The 23 Ford Model T roadster that Adam Lucier built is the perfect example of how dramatically different a T-Bucket can be when careful attention and planning are done in terms of unique details. This is a T-Bucket that is distinctively different, yet it is pretty straightforward in its construction. What makes it a real winner is that just about anyone can look at it and say to themselves, “yep, I could build one like that”. And that would be true if you also had Adam’s eye for detail and his builder’s insights that can pull together just the right elements into a truly crowd-favorite T-Bucket roadster.
Since first seeing this 23 Ford Model T roadster I wanted to cover it for all the T-Bucket fanatics here, but this was a car worthy of a truly detailed story. There’s just so much to show and tell: the interior, the louvers, the grille, the wheel and tire combo, the unique paint finish and lovely striping. Fortunately, it has already been done by a talented automotive journalist and photographer, Lindsey Fisher. Lindsey did a great story about Adam’s T for the excellent online journal, Rod Authority.
Rod Authority has been generous in granting us permission to share Lindsey’s story and photos with our readers at TBucketPlans.com. In turn, we hope you’ll also give Rod Authority a visit, if you’re not already a loyal follower.
And as an introduction to Lindsey Fisher’s story, you should know that Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles – she’s owned and driven it all. When she’s not busy writing about them, she’s out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn’t love a tech-savvy gal that knows her way around a garage?
Adam Lucier’s Completely Custom 23 Ford Model T Roadster
By Lindsey Fisher, Rod Authority
Behind the build of every custom ride there is a story, especially for those individuals who have poured blood, sweat, and tears into making a ride into their very own custom piece of art. For some, it’s deeper than that. Not only is building a classic hot rod a passion; it is a way of life. For Fort Collins, Colorado’s Adam Lucier, this is certainly the case.
Owner of famed Newstalgia Hot Rods and Custom Paint, Lucier has not only made a career out of his passion, but lives it every single day- from his closest friends to his leisurely activities. Of course, he also lives it through his rides; a 1953 Ford and this magnificent ’23 Ford Model T Roadster!
A Passion of Generations
Lucier is just a young buck in the hot rod industry at 31 years old, but his work, passion, and mindset all stem from a different era–that of his grandfather’s generation.
“I have been into hot rods and kustoms since I was little and growing up around my grandpa, who restored old cars maybe since I was about 10,” Lucier told us. “[I really] got started while in high school. My shop teacher Mr. Neil Carroll got me a job in a hot rod shop and that was it for me.”
Over the years, inspiration for Lucier’s custom creations came not only from his schooling at Wyotech and personal hot rod shop experience, but also from his family. In fact, the 1953 Ford Lucier has, complete with his own finishing touches of course, was actually his grandfather’s originally.
In 2004, the inspiration for the T came about while Lucier was working for Squeeg’s Kustoms.
“The build started as an idea from my old boss Doug Jerger from Squeeg’s Kustoms,” Lucier explained.
“He told me to build a hot rod that was affordable so I had something to cruise in, and this is what we all came up with–a low slung T-Bucket with a wild color, but still maintaining the traditional show rod look.”
The idea quickly branched into a project–one which Lucier said he took on particularly to learn new things and work with his dad on.
“I really like building things with my own two hands,” Lucier explained. “Also, I like to see people’s reactions when they see their cars for the first time,” he added of his work done for customers since.
Every Little Detail
With affordability in mind, Lucier started by crafting a custom frame for his 23 Ford Model T roadster project car and fitting it with a reproduction body from Speedway Motors, which he channeled himself. Added to the back of the vehicle was a handmade bed with louvers while a custom grille with a chopped shell, Lucier’s favorite feature on his hot rod, was fitted to the front of the roadster, giving the Bucket T its unique look.
“[I] learned how to TIG weld while building the car,” Lucier told us.
“[I] learned a lot about what not to do!”
Now, this custom creation is topped off with a custom paint scheme made up of a R-M Diamont custom mixed Silver Micro Flake base and a custom mixed Green/Gold Candy color.
This is accented with a Pearl White underbody and firewall, as well as custom pinstriping from Lil Dame Pinstriping.
The color scheme is continued into the interior of the 23 Ford Model T, intertwined in the custom seats, door panels, and even the shifter boot.
Demanding just as much attention is the custom dash, complete with Classic Instruments gauges and a “Mustache Rides” pinhead converted to a gauge adornment. The only stereo Lucier needs is the rumble from the engine and the wind screaming by.
Under the body you’ll find a 6-inch dropped tube axle with transverse leaf springs mounted behind in the rear. Up front, what started out as a traverse leaf spring setup as well has since been converted to a coilover suspension system. The shocks on all four corners are Friction-style, while the steering is taken care of by a Vega box.
Giving the 23 Ford Model T Bucket plenty of pavement-gripping power are Coker bias-ply tires wrapped around similarly branded 15-inch reverse chrome wheels, which also carry the T-Bucket’s unique color scheme. Stopping power for this micro rod comes from stout Wilwood discs on all four corners.
Prominently displayed out front and just as unique as the rest of the 23 Ford Model T is the classic 1968 Ford 347 ci engine hovering between the front frame rails. Bored .040 over with balanced stock internals, this engine features ported and polished heads, a Mallory ignition, Mooneyes manifold, and a flat tappet camshaft from Comp Cams. Sitting atop the Ford powerplant are three Stromberg carburetors.
Backing the 347 ci is a Ford C4 transmission, controlled by a Gennie Swan shifter, which is tied to a custom driveline. From the driveline, the transmission spins the T’s power through a Ford 9-inch rearend on its way to the pavement.
“I would make the frame about a foot longer so I could run a mechanical fan,” Lucier explained when posed the question on what he’d change on his ride if he ever rebuilt it. “And I would put drum brakes up front.” Aside from that, it’s good as gold!
A Hot Rod Epilogue
Since completing the lightweight 1,400lb street rod in 2006, Lucier has taken it to numerous shows with much success in the awards circle. Topping the list of awards this special hot rod has taken home over the years include Best Paint, a Goodguys Suede and Chrome award and the honor of being named the Goodguys Terrific T.
Associated with the Crossthreaders of Fort Collins, Lucier plans to continue to take his ride to shows all over the Front Range, as well as use it as a fun cruiser.
“The car has been a huge inspiration for me to open my shop Newstalgia Hot Rods and Custom Paint, where we do everything from chassis, to custom sheet metal work, and of course award-winning paint work,” Lucier told us.
For the inspiration and support along the way, Lucier would like to thank his mom, dad, and grandfather Howie.
For more photos of Lucier’s amazing custom 23 Ford Model T Bucket, be sure to check out Rod Authority’s Photo Gallery below!
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4 thoughts on “23 Ford Model T Roadster of Adam Lucier”
One thing I have noticed on many front ends where the spring attaches to the frame is that some people are putting the bolt up from below with the nut on top. It is hard to tell by the photos on this T but it is in my opinion an unsafe practise. If the nut comes off the bolt would drop out. Sure there are 4 bolts on these cars but one less might be a concern. I am using my experience from rebuilding aircraft where all the bolts heads are on top or more commonly facing forward with the threads facing rearward.. If the nut comes off the bolt would stay in place from either gravity or air rushing over the bracket. Small point perhaps but I must say having beautiful stainless acorn nuts on top of the spring mount does look cool. No doubt this particular T is a beauty and it caught my eye right away.
That’s a good observation, Bill. Front spring mounting is something that’s been debated over time. One factor to consider, though, in Adam’s spring mounting is that it’s mounted using U-bolts from under the spring. So, if a nut did come loose there is some redundancy. A related topic is whether to mount the spring under or over the spring perch. Most seem to have the spring under the perch. I particularly like how they do it in the California Custom Roadsters T-Bucket plans by mounting the spring on top of the perch. To me, it’s a more pleasing look — especially with a chromed spring. No matter which way you go, though, the important point is the use of U-bolts.
I wonder how the shock arm is attached. It appears to share the radius rod mount, which would give some binding as the shock arm and radius rod move thru different arcs.
Good catch, Kerry! You’re right about that, but maybe any kind of damping is better than none 😉