By Mallory Moyer
Talent is all over Central New York, but one family takes the cake.You may know the Tuccis from Maria Tucci Hair Designs on Genesee Street, but my guess is you also know the toy matchbox car brand, Hot Wheels.Well, Dave Tucci Jr., Maria's son, built such a fantastic, out-of-this world custom 1939 GMC Pickup truck, featured in so many car magazines around the country, that it won its very own hot wheels model; the slick, contoured, green beauty immortalized forever for collectors worldwide.This model spawned a business that drew recognition from all around the car industry, and solidified Tucci's place in the custom car-building industry.
Born and raised in Marcy, New York Dave started his business, Tucci Hot Rods, in 1997 after many years of customizing his own classic cars as a hobby in his small garage.People started coming to him to have small jobs done, and as this increased he realized he could make a business out of these requests. That's when he built his own 6,000 square foot facility just for designing and building custom cars. Tucci Hot Rods specializes in sheet metal forming on pre-1949 cars along with the design and fabricating of any and all aspects of a custom car.
Dave started by working on a lot of local cars.The infamous 1939 GMC pickup immortalized by Hot Wheels was built for local resident Fred Burrows and received worldwide attention when Tucci debuted it in the 1999 Columbus, Ohio national car show. At that show, Tucci was asked to display the truck all over the country at various indoor and outdoor car shows and was invited to be on major TV shows as well as featured in and on the cover of 7 different magazines all over the world. On June 2nd, 2003 Tucci Hot Rods was featured on the Discovery Channel's hit show, Monster Garage. In this episode they transformed a New York City hot dog cart into a 1,000 horsepower dragster. It was a real thrill to appear on the show and to meet the show's host, Jesse James. "That gave us the recognition for other people in the country to bring their cars to us to design and build them their dream car," states Dave.
"We have realized that this area is capable of supplying us with the necessary parts and materials we need to complete our custom projects. We utilize at least 10-15 local companies almost daily to supply us with these components. This saves us time and money by not having to go outside of the area to buy products and at the same time generates business for our local suppliers," Dave proudly proclaims."We've proven that people do not need to have a custom car built on the west coast. The Mohawk Valley has given us the ability to build our custom cars locally."
And the Mohawk Valley is creatively rich and respected place on the map of the custom-car-building industry because of Tucci Hot Rods.
You can find out more about Tucci Hot Rods by referring to their website at
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