1931 Ford Model A Roadster
Norm Grabowski's take on the T-Bucket, built in 1957, is what most
people today consider the definitive hot rod. While Kraft was
responsible for the rail job concept, Grabowski refined it into
something beautiful and iconic. In this car, you can see the
genesis of many of our most classic hot rod styling cues. An
exposed V-8 engine and headers, fenderless steel wheels with
dog-dish hubcaps, a rakish stance, multiple carburetors, chrome
everywhere and of course - side pipes. This was Grabowski's
personal car, but it got its unusual name on its rise to fame.
Shortly after it was built, someone from Warner Brothers saw the
car cruising around Southern California. They paid Grabowski the
princely sum of $50 a day to borrow his car, which would serve as
the signature ride of Edd "Kookie" Burns on their detective drama
77 Sunset Strip. The Kookie Kar, as it came to be known, quickly
became a fan favorite, and helped to spread California hot rod
style nationwide. Pretty soon, everyone was cloning The Kookie Car,
and stripped-down, chromed-out T-Buckets became the performance
cars of their day. From then on, those early T-Buckets would remain
the standard against which all future hot rods would be judged.
For consignment the quintessential Kookie Car all steel custom
built hot rod that covers all the bases to be an actual real iconic
hot rod. Open fender less wheels covered with moon caps, wide open
oversized engine with big exposed pipes, a chopped top, "rail job"
framed and lots of louvers and a custom roadster top and we give
you shades of Norm Grabowski in this 1931 wild ride all slapped
together with ole Henry's steel from 1931.
All bathed in satin black paint this car sports an all steel body!
A custom fabricated hood scoop is riveted to the hood, and the
radiator surround has been blackened. A single large round
headlight in a chromed casing flanks the radiator and chromed
suspension is hanging out for all to see. On the back the curved
rear dives downward to the tail of the car which has shaved bumpers
and fenders no longer. Dual u shaped roll bars, (for decoration
only), are welded into the frame just behind the rear of the top,
and when up or down definitely add some nice aesthetics. 15 inch
red painted steel wheels sport shiny moon caps and are surrounded
by wide whites and good rubber all around.
A swing of the shaved doors and we are greeted with red vinyl tuck
and roll door panels. Black vinyl covered bomber styled buckets
take up the interior and have back padding on the seats and wrap
around arms integrated into them. In the center, a tall Lokar shift
lever with a black leather boot rises proudly from the hump. The
red painted metal dash has some black textured applique to add
contrast and there are dual paint can shaped fabricated gauge
holders protruding from the dash and also painted red. A sleek
steering column emanates from the floor and is topped by a black
padded rally style steering wheel. In the center is a
stainless-steel cup holder and a wood custom console for extra
storage between the seats. A shout out to the trunk which is also
in perfect condition with red tuck and roll vinyl and some texture
paint in speckled charcoal coloring.
Within the open engine bay is now a 305ci V8. It is fed by a
4-barrel Holley carburetor along with an Edelbrock onto manifold.
On back is a TH350 3-speed automatic coupled with a Ford 8-inch
rear. Headers with sealed side pipes that have been diverted to the
underside and a rear dual exit with glass pack mufflers. On the
very top of this mill is a large scoop to funnel more air into this
A rail frame and solid dirt-free underbelly are all clean and
painted black. The dual exhaust snakes rearward passing all this
clean structurally sound steel. Upfront a chromed dropped axle has
a transverse leaf spring and on back there are ladder bars with
coil overs. Disc brakes are on for the front and drums for the
Slipping into this work of hot rod art, it lit up with a thunderous
roar, and it was off to the test track to make some noise. And
indeed, it did, with plenty of smooth acceleration, good solid
braking and fine cornering. It was a pretty comfortable ride and an
easy driver. All working save for the gas gauge, and all good for
rad retro rod.
We see lots of hot rods come through our doors, but very few
emulate the original essence of the hot rod like this car does. It
truly checks all the Norm Grabowski boxes, genderless open cowl
side piped racer. Drop the hanky and we're off like a prom dress!
Bombs Away! Yikes...
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle
barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown,
Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia
on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is
www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914.
Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the
vehicle in person.