A T-bucket (or Bucket T) is a specific style of hot rod, based on a Ford Model T of the 1915 to 1927 era, but extensively modified, or alternatively built with replica components to resemble a Model T.
Convertible T-bucket in a hybrid style: traditional sidepipes and dropped tube axle, transverse front leaf spring, and non-traditional front disc brakes and 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 (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.
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 bodyshell 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. 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 was specifically created and named by Norm Grabowski in the 1950s. This car was nicknamed, the Kookie Kar, after appearing in the TV show 77 Sunset Strip, driven by character Gerald “Kookie” Kookson. The exposure it gained led to numerous copies being built.
This customer brought this little hot rod in for a re-worked dash including a stereo and speakers.