Clean and simple, a black roll and pleat job adds a classic vibe.
For the biggest bang when building a hot rod, nothing comes close to a T-bucket packed with a nasty mill nailed to the 'rails. Since the engine is typically exposed, it gives each individual owner the perfect platform to show off their cubic inches. It was nearly 30 years ago when Jim Wilkos of Wallingford, Connecticut, got involved with hot rods, thanks to his dad who was (and still is) a member of the Connecticut Street Rod Association. The pair would frequent cruise nights and local rod runs in their hopped-up '34 Ford pickup as well as visiting Connecticut Drag Way on a regular basis.
The combination of being around modified cars and working on them all the time fueled a passion in Jim that eventually led him to answer an ad for a sales person at the most well-known T-bucket shop in the country, Total Performance. At the age of 22 (in 1992), he was immediately immersed into the fast-paced world of T-buckets, including everything cool that surrounded them, from manufacturing parts to the design studio, body and paint shop, and final assembly of both rollers and turnkey cars.
Auto Meter gauges keep watch and a Grant steering wheel sets the course.
A number of years ago while attending the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Orlando, Florida, Jim met with Wayne Millis from Kinokuni Enterprises, of Wakayama, Japan, (a well-known speed shop and performance parts distributor) to discuss the potential of Total building a T-bucket to showcase many of his company's performance parts. Millis, having seen numerous vibrant and exotic Ts, which Total had built over the years, immediately sealed a deal with Jim to begin the design phase of a car that would be built in the United States and then shipped to Japan to the company's headquarters. The intent was to debut the car at the Tokyo Auto Salon car show. In laying out the design it was the perfect opportunity to build a classic Fad-styled T with all of the elements from the era that made them cool, including a tall windshield and top, cowllights, and extra-wide rubber out back.
The T has plenty of performance and comfort thanks to a Heidts Superide IRS while classic
To get things started, Jim had the team at Total begin assembly of a suitable spine to use as a base for the build, constructed from 1-1/2x3-inch rectangular steel rails with a rear kick and 3-inch tubular center crossmembers. To add plenty of dazzle out back as well as significant visual impact, a fully polished and plated Heidts Superide IRS filled with 3.50:1 gears was suspended in place with 36-inch chrome ladder bars and Aldan Eagle coilovers to soften the bumps. Adding plenty of nostalgic flair up front, a 4-inch dropped tube axle was mounted suicide style, featuring Total Performance spindles linked to matching friction shocks and a Posies leaf spring all fresh from the chrome vat. To make sure there is plenty of stopping power once the halt pedal is pressed, fluid moves through a dual-reservoir master cylinder to stainless lines and Wilwood discs and calipers anchored at each corner. Completing the rolling chassis, nothing says big 'n' littles like a pair of 16-inch 40-spoke spindle-mount Dayton wires up front capped with skinnies and massive Centerline Convo-Pro 15x14 rears with mile-wide Pro-Street rubber.
Bring a badass Chrysler Hemi to the party, everyone will notice. A 392ci block was bored t
When it came time to address the engine, there was only one way to go and that's with a massive blown V-8. Not just any old fat-block would do so a call was placed to Big Al's Toy Box in Gaylordsville, Connecticut, to custom build one of their special vintage Chrysler Hemis. Starting with a '57 Chrysler 392ci block, it was bored to 398 ci and filled with a balanced steel crank and rods linked to Keith Black 8:1 pistons while a COMP cam sets the thump. A set of original steel heads were massaged to perfection and topped with finned aluminum valve covers from Hot Heads. For the crowning touch a BDS 8-71 blower mounted to a BDS intake was topped off with a BDS injection featuring 16 injectors. A Mallory Unilite ignition lights the fire while spent gases get dumped through a set of Sanderson headers. The dyno'd 652 hp meets the pavement through a TH350 automatic tweaked by Dynamic Racing Transmissions of North Branford, Connecticut, linked to a custom driveshaft. With the driveline complete it was time to focus on the body. A fresh-from-the-mold glass body and pickup bed by Total was massaged to perfection and handed over to Dem Falco to lay down a lustrous vibe of custom-blended PPG burnt orange pearl with the chassis receiving gloss black for accent. Once in the final assembly stage the T received plenty of period-perfect bits, including a set of chrome cowllights and T grille shell, King Bee-style headlights, and a mile-high windshield accented by a matching tall top. To wrap things up the interior received custom black roll and pleats covering the seats and side panels. To monitor the vitals, Auto Meter gauges (metric) handle the deal while a Grant steering wheel linked to a reversed Corvair box handles the navigation and a custom shifter handles gear changes. For safety, a custom polished stainless steel rollbar and Simpson multipoint belts finish off the interior. Once completed and shipped to Japan, the car was a complete success while exhibited at numerous key events and also on display in the Kinokuni showroom. Thanks to the hefty horsepower on tap the car epitomizes what a street shaker is all about. With Kinokuni shifting gears and focusing the build of a new project, Jim received a call from Millis to see if he might be interested in the car. Since Total closed its doors in 2008, Jim purchased the Cool-Flex line and rebranded it as Cool-Flex Motorsports as well as starting Wintec Fabrication, specializing in Ts through '33-34 Ford hot rod parts. To have the T back would be the ultimate icing on the cake, as it was one of the cars he most enjoyed participating in the build with. A deal was made and Jim now holds the keys to one decadently built T with more frequent flyer miles than any other hot rod we know!
COMP Performance Group - Tech Tips
How can I figure out what my valve lift will be with a different rocker ratio?
This is a two-step process. First, divide your total current valve lift by your rocker ratio. This will give you your lobe lift. You can then take the lobe lift and multiply it by the new rocker ratio. The end result is your new total valve lift. For instance, the cam you have now is 0.500 lift on the intake and exhaust with a 1.5 rocker. You are interested in going to a 1.6 rocker.
0.500/1.5=0.333 (your lobe lift)
0.333x1.6 (your new ratio) will give you your new valve lift total: 0.533
Module position is critical
Always make sure that the module in your dual-sync distributor is installed in the correct position for the crank reference angle that you are using. The module comes from FAST in the 0 degrees location, and will need to be moved if you plan to use the 50-degree crank reference angle.
Connect wiring right
When using an Inglese system equipped with FAST EZ-EFI, make sure connectors are clamped correctly or soldered on away from harnesses. Interference is possible otherwise, and may lead to problems such as flooding. As long as the included instructions are followed all wiring should work correctly.