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T Bucket Bodies Question "Who To Use"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CoronetRTguy, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I was thinking the same thing but didn't bother to state it. It looks easy enough to shave and get rid of though. At least the other body lines are present, accounted for and correctly scaled...
     
  2. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
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    I like that the other lines are there and I'm glad that they have been pointed out to me where other companies are not.
     
  3. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member



    The first body shown doesn't have the extra ridge in the center at all. The cowl lines extending forward from the windshield area are correct for a "T" and belong there. I do also believe that the extra center bump is part of the mold process as you are right, most "T" bucket body molds are in two pieces and usually have a bit of "flash" there when they are removed from the mold. May be someone got fancy instead of just sanding it off...

    The other thing I see on this body that most DON'T have is a "hood shelf". Not that it would be important to a "T" bucket build, it is sort of a neat detail that most don't bother with on production bodies these days, but was very common on early 'glass bodies of the sixties. Both Cal Automotive and Almquist bodies had them back then
     
  4. cobra2
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 53

    cobra2
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    from dallas

    I wouldn't get too hung up on insisting it look just like an original T body. That is what the Cobra guys do and they start believing they have a real Cobra and not a replica. I was once criticised for having the wrong number of screws attaching my steering wheel.
     
  5. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
    Member

    Very cool and very cool history lession. What year would those bodies have been made by Cal Automotive and Almquist bodies? That is really interesting and a very good point. I didnt notice the hood line.

    It is also very interesting on how different each company is. Bear's is looking to be very close to what an original would be.
     
  6. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
    Member

    True and I get that but I'm not to hung up on it but I do like it. The Cobra car world is one of those worlds I would love to play in for a day or two and maybe longer. I love those cars and we have a few replica cars here and a real 427 car in the area.

    I'm looking for the best looking, strong and as close to original bodies as I can find on the market and also the best bang for my buck.

    Now with that said I dont mind putting work into something to smooth it out or make it stronger (adding in wood) and doing the work myself.
     
  7. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,976

    2OLD2FAST
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    from illinois

    Looks like the body pictured has had some body work done [color on firewall ,primer overspray on cardboard]... just be careful of what you're buying.

    dave
     
  8. cobra2
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 53

    cobra2
    Member
    from dallas

    I almost bought the Spirit C-cab body before my "28 came along. I thought it looked like a quality piece and the people there seemed good to deal with. However half of my model A is Speedway parts.
     
  9. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
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    I DO believe you should get hung up on whether it looks like an original "T" body or not!!! No offense intended, but we are on a Traditional Hot rod sight. Back in the early days of the T-Bucket craze, the late fifties and early sixties, most of the molds were pulled off of original "T" bodies. They HAD the original moldings, they WEREN'T stretched and compromised, they WEREN'T smoothed off and slicked up. This kind of "if it makes you feel good let it be" attitude is why it is getting to be so hard to build one of these cars correctly in this style that doesn't make it look like everything that came later. It IS important to do a period type car correctly!

    A replica Cobra is a much different deal. Once your are done with a replica Cobra you will always have a replica of a Cobra, not a real one. Nothing wrong with that, 'fact, I'd rather drive a replica hard than worry about a real one. Where most guys building early sixties buckets today blow it is that if you look hard enough, the stuff to do it exactly as it was done back then is still out there for the buying. Getting lazy and saying "well, that's close enough" changes critical dimensions and proportions and changes completely what the car is and represents. These cars have been the victim of this for so long they have kinda become the Rodney Dangerfield of the hot rod world to all but those that spend lots of time looking at old reading material.... That's sad! Sorry for the rant.
     
  10. cobra2
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 53

    cobra2
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    from dallas

    Are you saying to make it look like an original steel "T", or an original fiberglass "T"?
     
  11. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I'm saying to keep it looking like an early sixties "T" Bucket! Nothing more nothing less!

    The original couple of these things in say '54 - '55 or so with Grabowski's car and Ivo's replicant (sorta) were steel, early "T" touring front halfs (not actually roadster bodies) with "A" pickup beds attached. The next crop, as these cars got more common in the late fifties and very early sixties were REPLICA fiberglass bodies taken directly off of steel bodies. These are the bodies that Almquist sold, Speedway sold, Cal Automotive sold, and lots of others. They had all of the moldings and the exact general shape that a stock "T" body had.

    As these first molds wore and trends changed in the late sixties, these mold were modified and changed slightly. Some companies went into business selling 'glass bodies that were taken directly off of a competitors 'glass body. By the time the early seventies came around, "T" Buckets assumed a sort of cartoon kinda look where tops got outrageously tall, wheelbases got longer, wire motorcycle type wheels on the front became common, and bodies got shoved back on the frames a bit to exaggerate their proportions. Hell, Dan Woods even built bodies that were sectioned about 5" in the front half and stock height around the seat back!

    The late seventies and early eighties brought us the first of the really weird stuff when Specialty Cars over in L.A. and another company out of Miami FL. that I can't remember off the top of my head started 'glassing up longer than stock bodies and longer still frames. The nineties hit and a couple of companies (including CCR) tried to "slick up" the "T" Bucket and built horrendous bodies that had no molding lines and were stretched every which way...

    After all of that, the lines of the humble, basic early sixties car that looks so good and simple were all but forgotten. It's time those came back!
     
  12. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
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    Damn! You said a lot in just that little bit. I agree I have seen cars that were just like "What are you thinking?" and the cars that are built today that stick out in my head of what looks good and will be here long after I'm gone are the traditional cars being built by up and coming guys and guys that have been around the hobby for a while.

    I really like the history that has come into this thread with knowing what companies did what, where and when and how things changed. I just never knew how much things changed.

    I have said it before I really love the T Bird Bucket build and Bears body may get me that close to the look and my favorite T bucket with a Turtle Deck is Gene Chans car.

    Louvers you are full of knowledge and history and I've said it once and will say it again. We need a registry of cars that were built back in the day that are not that well known but made it into magazines or mad and impression on us. I also think what Louvers has just added in the history department needs to be put into the registry.

    I really want to build something that is not just for me but for the next guy who wants a cool traditional ride. I wont be around forever and it would be really cool if what I built sticks around and the next guy saying "Bitchen" as he drives with a smile on his/her face.
     
  13. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075

    HOTFR8
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    Waiting to see if Ted Brown checks in.
     
  14. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    I think what he is saying is it is the same thing. The first fiberglass T molds were taken off of steel T roadster bodies and every deviation takes away from "the look". You stretch it and it changes it, you change the cowl to a late 20s and you loose something. You might not care but some of us do.

    There were plenty of T roadster hot rods before Grabowski's but it was his that started the revolution. Ivo's T got great acclaim mainly because it was almost an identical copy. Every deviation from "the look" you loose something.

    As much as I have tried to achieve "the look" I have fallen short. I won't go into details though.

    And I again I say some or most of you don't give a shit you just want to build what you want to but if you don't follow some basic rules you fall short.

    Okay there is my rant again for what it is worth.
     
  15. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
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    I just talked to a guy tonight that has a 283 motor. He wanted 400.00 for it with all the chrome (Valve covers, water pump, oil pan) and I asked how much without "Do you want the heads to?" I of course said yes and he said "I can deliver it to you for $250." I said ok and then he told me he had to pull it out of the truck and when he does he will give me a call.

    Now I need to figure out if a 350 trans will bolt on or what. I think I just scored my motor. The motor turns by hand but the guy has never started it. He put it in the truck and then decided he wanted a big block. He also painted the block black so I will strip it down and rebuild it...if I get it. I need to sell some more stuff lol.
     
  16. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
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    Is that who you told me to check in with today? I was using my phone most of the day while I was with my mom at the hospital so I have not had a chance to contact him.

    No it is not a rant it is words of wisdom. If it was not for guys like you, louvers and so many more on here telling us "New Guys" what is traditional we wouldnt know. I admit I wouldnt know and to throw down the years of magazines that cars are in is amazing knowledge to have.

    So you guys are keeping the flame going and we all can hope that the torch gets passed to the next generation coming up. I used to see a lot of kids in Hondas now those kids I'm starting to see in American made muscle cars and hot rods.

    There is never a rant always a lession to be learned.
     
  17. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793

    tfeverfred
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    IMO, Need Louvers and Rebel nailed it. When first conceived, these were simple cars. Norms first attempt, "Lightening Bug", was his better version of that T. I hated the blue one. The outlandish, somewhat impractical rake, was way over the top and cartoonish.

    Von Francos version of the "Lightening Bug" is flawless. Probably the best T Bucket to have come along in a while. Rebels is sweet. It's like the "Lightening Bug" done in red. I think a member here, Royal Shifter, has a nice T Bucket as well. His is another favorite of mine. But they all have the same thing in common. They aren't over done.

    I don't like the tall tops, fat tires and I can't stand that FAKE 14" pickup bed that some guys attach to the back. I've actually heard guys say it's to protect the gas tank!:confused:

    As long as you don't start adding a bunch of bolt on crap and keep the lines simple, you'll have a nice looking T Bucket.

    CoronetRT, if you want to see what a GREAT T Bucket looks like, get issue #36 of The Rodders Journal. It's got both versions of Norms car, as done by Von Franco. It'll blow your mind wide open. I have had that issue on my coffee table since I first got it! It motivated me through out my build.

    Give that 283 a good looking over! I've got a friend holding one for my next build. He just rebuilt it. But I'm also looking at a big block. We'll see what happens.
     
  18. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Here is a good look. Yeah Wees. gets it.
     

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  19. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793

    tfeverfred
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    What front axle do you use, Rebel?
     
  20. Ted Brown
    Joined: Nov 26, 2009
    Posts: 11

    Ted Brown
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    That raised line in the center on top of the cowl, must have been added by the body builder.. If there is not a big indent under that area, then you could just sand it off if you don't care for it... I myself never wood inside my bodies, just the floor and firewall... One needs all the room inside that body that you can get, so that you can use some stock bucket seats, hooked together, they just fit that body, the type that does not fold in the center, like out of vans... JMHO :) The new Velcrow works great to hold side panels in to the body... To each his own, that is what makes them all different... :) If anyone wants to e-mail me... tedabrown at juno dot com
     
    brEad likes this.
  21. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
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    Very well said and I agree simple is more idea. I'm not going to bling it out in fact I dont want a lot of chrome. I dont want any chrome really. I want a simple looking T with the T speaking for itself. I want a good stance and not stuck up in the air.

    Yeah the 283 was one that has been listed on craigslist for a few months if not a year. The guy has no clue if it runs as he didnt hook it up he decided to go big block. I think the 283 says traditional just like a 350 or other small block and big blocks.

    I will look it over before I pay for it if I get it and no one else buys it and at that price delivered its hard to pass it up if its good. I will take a local HAMB'er who has offered to teach me rebuilding an engine and some other things. He seems to be a really cool guy. Also very rare to offer to teach me some things. In my city there is not many people like that.

    I dig it and always liked it. Yours gave me the idea of having a piece of metal in the front firewall area.

    Yeah what froont axle?

    How did you do the Velcrow? I have seen cars done with no wood in them other then the flooring. I have to get a body and see how I feel on that part.

    Yeah I will ask Bear if the car has a creese in the middle of it and if its dipped out in the center. Should be ok if you go on the under side of it and fill it in with glass and go across the underside of the cowel area as well. Also go a little over the top of the cowel area.

    I will need to ask my dad on that. He was talking to me today about fiber glass and doing something and it got over my head at the time of the morning he was talking to me about it lol sitting in the hospital I was so sleepy I couldnt make heads or tail of what was being said lol.

    I did catch that he said he has worked on a lot of fiber glass cars from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and on into the 2000s. He painted a T bucket for a guy here and prepped it and that would have been in the late 70s. He did a 55 Corvette for a guy. The shop he worked didnt want to mess with it and my dad talked them into it and redid the car back to original. I want to say it had really bad spider webbing in the glass and chunks would fall off it when you touched it. He saved it not sure what all he did but my dad did all the body work and paint work to the car.
     
  22. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
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    I need to post up a picture of the 1970 Torino Cobra SCJ 429 4spd car that I took from our up stairs window. We were washing it and the car looked great. I have others I will see if I can find them. The car was candle apple red and flat black hood originally I changed it to gloss black. Oh and at that time there was no template on how the hood should be laid out my dad took a magazine with one in and looked at it and handed back to me and said he had work to do. I had to be at work and I didnt know he was going to paint the car that day he said he had some other office work to do. He painted the car and then the next day taped it out and painted the hood gloss black and called me and told me to stop by the shop before work. I went in and the car was painted and he said Happy birthday and by the way you owe the shop 2000 for the paint lol. He said his time was free but the shop he was running at that time didnt see it that way.
     
  23. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Ford V8 60 H.P.

    Years disputed '36 through '39

    I still see them at swaps. going for 4 to 5 hundred now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  24. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member


    Hi Ted,

    Chip Quinn here. You're yet another one of the guys I have looked up to in this stuff for most of my life. I was talking with another of "those guys" last weekend at L.A.R.S., Don Kendall and your name came up a time or two. Thanks for joining the conversation!
     
  25. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member


    There was a pretty tube axle at L.A.R.S. last weekend early on Saturday for 200.00... I was just too damn broke!
     
  26. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
    Member

    That is something else I'm going to have to really understand. The axels. What would be a traditional axel on these cars?

    Was drilling an axel out really done a lot and seen a lot in the 50s and 60s?
     
  27. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075

    HOTFR8
    Member

    No, I was waiting to see if you had spoken to Jim Wilkos.

    This is who I was waiting to see what they had to say about a choice and selection. Ted may not have read the whole topic as yet. So may not realise what is being sort after here.
     
  28. cobra2
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 53

    cobra2
    Member
    from dallas

    You might have a starter issue with using the 283 with a 350 trans. I had to use an adapter plate and flex plate spacer to use a 700R4 with my 265 engine. On the otherhand this might not be an issue with your setup. The adapter plate is only like $100.
     
  29. Kramer
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 911

    Kramer
    Member

    The $3000 T Bucket Build is a good read. I was going to follow its example for doing the wood reinforcing on mine. Then I saw Don's Hot Rods pictures. Now I may be using those to help me.:D
     
  30. low-n-slo54
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,920

    low-n-slo54
    Member

    That is a peak that I added. The cowl comes smooth from Bear.
     

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