T-buckets Aren’t For Anyone Anymore

The generational gap between now and then can best be summed up with the idiom “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Today’s generation attempts to piss in the wind against it, while the older generation just deals with it. Take the T-bucket, for example. From the very beginning of hotrodding, it played a big role. It was simple, light, easily modified and plentiful. I could blame it’s lack of popularity on it’s archaic design, but thanks to the “rat rodding” craze that is sweeping the enthusiast counter culture, it’s all the rage to find some pre-war body and slap it on a ladder frame.

The T-bucket subscribes to this convention in theory, but thanks to a predominantly fiberglass-based aftermarket being the easiest way to get a body and the moderately steep buy-in price, it doesn’t get as much play as an old, rusty 30’s Dodge body with a bunch of pseudo 19th century appointments. Most T-buckets are usually gorgeous finished customs with bright paint and covered in chrome, which once again doesn’t fall inline with today’s “youth” hotrodding culture.

My love for cars didn’t include anything made before the 1955 Bel Air when I first started getting into them as a young child. As I’ve grown older my tastes have become more broad and I find myself liking more and more pre-war cars. The T-bucket is one car I’d eventually like to build. Although I appreciate the era-authentic look of the one of above with it’s 1923-style body, fat tires in the back, skinnies in the front and being powered by a bug-catcher-adorned small block Chevy, it’s far from my dream bucket. I’m more of a ’27 T on reverse chrome wheels with a Gen I OHV Olds or early Hemi. That would be boss.

Anyway you slice it, today’s fuel injected, air suspension-ed, turbo-charged, bio-dieseled, hybrid, electric, stanced-out, hand-held tuner-ed, daily-driving-and-making-payments-on-the-car-while-i-void-the-warranty-with-pointless-bolt-ons crowd just doesn’t seem to understand the simpler cars of a time gone past. The rat rod culture attempts to, but spends too much time posturing. They also seem to take the idea of “tolerating the limitations of your car” to an extreme where most of them actually look like they’re physically uncomfortable to drive and be in for the sake of looking cool.

Simply put: If you want to go fast, it’s no easier than the formula of “big engine meets light car”, and it doesn’t get much lighter than a T-bucket.

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