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Hot Rods Vintage T-bucket Hidden for Years

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by iceokie, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74

    iceokie
    Member

    Need some advice. Been gone awhile from the HAMB on a huge project at work.

    The story starts in 1973, we were in eighth grade and a challenge to fight started with "meet you after school behind the church." This started the relationship with the guy you fought as a kid that became your best friend for life.

    No matter where we lived or what was going on we talked on the phone or drove over for a visit every chance we had. Weekly usually.

    This was the guy that you spent hours in the garage with during high school. You learned through trial and error the joys of building your own ride. Before we were 18 he'd built a 38 Ford coupe and an Impala SS that I've forgotten the year. I had a sweet 66 Chevelle Super Sport. We learned why doing it the cheap way was stupid and that spending the money for quality parts was a wise investment. We got lots of tickets and cruised Peoria Ave in Tulsa with the ladies. I'm still married to the girl I cruised with 1977.

    Fast forward to this past summer (2013). I was rolling contentedly down the road when my cell phone gave a jingle. Picked it up, saw that it was Bradd calling and hit the accept button. I knew something was wrong almost instantly and Bradd told me he had been diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer and it was terminal. 4 months without chemo, 8 months with chemo.

    We currently live about six hours apart and I decided that I would drive home at least once a month to maximize our time on earth together. Each trip I witnessed a slow slide towards the end we new was coming. Three weeks ago I saw him for the last time, he'd lost 70+ pounds from a fighting weight of 190 or so. When I walked out the door to drive back to Memphis he was laying on the couch to weak to get up. I kissed him on the head, told him I loved him and started the long drive back home.

    He passed away two Saturdays ago and I'm going to his memorial/life celebration this Saturday the 28th. I will truly miss him.

    So enough with the sad part of the story, but I felt like it needed to be part of this. Bradd was a true character, he led an interesting life as an artist/painter/carpenter. At one point he took the bodywork skills we'd learned and started a business repairing mannequins. Turns out repairing a mannequin is accomplished with bondo and an airbrush believe it or not. His shop was creepy at night.

    Bradd was gifted with a great personality and was I guess a handsome guy. He never lacked for a good-looking girl in his ride but . . . he was less than ambitious about making a steady income at a "normal" job. He lived very frugally in a small house he paid off years ago. Due to unwillingness to conform to the average woman's idea of the perfect breadwinner he'd been married 3 times. To the last one for 12 years. She was the real deal and let Bradd be Bradd.

    Now the funny part. Bradd had painted a car or two for a older gentleman I don't remember the exact deal. In return for this he acquired a sweet built in the late sixties real metal t-bucket built buy the afore mentioned old guy. This was in the 90's and the car was just as it had been built in the 60's. Bradd's second divorce left the girls divorce attorney looking for something of value to pay off the second ex. The t-bucket was mentioned as a possible revenue source. Bradd quickly pronounced that had beed sold a week earlier, pulled it into his single car garage and dismantled it. Parts are stashed in various places and I know where the majority of them are.

    This was 12 years ago.

    After he stripped the car down to frame and drivetrain he built a table over the remains of the car and took a bunch of old HO scale train and slot car track and made it look like it was a project in progress. The story of his love for hotrods takes a turn at this point. He decided he enjoyed the the whole train and model making process and spent the next 11 years making the table he built to hide the car a massive diorama.

    The car is still under there.

    So, I need to help his wife decide what to do with it. It's scattered all over but all inside. At some point he decided ( against my advice) to strip the tub and paint over the vintage paint job. He stripped it but never got around to painting it. It is in primer though.

    I'd love to buy it because it was his. I'm not a huge t-bucket fan but this one is different for me, although for the next year I couldn't even begin to work on it. I'm swamped at work.

    I've considered offering to bring it back to my house and reassembling it and then selling it for her as a complete car next year.

    I could advertise it and sell it for her, but it would be a real leap of faith for a buyer. I have no idea what he did when he hid it but I suspect he drained the oil and water and put it on the blocks it resting on today. AND it has to come out from under the massive diorama to even see it.

    Here's my question. If you saw an ad that told some of the cars story, and you dug out all the parts and saw that it was all there, what would it be worth in that condition. It's as traditional as it gets. Motor and trans are of course condition unknown after all these years but they have been inside. The last time I rode in it it ran like a scalded cat. I know its a Y-block but don't remember which one, auto trans and as I remember it was a vintage boxed frame. But I can't say from what.

    I really don't know what it's true value may be and I attach value to it because of its history in my life. I would appreciate any input on its value if I opt to just sell it for his wife . I'm not trying to sell it here but I know I'll get some valuable input.

    Lastly. A photo of the cover of his memorial service that I designed with a picture we had of him in it. Very few of these in the photos around the house.

    [​IMG][/URL
     
  2. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,542

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Buy it, build it. Sounds important to you so I doubt you'll be unhappy with it. Heck, it doesn't look that bad, either, IMHO. Good luck. Gary
     
  3. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    I second the buy/build idea.

    Plan a long weekend or two, collecting parts from the various places. It's 6 hours away so some logistics planning is needed. Explain to his wife it's like an archeology dig and don't throw anything away.
     
  4. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503

    40fordtudor
    Member

    Yeah---put it back together. If you don't, it'll haunt you.
     
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  5. What's the issue here ?? This is a no-brainer...
    Buy / build the car, have fun with it ! It'll be a memorial for you friend and a joy for you.

    Price ? Due to the circumstances, you are obviously not going to pay less than you are comfortable with no matter what this board suggests - start there.

    Running... without tons of chrome and stuff like a supercharger these things sell between 8k and 10k (ish). Vintage and restorable - with history - tends to add to the value but this one has limited history (beside personal) and has been stripped and dismantled shortly after your friend took delivery.

    Start by setting your budget and cost out what you know it needs (Paint, fluids, inspections on trans and engine, uphostery, rubber etc etc etc) and then offer the difference between those items and your budget. Without seeing it all I would suggest is to sit down with your friend's wife and come to an agreement that you are both happy with. Based on your history with Bradd she might even give it to you.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  6. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    You KNOW IN YOUR HEART where that car has to go...............build it as a reminder of the friendship you two shared.

    Sorry for the loss of your very good friend.

    Don
     
  7. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74

    iceokie
    Member

    "Based on your history with Bradd she might even give it to you."

    I would never take it without paying for it. She's a friend as well.
     
  8. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,822

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not to bogart your good intentions here, but don't think for a minute that blood sucking lawyer has just 'written this off'...
    If the 'T' had title, this may still be a matter of Oklahoma record. The numbers don't change...
    I'd certainly research this before making plans to revamp registration on this T...

    Only reason I say this is a certain '34 I had money in got seized by the San Jose police dep't., a month after processing the pink slip with CA. DMV, as it was 'property of seller's ex wife'! The 5 window got towed to the police impound yard, and I watched it rot over a few years...then it and the rusty chrome Harley show bikes around it were gone.
    Caution...
     
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  9. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74

    iceokie
    Member

    I'm confident the title is good, they settled, I remember it all. But good words of advice.
     
  10. iceokie-pay attention to this^^^^.Do all legal research first!Make sure his widow and you are protected.Sorry for ya'lls loss.
     
    iceokie likes this.
  11. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74

    iceokie
    Member

    I actually found this today. I'm on the left.

    image.jpg
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  12. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    I have a friend like yours, but have not seen him in person for 40 years. We talk on the phone and email a lot. If he passed away and had done what your friend did, I would buy, find, build and drive that T Bucket in his memory. He didn't let his ex have it, so it meant something to him. It should mean something to you too.

    Maybe this thread is a way for you to accept his passing, but deep inside, you already know what needs to be done. Saddle up, man.
     
  13. Buy the car and don't give it a second though,the car is important in that it belonged to you best friend from you school days,,,if you let it slip away it will haunt you forever. HRP
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  14. Mr. Mac
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 1,906

    Mr. Mac
    Member

    A very cool story of two friends. That roadster sure looks familar, was it built in the Tulsa area in the late 60,s?
    If so' I was good friends with the fellow that built it.
     
  15. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,238

    The37Kid
    Member

    That is a really nice looking T, it may be the only one with a 1915 T hood former/firewall, I can't say I've ever seen another in 50+ years in the hobby. Thanks for posting the story, you need to save that car and rebuild it. Bob
     
  16. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,994

    Squablow
    Member

    Cool story, I'd get rid of some other project to take on this one if I were you, the ones you have history with are the best ones.

    If you're just looking for a fair offer for his widow, for a totally disassembled car that has everything but needs everything, with title and steel body, but with questionable engine/trans functionality, I'd say $3500.

    Assembled, running and driving with basic paint, around $12K depending on details.
     
    Straight30weight likes this.
  17. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74

    iceokie
    Member

    Mr. Mac I was hoping someone would actually recognize it from Tulsa hotrod history. If your friend was Felix then it's the same car. It lived a long time at Persimmon Hollow.



     
  18. creepjohnny
    Joined: Dec 1, 2007
    Posts: 850

    creepjohnny
    Member
    from Sunland,CA

    I think the car is worth more to you than selling it. I'd keep it

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  19. I would never take it without paying for it. She's a friend as well

    That makes you a stand up guy. Sorry if you took it wrong. that was not my intention. Buy / Build the car dude...
     
  20. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74

    iceokie
    Member

    No Saxxon I didn't take any offense at all. Just a statement.

     
  21. Mr. Mac
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 1,906

    Mr. Mac
    Member

    The car was built by Felix's son Tommy graves. Tommy was hit and killed by a train right after he finished the car. I spent a few nights at Persimmon Hollow helping Tommy on the car. I always wondered what happened to the car after Tommy's widow sold it.
     
  22. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74

    iceokie
    Member

    Now that you said that I am remembering more of the story. Bradd definitely got the car through Felix. And while I was writing the story down something had me thinking in the back of my mind that Felix didn't build it but I couldn't remember why.

    I was living in Virginia when Bradd started working with Felix and visited once. Thanks for the history!

     
  23. I have a car that was my very best mates, we served together in the Army and remained close friends after discharge. I even moved from Melbourne to Queensland just to be close. His wife was very understanding over the unique bond between friends that served together and even joined in with the 'shenanigans' we used to get up to.
    He passed away last year and the car now has more sentimental value than anything I own. Do yourself a favour, buy the car you will never regret it. If you let it pass on down the road then forever there will be that nagging sorrow that you let your mate down and a feeling of loss for that one memento that honestly means something to you.
    Well, I hope that's not too 'mushy' and helps a little.

    Cheers,
    Doc.
     
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  24. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,291

    tommyd
    Member
    from South Indy

    One of my brothers passed away and before he died he sold his 66 Chevy II. A couple of years later my oldest brother tracked the car down and bought it. It was emotional for the whole family to have the car back and it was raced for many years by my big brother. As time went on and we all got older we realized that none of us can own it forever and in reality , someone else will be the caretaker of the car anyway. My best bud did the same thing when his son passed away. He also eventually sold that car too. If you want to do it as a tribute to your friend then I would round the car up and build it. Just remember that he would not want the whole process to cause you a bunch of stress and dollars just for his sake.
     
    iceokie likes this.
  25. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,291

    tommyd
    Member
    from South Indy

  26. ME.GASSER
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,583

    ME.GASSER
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What a great story. Sorry about the passing of your friend. You need to get the car and restore it. It has history for you and him. You will be sorry if you don't.
     
  27. Very heartwarming story...thanks for sharing it with us. That's proof positive cars alone are just material things without the attached stories of the people behind them.
     
  28. If the trains are in the way, they have value too, they can be sold.
     
  29. iceokie
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 74

    iceokie
    Member

    Oh Yeah. Those trains are going on sale as well. Probably before I ever even worry about the car.


     
  30. skin_dog1
    Joined: Jun 26, 2014
    Posts: 21

    skin_dog1

    What a story. Sorry for your loss. That car means more to you than anyone else out there. Just buy it! Don't let her sell it to anyone else, you'll regret it!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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