Traditional t bucket

Traditional t bucket DEFAULT

John Morehead

Founder at TBucketPlans.com

T-Bucket fanatic since 1957 when my 8 year old eyes became glued to a full page LIFE magazine photo of Norm Grabowski in the wildest hot rod I had ever seen! I later discovered the fascinating T-Buckets of TV Tommy Ivo, Marty Hollmann, Bob Johnston and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s T-Bucket inspired Outlaw. I was hooked for life on T-Bucket hot rods!

TBucketPlans.com originated in 2005 as a personal blog extolling the virtues of T-Buckets. In 2009 I blogged about Chester Greenhalgh, the "how to" genius who wrote the legendary, out-of-print “How to Build a T-Bucket Roadster for Under $3000”. That led to a friendship with Chester and our partnership in marketing the updated eBook version of his T-Bucket building bible. The T-Bucket fire burns stronger and stronger.

Latest posts by John Morehead (see all)

Sours: https://www.tbucketplans.com/category/t-bucket-history/50s-t-buckets/

Speedway Tribute T-Bucket Kit Car

If you thought all T-buckets were the same, think again! The all-new Speedway Motors Tribute T breaks the T-bucket mold. It offers the traditional look of classic, competition-influenced roadsters combined with modern components and refined engineering. All this in a comfortable package thats easy to assemble using basic hand tools.

The Tribute T frame has an extra-high rearkickup and Model A rear crossmember that will accept our medium-arch rear leaf spring. Rear axle options include our bolt-on Winters quick-change kit7151801, bolt-on 9" Ford rear axle option7151809, or aFord-style banjo rear end of your choice (must be a centered-pinion rear axle). The front suspension uses a 4 inch drop I-beam axle, wishbone-style radius rods and traditional steering with a reversed Corvair steering box. All suspension, steering and brake pedal brackets are pre-welded to the frame and you can choose from flathead Ford V8 or small-block Chevy engine mounts. (Please indicate your engine and transmission application being used in the comments box at checkout.) A special floor allows the Tribute T body to sit a low as possible, while still providing room for ourBomber Seatsorcushionsof your design.

  • True old-school appearance
  • Extra-low ride height with maximum ground clearance
  • Easy to assemble using basic hand tools
  • Rugged fiberglass body with floor installed
  • Body finished in a white gelcoat (ready for paint preparations)
  • 1-1/2" x 3" rectangular steel tube frame
  • 3" O.D. round tube front crossmember
  • 106" wheelbase for improved ride and handling
  • Model A rear crossmember
  • Spring-behind front suspension with 4" drop axle and split wishbone radius rods
  • 1937-1948 Ford-style spindles will accept disc brakes or early-style drum brakes
  • Medium-arch transverse rear leaf spring with specially designed radius rods
  • Traditional steering with reversed Corvair steering box
  • Rear axle and suspension sold separately

No special handling fees. No extra crating charges.

Item Details

Rear axle and suspension sold separately.

Installation Tips

Kit Includes:

  • Frame
  • Front Spring, Axle, Spindles, Radius Rods
  • Front Friction Shocks
  • Reversed Corvair Steering Box
  • Master Cylinder, Bracket, Pedal
  • Tribute T Body
For an estimate on the price of building a Speedway Motors Tribute T, see our build price lists here: 
Sours: https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Speedway-Tribute-T-Bucket-Kit-Car,46194.html
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T-bucket

A 1923 Ford T Bucket in the traditional style. It features lake headers, dog dish hubcaps, dropped "I" beam axle, narrow rubber, and single 4-barrel, but non-traditional disc brakes.
Detail view of the air inlet

A T-bucket (or Bucket T) is a hot rod, based on a Ford Model T[1] of the 1915 to 1927 era, but extensively modified. T-buckets were favorites for greasers.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Model Ts were hot-rodded and customized from the 1920s on, but the T-bucket was specifically created and named by Norm Grabowski in the 1950s.[citation needed] This car was named Lightning Bug,[citation needed] better known as the Kookie Kar, after being redesigned by Grabowski and appearing in the TV show 77 Sunset Strip, driven by character Gerald "Kookie" Kookson. The exposure it gained led to numerous copies being built.

A genuine T-bucket has the two-seater body of a Model T roadster (with or without the turtle deck or small pickup box), this "bucket"-shaped body shell giving the cars their name. A Model T-style radiator is usually fitted, and even these can sometimes be barely up to the task of cooling the large engines fitted. Windshields, when fitted, are vertical glass like the original Model T.

Today, T-buckets remain common. They generally feature an enormous engine for the size and weight of the car, generally a V8, along with tough drivetrains to handle the power and large rear tires to apply that power to the road. The front wheels are often much narrower than the rear wheels, and are often motorcycle wheels.

Replicas[edit]

Convertible T-bucket in a hybrid style: traditional sidepipes and dropped tube axle, transverse front leaf spring, and non-traditional front disc brakesand five-spokes.

Since the last Model Ts were built in 1927, most modern T-buckets use replica fiberglass bodies. By the 1950s, original steel Model T bodies that had not been completely worn out were becoming increasingly hard to find and in 1957 the first fiberglass T-Bucket body[2] (based on the 1923 version) was introduced by the short-lived Diablo Speed Shop in Northern California. Of the only two or three bodies built by Diablo, one was purchased by Southern California hot rod builder Buzz Pitzen and became the world's first fiberglass T-bucket.[3]

Show cars[edit]

T-bucket with early hemi. The aluminum radiator (rather than brass), rectangular headlights, and five-spokes (rather than motorcycle wheels) mark this as a later incarnation.

Most are built purely for street or show 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 body shell is original in appearance, engines of a wide variety of makes are commonly used. The small-blockChevrolet is a common choice, since it is relatively small, light, easy to obtain and to improve, and performs well. Four-cylinder engines are common also, especially if the car is used regularly. Many install blowers (superchargers) on their engines, and people use modern fuel-injected engines.

In popular culture[edit]

A song celebrating the car, "Bucket 'T'," was written by Don Altfeld, Jan Berry, Roger Christian and Dean Torrence and first recorded by Jan & Dean in 1964.[4][5] Subsequent covers of the song were released by Ronny and the Daytonas in November1964[6] and by The Who on November 11, 1966, as part of their EP Ready Steady Who.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^Jeff Breitenstein. Ultimate Hot Rod Dictionary: A-Bombs to Zoomies. MotorBooks International. pp. 212–. ISBN .
  2. ^http://www.tbucketplans.com/the-real-history-of-the-fiberglass-t-bucket-body/Archived April 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^http://www.tbucketplans.com/the-worlds-first-fiberglass-t-bucket-hot-rod-buzz-pitzens-glass-image/Archived February 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^"Bucket 'T'," SecondHandSongs, https://secondhandsongs.com/work/137966/all
  5. ^Jan & Dean - Bucket T, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUPPz1he3sQ
  6. ^Ronny & The Daytonas - Bucket T - 1964 45rpm, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpY06Tn6e8g
  7. ^The Who - Bucket T, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PZSpmAKxVY
Wikimedia Commons has media related to T-bucket.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-bucket
T-Bucket Nationals 2014

You could say that the Norman Letendre traditional T-Bucket and the Bill Strickland T-Bucket roadster are birds of a feather. They both evidence a strong Tommy Ivo T-Bucket influence, were built around the same time and are both New England T-Buckets.

Norman Letendre Traditional T-Bucket

Norman Letendre of Ludlow, MA took inspiration from TV Tommy Ivo’s T-Bucket roadster when he built his own in a four year project starting in the late 1950s, with somewhat similar maroon paint finish and white interior, but with a Chevy instead of a Buick engine.

An immediate success, Norman’s jaunty T roadster captured the Best in Show award at the 1961 Danbury Modifiers show in Connecticut.

Norman chose a 1958 Chevy 283 engine and upped its horsepower potential and looks aplenty with a six deuce Weiand manifold and set things in motion to the beat of the ever-popular in the day Duntov cam.

And like Ivo, he had the Chevy small block painted in a pristine white which was very dramatic at a time when most cars were still equipped with road draft tubes that left engines a black, greasy mess.

Taking another TV Tommy clue, Norman added nicely chromed exhaust headers custom fabricated in the same general configuration as Ivo had used. In addition, he employed the same Grabowski and Ivo early four-bar radius rod arrangement, mounting to the frame with a bolted on chromed plate.

Norman Letendre Traditional T-Bucket

As another recognition of the perfection that Ivo had wrought, the Norman Letendre traditional T-Bucket went with white walls, steelies and baby moons. For front tires he chose Firestone 5.90 x 15’s with Bruce slicks at the rear.

Of course, the T grille shell wouldn’t be complete without the winged Motometer. It’s also interesting to note that when the Norman Letendre Traditional T-Bucket was first shown it was identified as a 1917 Model T, but that evolved to become 1920, a better fit for the name chosen for the T, the “Roaring ’20”.

For front suspension on his T roadster Norman duplicated what Norm Grabowski and Tommy Ivo had done with a V8-60 tubular axle, but applied his own creativity by adding hot rod lightening holes. That drilled tubular axle became the trademark of the Norman Letendre traditional T-Bucket!

Norman’s build was incredibly detailed and chrome plating was generously utilized on the engine, suspension elements, firewall, windshield frame, etc.

Norman Letendre Traditional T-Bucket Roadster

From the rear, the Norman Letendre traditional T-Bucket uses a medium arch transverse spring, as opposed to the high arch used by Grabowski. Norman also fashioned a unique nerf bar arrangement that encompassed a pair of 1959 Cadillac taillights.

From the get-go Norm’s T roadster was a hit with show judges and audiences alike and in 1962 he was averaging over two trophies per show.

In its coverage of the big 1962 Syracuse, New York custom car show Car Craft magazine highlighted Norm’s T, noting that it sported a fully-chromed undercarriage.

It can’t be emphasize enough what a dramatic eye-catching look Norm’s T presented with its burgundy paint so nicely complemented by the white upholstery, top, engine block, whitewalls and some truly beautiful white pinstriping.

Norm’s admiration of the Tommy Ivo T was faithfully carried to the interior where he created a tunneled dash panel almost identical to Ivo’s and used the same style Bell 3-spoke steering wheel. And the tall shifter was attached to the Grabowski and Ivo traditional Cad LaSalle transmission.

Despite all its beautiful detail the one thing I could never figure out on Norm’s T was the plain slot cut in the cowl for the drag link. Why he didn’t fashion a scoop to cover that like Ivo did is a mystery.

Although the photo above is terrible, it shows that by 1963 the Norman Letendre T-Bucket roadster was being used as a crowd draw for shows as in the clipping from the April 7, 1963 New York Daily News.

In the June, 1964 issue of Hot Rod Magazine Norman Letendre listed his traditional T-Bucket for sale. The photo accompanying the ad was from a car show and some additions had been made to the T, no doubt to capture additional show points. The tiny photo displayed the addition of cowl lamps, as well as mag wheels.

What happened to the Norman Letendre traditional T-Bucket after 1964 is a mystery, but I understand that sometime around 1992 or ’93 then Massachusetts-based hot rod builder Steve Centracchio discovered it in Maine.

And like most early T-Bucket hot rods, it had been changed a lot in an effort to stay contemporary. According to Steve, it had been repainted black, had 12-spoke American Racing spindle mounts on the front, aluminum slot wheels on the rear, still sported the later added T cowl lamps, but the LaSalle gearbox had been replaced by a Muncie 4-speed. It even had a fully chromed frame.

Fortunately, the car was brought back to its original Norman Letendre traditional T-Bucket “Roaring 20” glory and the original paint color was able to be matched from overspray under the dash.

This T-Bucket’s looks and appeal are timeless. Old timers and neophytes are equally drawn to it and that says a lot about the traditional T-Bucket styling that Tommy Ivo pioneered, Norman Letendre enterpreted for his own taste and Steve Centracchio helped bring back to life.

By the way, we’d love to hear and see more from the current owner because it’s a real treasure.

Norman Letendre Traditional T-Bucket

John Morehead

Founder at TBucketPlans.com

T-Bucket fanatic since 1957 when my 8 year old eyes became glued to a full page LIFE magazine photo of Norm Grabowski in the wildest hot rod I had ever seen! I later discovered the fascinating T-Buckets of TV Tommy Ivo, Marty Hollmann, Bob Johnston and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s T-Bucket inspired Outlaw. I was hooked for life on T-Bucket hot rods!

TBucketPlans.com originated in 2005 as a personal blog extolling the virtues of T-Buckets. In 2009 I blogged about Chester Greenhalgh, the "how to" genius who wrote the legendary, out-of-print “How to Build a T-Bucket Roadster for Under $3000”. That led to a friendship with Chester and our partnership in marketing the updated eBook version of his T-Bucket building bible. The T-Bucket fire burns stronger and stronger.

Latest posts by John Morehead (see all)

Categories T-Buckets of the 1960'sSours: https://www.tbucketplans.com/norman-letendre-traditional-t-bucket-roadster-is-timeless/

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