The Ford T-bucket is one of the most enduring and endearing styles in all of hot rodding. The idea has always been that the T-bucket was built from scavenged parts, with a focus on unbridled horsepower, low curb weight, very little comfort and even less aesthetics. But many of them, such as this enflamed blue roadster, are just too cleanly finished and detailed to be considered junkyard dogs anymore. If huge power and easy comfort is what you're looking for in a T-Bucket, then your search is over.
Finished only 2,122 miles ago and based on a quality fiberglass body, the shape is archetypal T-bucket, with the tall, vertical windshield and stubby pickup truck-like bed out back. Nobody's really sure how this exact iteration came to be the standard, since Ford pickups never looked like this, but today it's the accepted style of the T-bucket and it just looks right. Every inch of this one was prepped for battle, so the paint and bodywork is every bit driver quality, but when the curb appeal is this good you're not really concerned about sweating the small stuff. Closer examination will reveal a few imperfections, nothing too major, and if you're the type of person that's looking for a 'perfect' T-Bucket then you'll quickly reveal a paradox – there's really no such thing. The point is to drive these little monsters like you stole them, and the very design turns enough heads as it is, so getting carried away with a high-end paint job is practically overkill. The paint is a vivid blue, which is a nice change from either the primer black that has recently come back into fashion, or the excessively metallic or pearl hues that characterized T-buckets of the '60s and '70s. The blue finish is contrasted by the red-hot flames down the sides of the bucket, the black vinyl top and bed cover, and all the chrome and polished bits along the frame and suspension. You'll find more of the shiny stuff around the Model T style radiator shell, the straight-pipe exhaust, the taillight surrounds and license plate frame, and King Bee-style headlights - all of which work together to give this streetrod a traditionally cool look.
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 cushy tan vinyl upholstery and a full array of Equus white-face gauges inside the blue dash that keep an eye on the cackling small block up front. Stitched up in traditional pleated fashion, the wrap-around bench seat and interior panels are nicely done, and this one even features a neatly tailored black carpet set below that helps insulate the open-air cabin a bit. 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. The sporty steering wheel is a fat-rimmed Grant GT unit mounted in traditional, nearly horizontal, T-bucket fashion on the chrome column and it's joined by a chrome-ball topped shifter and set of sporty pedals below. Also included is a 'Dragula' style black vinyl top that helps round out this tough street brawler.
The engine is a 350 cubic inch Chevy that's been augmented for a little extra pop and features long-tube headers for that high-performance sound, along with a Weiand intake and Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor that helps the block breathe easy. Dress up gear includes a big B&M hood scoop and polished valve covers atop the Chevy Orange block, and those aforementioned headers are exactly what every T-bucket wears: long-tubes blowing through massive side pipes. The chassis is nicely finished, with most of the details out in the open for easy examination, painted black or polished up for a little added pop. The front clip is a zero-drop straight axle with a 4-rod set-up and a 'spring-behind' leaf spring stack (along with front disc brakes), while out back there's an early GM rear end with a 4-rod set-up as well. In between, you'll find a quick-shifting TH400 3-speed automatic transmission, and it has plenty of moxie in it to handle the grunting small block up front. The only rolling stock you can put on a T-bucket are skinnies up front and massive meats out back-in this case, they're gigantic Mickey Thompson's wrapped around shiny Weld Racing aluminum wheels.
Remarkably, it seems that 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, with this one being nicer and more affordable than most. Call today!
Please note this car is titled as a 1989 Ford RD on a clear Texas title.