Bucket T: A Hot Rodding Favorite

During my early teenage years, I was going through my hot rod and drag racing phase of life.  During that period, I thought that the ultimate hot rod was the 1923 Bucket-T.  Anyone remember the TV show “77 Sunset Strip”? And I thought that blue would be the best color for a Bucket T.   I remember assembling a blue Revel Bucket T car model.  As it turns out, I was at a car show in my town this summer and there it was – a blue Bucket T.  Not exactly my dream hot rod, but very close.


A Ford Bucket T Hot Rod

I believe that these were referred to as a “Bucket” T is that the base shape came from a Ford Model T pickup body, which only was a small, round two seat passenger body about the size of a bucket.  In the Bucket T design you can see the shortened remnants of the bed of a pickup truck.  The lantern design tail lights used on this car were the typical design styling of the Bucket T.


Bucket Ts Have A Pick-Up Back End

The classic Bucket T typically seemed to have supercharged engines with a Roots supercharger sitting on top of the engine.  The engine in this Bucket T is not supercharged but it has an air intake that is modeled on the intake used for the Roots supercharger.


The Bucket T Is Powered By A Small Block Chevrolet V8

The image below shows an engine with a Roots supercharger.  Note the similarity between the air intake on the Roots supercharged engine and the air intake on the Bucket T car.

Roots Supercharger

Sample Roots Supercharger Installation

The interior of this Bucket T is quite nice.  I noticed that this car had an automatic transmission.  Since the early 1960s the automatic transmission have got much better.  Back in the 1960s, the most commonly used automatic transmission in hot rods was the 4-speed GM Hydramatic transmission.  The two-speed GM Powerglide transmission that was commonly used on new GM products of that era was often referred to as a “slush bucket”.  I don’t know what transmission is in this car.


Note The Automatic Transmission, A Modern Modification

They were quite unsafe, but many of the early hot rods had Moon tanks mounted in front of the radiator.  I did not notice a fuel tank in this car, but it probably is located in the short pickup truck bed.


This Bucket T Is Missing The Moon Tank At The Front

The Moon tanks were not large – three to three and a half gallons.  In the early 1960s you could fill the tank for about a dollar.

Moon Tanks

Moon Tanks

I really enjoyed seeing this Bucket T.  And while my tastes in cars has changed over the years, I’d love to get the chance to drive one of these Bucket T, just to see what it would be like.  The power to weight ratio would make for an interesting ride.

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