Bucket List: The T-Bucket is Alive and Well in the 21st Century


Is there anyone who’s seen a well-done T-bucket rumbling by, and hasn’t felt their heart skip a beat?

T-bucket Baby!

Nothing says “hot rodding” like a T-bucket.

It’s evil, wicked, mean and nasty. This little fighter is tiny, yet monstrously muscular at the same time. It oozes a horsepower-fueled attitude that screams “Don’t mess with me!”

This is the quintessential hot rod. The minimalist style, open engine compartment, exposed pipes; all of this is a thinly veiled threat to the progress of time. The “big ‘n littles”, combined with that drop front axle and classic Model T radiator, are a punch to the face of modern sissified cars, with their Bluetooth and their GPS niceties.

The leather jacket and drooping cigarette of the automotive world. You have to be cool to drive a bucket. Otherwise, you’d incinerate in a puff of smoke as soon as you got in, right?

No way are the Gods of Cool going to let a common mortal behind the wheel of one of these babies.

Evil Wicked Mean and Nasty

 But where do you get one?

Sure, they can be bought here and there. But to be legit, you have to build it yourself. Real hotrodders build their own cars.

But where do you get the parts to build a genuine lowdown no good T-bucket so some of that cool can rub off on you?

How can you give the cookie cutters of the world the flying finger salute, while they drown in envy?

Classic T-bucket hotrod. Scene from Crusin' 2009 Morro Bay Car Show, Morro Bay, CA 02 May 2009.

Not to worry; the T-bucket is alive and well. The parts are still out there, and not only that plans and instruction manuals are all over the internet.

You just have to know where to look. Well, look no further, rodding gods to be. The bucket list is right here. The good news is, building a T-bucket is a project that a mere mortal can afford. Correction: that is freaking awesome news.

Plans for Rodding World Domination

The first thing you need is a plan. Here are some places where you can get the parts and plans that will let you construct that secret weapon from the ground up. I’m going to draft these plans up in 3D CAD software and create a virtual T-bucket that can be plugged into a game or used in a commercial production.


This site has information galore, all of it contained in low-cost books. It also has sister sites associated with it like HotRodPlans.com, StreetRodPlans.com, HotRodTruckPlans.com and the crown jewel of the collection, PimpMyBriggs.com, which covers lawnmower soup-up projects.


T-Bucket Hot Rod Build

Also on this site is the following book:

“How to Build a T-Bucket Roadster for Under $3000″ by Chester Greenhalgh

Flathead Fantasy

This sub-20 dollar manual shows a multitude of tips and tricks for actually building your bucket with your own hands, instead of just assembling one from a kit. It’s comprehensive, offering many alternatives to the standard approaches you may have noticed at rod runs.

Crankshaft Coalition

This site has an entire wiki site dedicated to T-bucket plans.

This covers a free set of T-bucket plans.


Crankshaft Coalition Free T-Bucket Plans

  Youngster’s Free T-bucket Plans

This site features a free set of T-bucket plans by Ron Young, just for entering your email into a form.


 California Custom Roadsters

Many people are familiar with this Chino, California shop, but not many seem to know they have a set of plans for your nasty T-bucket on their website. The six chapters can be had for five bucks a set or 20 dollars for the whole batch and start with the basics of the chassis, and build up the project from there. CCR also offers parts and kits to construct your T-bucket like a kit car.



California Custom Roadsters


If you really want the nasty go fast coolness of a T-bucket, no one can stand in your way. Time to break out the torch and wrenches.

Now all you need is a leather jacket…

I was born and grew up in ranch country in northern Arizona. My wife and I own Painted Desert Seed Company, a 135-acre off-grid farm specializing in seeds and produce from rare and unusual heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers. We're on top of a mesa in the Painted Desert at 6,700 feet elevation. I've been a freelance writer since 2006, with experience in articles, blog posts, case studies, product copy and white papers. I'll tell your story and present your message in an appealing and intelligent way!

8 thoughts on “Bucket List: The T-Bucket is Alive and Well in the 21st Century

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