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Street Rod Icons - Model T Fords

  • James Smith from Buffalo Lake, Texas uses a high performance small-block Chevy to motivate his flamed lime green T-bucket. - 0
  •  - 1
  • Dennis Dibble of Renton, Washington covered his 1923 T in Lime Gold paint and powered it with a blown Hemi. - 2
  •  - 3
  • The incredible engine in Dennis Dibble’s T is a supercharged 392ci Chrysler Hemi. The power to weight ratio is incredible. - 4
  • The granddaddy of all hot rod T-buckets was built by Norm Grabowski, and was known as "Kookie’s T." - 5
  • Model T roadster interiors are snug. - 6
  • Some T-buckets take the big ’n’ little theme to extremes with motorcycle front tires and wire wheels. - 7
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by Bruce Caldwell  More from Author

Top Ten Iconic Street Rods.

Images by Bruce Caldwell and Jerry Heasley.

Model T Fords were produced by the millions from October 1908 through 1927. The Model T made Ford Motor Company and put America on wheels. The T was improved over the years, and it was the 1923 restyle that caught on with hot rodders. This version was produced from 1923 to 1925. The slightly larger 1926/1927 T is another iconic hot rod, but it hasn’t had the same impact as the 1923 T.

The 1923 is a minimalist car. Hot rodders generally discarded the small trunk. Sometimes the back half of a T touring body (open four-door) was removed, leaving just the “bucket.” Super short pickup beds are popular, as they have just enough room for a small gas tank and a battery. The term “T-bucket” or “bucket-T” became popular after early builders such as Norm Grabowski gained national attention with their hot rods. Norm and his T graced a famous Life magazine cover, as well as many car magazines.

The Grabowski T landed a prominent role in the TV show 77 Sunset Strip, which greatly impacted the popularity of T-buckets. The 1923 T was so popular that it became the first successfully reproduced fiberglass hot rod. The fiberglass T became the basis of affordable kit hot rods.



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Street Rod Icons - 1932 Ford Roadsters


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Street Rod Icons - Model A Fords


Street Rod Icons - Model T Fords
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Street Rod Icons - 1939-1940 Ford Coupes
Street Rod Icons - 1939-1940 Ford Coupes


Street Rod Icons - 1933-1934 Fords
Street Rod Icons - 1933-1934 Fords


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Street Rod Icons - 1933-1935 Chevys


Street Rod Icons - 1932 Ford Coupes
Street Rod Icons - 1932 Ford Coupes

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