Of the many precepts found in our world of rodding, there are several you can always count on: the T-bucket will always be around, the traditional build style will stay in favor, and Speedway Motors in Lincoln, Nebraska, has the parts you need-be it for the track or the street. Speedway recently introduced their Tribute T, which, according to "Speedy Bill" Smith, "celebrates the significant role the Model T roadster has played in hot rodding. It combines elements of the earliest dry lakes and circle-track cars, '40s and '50s hot rods, and the low-buck retro rods of recent years."
Our prototype Tribute T was equipped with a Ford Flathead V-8, but yours can be set up for
OK, we will go along with that, and any hot rodder who has been around long enough knows that some version of the Model T has always graced our hobby in one fashion or another. Since the '70s, the T-bucket has served as a great entry-level project vehicle; a hot rod to develop your mechanical muscles on, while increasing your own knowledge about the roots of the hobby. While there have been modifieds, lakesters, and dry lakes roadsters around for some time, it was in the '90s that the single-seat roadster, and the more streetable two-seat version of the roadster pickup really caught on and has become a staple.
With all the history that revolves around T-buckets, especially with the likes of TV Tommy Ivo's ride and the Norm Grabowski T that lives on (thanks to television reruns of 77 Sunset Strip), the "bucket" will live forever in the minds of rodders. And let's not forget the Monogram Big T model that many of us either built or wished we had when we were kids. We have Darryl Starbird to thank for that one and for several life-size buckets as well. And the list of single- and two-seat Model T roadster pickups is endless. (Editor's note: heck I even built a Zipper Lakes Modified back in 1999.) The excitement surrounding these types of cars is anything but waning.
The highly distinctive bomber-style seating immediately gives the hot rod a personality.
And that brings us to Speedway Motors and the latest addition to their "build by the numbers" hot rods. (Surely you remember Project SpeedRodder from the late-'90s, based on Speedway's '32 Lo-Boy roadster, the Signature Series '32 highboy roadster that was built on the pages of STREET RODDER a few years back, and the Budget Bucket T project from the mid-'90s?) You can still build a Speedway T-bucket in the familiar style, but if you want to go the "traditional hot rod" look, there's something new on the pages of their catalog-the Tribute T.
Starting with the frame, the Tribute T package offers an extra-high rear kickup and a Model A-style rear crossmember that will accept the Speedway medium arch rear spring and your choice of a Winters quick-change or truly traditional Ford banjo-style rearend. The use of wishbone-style radius rods and friction shocks complement the "old-school" look. Add to this a Magnum 5-inch-drop I-beam and you begin to realize that "how low can you go" is pretty damn low!
The frontend is based on a 5-inch-drop axle, drum brakes, friction shocks, and wishbone-st
Let's face it, the center of attention for any hot rod is based in the powerplant and here Speedway offers their chassis with the mounts for a small-block Chevy V-8 (duh!) or a Ford Flathead V-8. Should you just have to squeeze the throttle on something else, the frame can be delivered sans motor and trans mounts, enabling you to really get creative. (It is best that you know what you are doing at this point as there will be a series of subtle mods needed in order to house another style of engine.) Both engine options are engineered for automatic transmissions, with mounts designed to provide maximum drivetrain ground clearance. (Again, many hot rodders may find themselves wishing and hoping for a three-pedal assembly, but you will be on your own for figuring out how to accomplish that in a narrow footwell area.)
A simple gauge package, tube steering column, and three-spoke wheel finish off the interio
A spun aluminum tank is both practical as a gas tank and fits the aesthetic profile of the
Frame finished and powdercoated, ready for final assembly.
Pronounced rear kickup houses the transverse spring and Model A crossmember. The prototype
A pair of front wishbones was modified to locate the Winters quick-change on the prototype