in their new showroom.”
****Al Doane was also able to tell me a little bit about J. Arlington Popp. Al reminisced, “Arlington was very much like a midget, very short in stature.
“He was so short that he would place a 2 x 4 to the car pedals so he could touch them and be able to control the car. He lived on Hamilton Avenue just to the west of Lorain High School.”
My mother remembered J. Arlington Popp as well, although she thought he might have been a dwarf. Nevertheless, Mr. Popp sounds like he was very well known character in Lorain, and successful at what he did.
J. Arlington Popp passed away on March 17, 1989 at the age of 75. He lived in Lorain all his life, and there were no survivors.