The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 46
1927 Ford T-Bucket Drag Roadster

Selling on Friday

1927 Ford T-Bucket Drag Roadster


• Dual-purpose street/strip machine
• Street legal and extremely fast
• Nitrous-injected, dual-carb Big-Block Chevy power
• Equipped with roll cage, wheelie bars, drag ‘chute

Big-Block Chevrolet V-8 engine, twin Holley Dominator four-barrel carburetors, nitrous oxide injection, automatic transmission, coil-over front and rear suspension, hydraulic four-wheel disc brakes

Given their ready availability, myriad body styles and low cost during the immediate pre- and post-WW II years, Ford Model Ts were naturally the basis for success on California’s dry lakes, dirt tracks and early dragstrips, not to mention America’s streets. Progressively wilder versions became more specialized and contested the NHRA’s Altered Gas classes, while the emergent AHRA permitted the all-out Fuel Altereds, with raving fans spellbound by the massive performance, tail-happy manners and long, tire-smoking launches of these aggressive short-wheelbase drag cars, which by the 1960s were best-known as “Awful Awful Fuel Altereds” for the top AA/FA class name.

Grassroots racers would use derivations of the basic Model T style in the various Street Eliminator classes in NHRA competition and most of the older AA/FA teams eventually switched over to the more lucrative Funny Car class. However, Fuel Altereds never truly fell from the minds of drag racing fans. Following the debut of Norm Grabowski’s “Kookie T” on the hit TV show 77 Sunset Strip in 1957 and “TV” Tommy Ivo’s T-style hot rod/drag car the next year, not to mention Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s futuristic Outlaw show rod, the iconic status of the “T-Bucket” was complete. The popularity of bracket racing during the 1970s and 1980s spurred a return of Model T-bodied drag-racing cars, now complete with a host of modern and wisely mandated safety features to harness their stunning performances in 9-second Pro Gas and 8-second Super Gas class structures.

This 1927 Ford T-Bucket Roadster is a prime case in point. Built for drag racing yet street-legal with head lamps, tail lamps and a windshield, it is based on a full tubular steel chassis and substantial roll cage with suspension via adjustable coil-over shocks. Power is delivered by a hot Big-Block Chevy V-8 equipped with a Holley Pro Dominator tunnel-ram intake plumbed for a port-injected nitrous oxide system and mounting huge Holley Dominator carburetors. The interior is a purposeful aluminum-paneled environment including a small-diameter sport steering wheel, necessary instruments (including large Moroso tachometer), floor shifter, nitrous bottle and fire extinguisher. Handling the engine’s massive output is a tough Ford 9-inch rear end mounting Mark Williams axles and wheelie bars, with a drag ‘chute and mounting system present. Mickey Thompson “big and little” tires are mounted on a set of chrome Weld Racing wheels. Talking about performance, this car is reported to have turned 8.20s over the quarter-mile at 176 mph through the traps. Following a proper review to ensure compliance with racing and street regulations, this 1927 Ford T-Bucket Drag Roadster stands ready to carry on its rich tradition on the street and strip alike.

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