MEAN 'LIL BUCKET, 350 V8, DUAL QUADS, OFFE TUNNEL RAM, AUTO, SLICK CUSTOM BUILD!
The T-bucket is one of the most enduring and endearing styles in all of hot rodding. Generally acknowledged to be the creation of Norm Grabowski in the 1950s, T-buckets are the essence of the hot rod: big engine, big tires, and a minimalist body to keep weight to a bare minimum. The idea has always been that the T-bucket was built from scavenged parts, but many of them, such as this 1923 Model T roadster, just look too well-finished to be junkyard dogs.
The shape is archetypal T-bucket, with the tall, vertical windshield and stubby pickup truck bed out back. Nobody's really sure how that came to be, since Ford pickups never looked like this, but today it's the accepted style of the T-bucket and it just looks right. We don't know when this one was built, but it was a while ago, so it has a proper old-school look that you'll find appealing. The paint is an appealing raspberry red, which is a nice change from either the primer black that has recently come back into fashion, or the excessively metallic hues that characterized T-buckets of the '60s and '70s. In fact, just about everything on the car was bathed in that burgundy paint, from the frame and most of the suspension, although the hand-crafted oak bed out back is a nice touch that warms up the overall look. The traditional Model T radiator shell is chrome, as are the headers and side pipes, so there's just enough flash to make it really pop.
In their back-to-basics style, many T-buckets had bare interiors with nothing more than a blanket for upholstery and if you were lucky, maybe an oil pressure gauge. Not so here, where there's two-tone vinyl and a full array of gauges keeping an eye on the small block up front. Stitched up in traditional pleats, the seats are nicely done, and this one even features a custom-tailored carpet set. The doors, of course, are simply for show, because no true T-bucket driver does anything other than hop over the sides and hit the road, but the passenger's side does open and has been finished with a proper inner panel. And as I mentioned, the dashboard is custom made and offers a complete array of vintage-looking Auto Meter gauges.
The engine is a 350 cubic inch Chevy V8 topped by an old-school style Offenhauser tunnel ram with dual quads up top. The block is black, perhaps to keep it in the background visually, or perhaps in contrast to the red body, but either way, it looks really good. Chrome dress up includes the air cleaners and Edelbrock valve covers, and the headers are exactly what every T-bucket wears: long tubes blowing through massive side pipes. This one is happy to run all day on pump gas, and stays cool thanks to a custom radiator stuffed inside the Model T frame. The transmission is a quick-shifting TH350 3-speed automatic feeding an unusual mid-year Corvette independent rear end with custom ladder bars keeping it in line. Up front, a transverse leaf spring supports a traditional tube axle with disc brakes. And the only rolling stock you can put on a T-bucket are skinnies up front and massive meats out back; in the case of this car, they're 215/60/15s in front and gigantic 295/50/15 Kelly radials on shiny chrome wheels.
T-buckets are as popular today as they ever were, and their combination of outrageous looks and potent performance makes them a real party to drive. Anywhere you go in a T-bucket you'll make friends, and the nostalgia alone is worth the price of admission. Call today!
- Vinyl Interior
- Front Disc Brakes
- Transmission Spec
- Turbohydramatic 350
- Front Suspension
- Leaf Spring
- Rear Suspension
- Leaf Spring
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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