Preston Tucker was born near Capac, Michigan. He grew up in Lincoln Park and was a police officer there for a while. Then he worked for Ford for a bit. Eventually, he became a car salesman.
In 1937, he moved to Ypsilanti and founded the Ypsilanti Machine Shop in a barn behind this house. Sadly, the barn is no longer there. From there he founded an avation company but that never really took off. But what inspired the movie was his car. His car would have been revoluationary but the company ended in shambles. He died in 1956 of lung cancer.