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CATEGORIES (articles) > Cars we emulate > Ford > Model T, T-bucket hotrods

Model T, T-bucket hotrods

A T-Bucket with a supercharged Chrysler Hemi engine
Hot Rod magazine cover showing typical Bucket T hot rod
Hot Rod magazine cover showing typical Bucket T hot rod

A T-bucket (or Bucket T) is a specific style of hot rod car, based on a Ford Model T but extensively modified, or alternatively built with replica components to resemble a Model T. Since the last Model T was built over three-quarters of a century ago as of 2004, modern T-buckets are generally replicas as there are few real Model Ts left in scrapyards to build upon.

A genuine T-bucket has the very small and light two seater body of a Model T roadster pickup (with or without the small pickup box), this "bucket"-shaped bodyshell giving the cars their name. A Model T style radiator is always fitted, and these can sometimes be barely up to the task of cooling the large engines fitted. There is never any kind of engine cowling on a T-bucket. Windshields, when fitted, are vertical glass like the original Model T.

Model Ts were being hot-rodded and customized from the 1930s on, but the T-bucket specifically was created and given that name by Norman Grabowski in the 1950s.

Today, T-buckets are still a very common hot rod style. They generally feature an enormous engine for the size and weight of the car, generally a V8 of some form, along with tough drivetrains to handle the power and big, fat rear tires to apply that power to the road. Front wheels, in a nod to the Model T hot rod's drag racing past, are often very small.

Car Craft magazine cover showing typical Bucket T hot rod

Most are actually built purely for street or display use, and the big engines are more for show than for need — many are more powerful than the vehicles can actually make use of. Although the bodyshell is a Ford (in appearance, at least), engines of a wide variety of makes can be found on T-buckets. The small-block Chevrolet 350 V8 is a common choice, since it is relatively small, light, easy to obtain and to improve, and performs well. Many people also tend to equip blowers (superchargers) on their motors, and some people even run modern fuel injected motors.

In 2005, Total Performance Inc. of Wallingford CT, the largest T-Bucket manufacturer in the world was awarded the business of the year by HRIA at he SEMA show in Las Vegas.

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CATEGORIES (articles) > Cars we emulate > Ford > Model T, T-bucket hotrods

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