Top Cars To Turn Into Hot Rods: #9 Ford Model T

Over 15 million Ford Model Ts were built through the 19 year production run. Photo from www.hemmings.com

It is time for a new count down list! This time, we are rounding up the Top 9 Cars To Turn Into A Hot Rod. Each of the cars in this list have been placed on the scale using a Family Feud style format of recognizable traits. Why pick nine instead of ten or eight? Nine just seems like a good round number.

Norm Grabowski’s T-bucket is considered the first of its kind. Built on a Model A frame with a Cadillac V8, Norm’s T-bucket was used as blueprints for many future car builds and was featured in Life Magazine. Photo from www.kustomrama.com

The term Hot Rod has grown to cover a very wide range of vehicles. Last year, Rod Authority covered the subject in “Ask The Experts: What Is A Hot Rod?”, so we wont delve into it too much here. For the purposes of this Top 9 list, we are focusing on Tri-Five and earlier cars that are hot, loud and fast. You’ll also find that there are no trucks on this list. That’ll come at a later date.

First up at number 9, the Ford T-Bucket. A 19-year running model, the Ford Model T was plentiful. Henry Ford and the Ford company made more than 15 million of them. In the 50’s and 60’s, the Hot Rod scene was exploding. Norm “The Godfather” Grabowski moved to California and ended up building what is considered the very first T-Bucket, the Kookie Kar. A short 1-year later, Tommy Ivo built his T-bucket using the Kookie Kar as a blueprint. Both Grabowski and Ivo’s cars would go on to build a massive Bucket movement in the Hot Rod world.

By the mid-60’s, T-buckets we all the rage. Andy “Rodfather” Brizio, of Andy’s Speed Shop in northern California realized folks would want to get all their T-bucket parts from one place and created the “Instant T”, a culmination of parts, plans and turnkey T-buckets. U.S. Speed Sport in southern California also used the name “Instant T” but was short lived.

Joey and Patty Shortino’s 1922 T-bucket is a classic example of how the old Model T can be hot rodded.

T-buckets have been used in countless movies, TV shows, advertisements and more. For whatever reason though, T-buckets have lost their dominance in the hot rod scene. Though still very recognizable, the T-bucket isn’t seen much any more. Stay tuned to Rod Authority for number 8 in our list!

About the author

Jake Headlee

Jake's passion started at a young age wrenching on cars with his Dad. Obtaining that glorious driver's license sparked his obsession with grease and horsepower, and the rest is history. Soon, he was a general mechanic and suspension specialist, and currently designs and modifies products for the off-road industry. Jake enjoys rock crawling, desert racing and trail running, and writing in his spare time.
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