Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1912 Ford Model T C Cab
It's hard to imagine being the one guy who invented a whole new style of car that became a craze for two decades, but Norm Grabowski was that guy. He invented the T-bucket, creating an all-new look and a stance that drove trends into the fiberglass T-bucket kits of the '70s. His creation used a heavily altered Ford Model A frame, chopped in the back and stretched in the front, with a body that's the front half of a '22 Ford Model T touring car (a four-door) along with a radically shortened pickup bed. While the car was being built, it was spotted by a Hollywood guy who put it on TV (eventually leading to Norm being on screen himself), and the car was also seen in a famous spread about hot rods that was in Life magazine. It was also on the cover of car mags, and fame was secured. Norm himself was an unforgettable, extroverted character who was also an amazing artist with wood. They don't make guys like the self-named "El Polako" anymore.
For consignment an eccentric of eye candy, a lot of loud, a wonderland of wild, a whole lot of hot rod in its most basic form, the T bucket, This one with enclosed C cab and box on the back, stretched front frame and open engine is textbook Norm Grabowski, even sporting a bit of "nose art" airbrushing on the rear box, Vargas style.
From its front radiator surround to the firewall cutoff, C cab design and boxed in rear cargo area, all steel is near perfect on this truck rodder. Gaps are very well minded, and metal is straight as arrows. All bathed in wonderful miles deep black paint, highlighted with some red pin-striping and a Vargas style nose art inspired by a WW2 bomber, is all custom. Upfront shiny mirror like chromed headlights courtesy a '33 Ford, hang on either side of the wide black radiator shell. Some pinstriped flourishes are on the firewall side panels, and of course the nose art on the box. Bringing up the rear is an oval glass insert door, with more custom airbrushing and more pinstriped flourishes in red and cream. Winged eyeball taillights, and lower oval window with Goofy looking back poking fun at the idea of you being behind this car. Upfront we see Rocket Racing wheels wrapped by 155R15's and on back fender-less 15-inch Weld wheels wrapped by 345/35ZR15 Pirelli fatties bring up the rear and create the smoke.
Slipping inside is easy due to the steering wheel being removable, so I took it off and got inside and breathed the tongue in cheek tastefulness all in. Loads of tuck and rolled panels are wrapped in black vinyl for the door panels, rear box liner and pillar panels. Smooth black vinyl in bench setup holds the driver and passenger in place, and this curved bench also doubles in back as the divider for the cargo area, and rear speaker mounting board. A wood dash "board" (literally) houses a series of round gauges the ignition and headlight knob. This dashboard is fronted by a rally steering wheel with tilt column. Black carpet covers the floors upfront and in back, and a black smooth headliner is above with a mounted in and hanging tachometer.
A 1970 460ci V8 topped with 3 two-barrel Holley 550cfm carburetors and a custom tunnel ram intake, is all chromed and shining, all hanging right out there for the world to see and hear. Consigner states the interior of the engine can best be described as "built mild". On the back is a C-6 3-speed automatic transmission and a 3.23 gear rear axle. Chromed headers with a 3-inch side exit pipe creates plenty of noise attention.
Rust free, solid lengthened frame upfront with a transverse leaf spring 3 link setup here. On back a 4-bar suspension, with drum brakes at all 4 corners. Looking all good and a quality structural build underneath.
Definitely an E ticket ride, slipping in and firing her up, it is lots of sound coming from that blinged out mill. Down and dirty with plenty of acceleration, good handling, and a typical T bucket ride where you can feel the road, and then some! Everything was in working order during my drive.
With beautifully sculpted body panels, an extended frame, custom box on the back for weather protected storage, and some 1940's style airbrush art, this car is the quintessential hot rod in step with Norm Grabowski's original concept, with a few extras just for fun. And it is definitely that to drive and show! Go for it you "Wild Thing"...
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