Bucket List: 1922 Ford T-Bucket

This 1922 Ford T-Bucket has been sitting for two years. The owner admits that he has become tired of the vehicle, so has decided to sell it. His loss could well be your gain, and I would like to thank Barn Finder Pat L for spotting this one for us. It is located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist.

This is a nice looking vehicle, and very typical of the minimalist approach that characterizes the T-Bucket. The black paint has a bit of a matte look in places, but hopefully, that will respond to a buff and polish. The thing that grabs your attention from behind is the size of those Mickey Thompsons. Those things look big enough to fit a medium-sized road roller, but that, once again, is all part of the T-Bucket look. The tires do look like they’ve got a bit of life left in them, which is a bonus.

There’s really not a lot to be critical of with the interior. The owner has stuck pretty firmly to the T-Bucket mantra by keeping things simple. The upholstery looks quite good, as does the carpet and vintage gauges. The retainer bolts on the wheel are showing some corrosion, but that’s an easy fix.

So now we get to one of the reasons why the owner has decided to part with this car. The engine is a 327ci Corvette V8, which is backed by an automatic transmission. The engine has been rebuilt at some point and features a high-rise manifold and twin 650 carburetors. The owner says that the engine turns over, but that it won’t start. Hopefully, this is a problem that is fairly easy to rectify, although if the owner has tried and gotten sick of it, that doesn’t sound very promising. The good thing with these T-Buckets is that the electrical and fuel systems are not complicated, so it may not be too hard to isolate the fault.

This car is an interesting proposition, with a great unknown in the form of why it won’t run. If it can be isolated why it won’t run, then it could be a good thing, because the owner has set the price at a mere $8,500. That’s cheap for a T-Bucket.



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  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    Without knowing the owners technical abilities, could be something as simple as a plugged fuel filter or no spark. Likely not a big issue and price isn’t out of line if everything is mechanically up to snuff. Big thing would be the ‘fit’ to the next owner and if they can drive it comfortably. My 2 cents.

    Like 5
  2. Rock On

    That looks like a solid deal. Even if the engine is toast, it is not the end of the world. There are plenty of small block Chevy engines out there cheap. Once I turned those tires into slicks, I would probably install some a more reasonable size.

    Like 7

    Always wanted one of these. Fun to go to the A&W…. err… the Drive in Movies… err a quick trip to Home Depot? Seems like a great deal. Way too much carb for a street small block, which may be why it doesn’t want to run today. But fun car regardless

    Like 7
    • LAB3

      That was my thinking too, dual quads look cool but I’d be inclined to keep one of them and get rid of the other one along with the manifold at a swap met.

      Like 5
      • 68custom

        A friend bought a 36 chevy pickup with a tunnel ram and two holleys, upon closer inspection I noticed the secondaries were unhooked. When I showed him he was upset! Way too much carburetor!

        Like 4
  4. Kenneth Carney

    It’s a real shame to see a really fun car go
    to waste. If this car was built with an
    electric fuel pump, I’d start by replacing
    that first. Best way to find out about would be to disconnect the fuel line
    from the carbs, kick it over and see if
    any fuel comes through. If that’s not
    it, try the coil and see if you get a spark.
    If the car has an old-style ignition system,
    check the points to see if they’re stuck
    closed. While you’re there, check the
    condensor too. If the unit is a dual-point
    distributor, check both sets of points as
    one set could be set improperly. Next,
    try setting the timing at the distributor
    to see if she could be 180° out of time.
    If all else fails, check for some flat lobes
    on the cam. Gotta be something simple
    that the rebuilder may have missed. God
    forbid it’s a timing chain, to check this,
    pop the distributor cap and see if the rotor turns when you crank it over. If
    not, there’s your problem. It’ll be a fun
    ride once you get past the engine issue.
    Hope that helps. Merry Christmas folks!

    Like 5
    • Dennis M

      You nailed it Kenneth. IF the owner checked all the basics the distributor 180 out would be my first check, followed by cam timing.

  5. Bodyman68

    Ok whats the compression ratio ?
    What size cams in it ? Is it stroked ? Are the heads well massaged ? Before ya trash the tunnel ram and carbs find out if its built for it ! Sbc’s are easiest to figure out and get running . As far as the car ill bet it rides like a rock and is squirrely when u get on it ! I used to want one till i drove one now not so much ,but for the price its worth it all day long.

    Like 1
    • Dennis M

      Even with those huge tires you need to be real gentle on the loud pedal with one of these. All depends on how well the chassis and suspension geometry was set up. Done right you can leave two black stripes down the road, done wrong and you’re in the weeds!

      Like 1
  6. KevinLee

    Looks like #2 cylinder was running a little lean. These are fun little toys. I helped a friend build one. These are great for cruising on summer evenings.

    Like 1
  7. Mark

    Novelty, impractical, and unsafe at any speed. I can see getting bored with this oversized go-kart.

    Like 2
  8. Gaspumpchas

    Should be easy enough to diagnose. IMHO timing chain no big deal on these and its a cheap fix if you do it yourself. I’m not a fan of t buckets as I saw a few that had been wrecked and it wasn’t pretty. Couldn’t build for 8500. Good Luck to the new owner.



    Like 2
  9. Butch Morgan

    GP, same here I own one for two days back in the mid 70s, two days was all it took to say bye, bye.

  10. Wrong Way

    I wonder how much fun per gallon this cost to operate? I don’t think that it’s the right time of year for me to even consider this one tho! As we are expected to be at 4 above for Sunday, and falling with 12 inches of fresh wonderful clean snow! People would put the olman away for sure! Haaaahaaaa!

    Like 2
  11. Mike

    These are overdone…call WM

  12. Southbound

    The fenders need to go, its a T-Bucket after all.
    Looks like a stock GM distributor. Points are probably stuck. Fuel, Spark and compression, it will run.
    Not over carbed at all. Those are vacuum secondaries and will only open as much as the engine has airflow. I ran a tunnel ram with 2 650 Holleys on a near stock 283 and it worked fine.
    Great buy and I have always wanted one. Where I live in Florida it rains to often to get far from the house without a top.

    Like 1
  13. rbtempe

    Probably most unsafe car on the road. Try getting hit broadside in one of these.

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