Bob Johnston’s T-Bucket, Later to Become Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Tweedy Pie: Part 1

Beyond Norm Grabowski’s “Kookie Kar”, one of my other significant influences was a short wheelbase T-bucket built by Californian Bob Johnston, which appeared on the cover of the December, 1959, issue of the “little mag”, Rodding and Restyling.

Tweedy-Pie-Rodding-Restyling Dec1959

At the time, it was flathead powered and had one of the coolest profile’s I had seen.

Tweedy Pie Johnston Roth

A few years later, Ed Roth purchased “Tweedy Pie” with 283 Chevy power and with just a few updates propelled this little T-Bucket to legendary hot rod status.

Tweedy Pie Johnston Roth

This post was originally done back in 2010, but I’m updating it with some additional pics and also because we recently published a new podcast episode about Tweedy Pie in our Hooked on T-Buckets Podcast at

Tweedy Pie T-Bucket Hot Rod

You can listen to it here>

And over 10 years ago for a little fun I put together this short video highlighting Tweedy Pie.

Thanks to the Petersen SEMA Digitization Project, there are a bunch of never-before-seen photos of Ed Roth’s Tweedy Pie in this photo gallery. Enjoy!

If that’s not enough, to learn how the Tweedy Pie T-Bucket later became 300 times more valuable, read Part 2>

John Morehead
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5 thoughts on “Bob Johnston’s T-Bucket, Later to Become Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Tweedy Pie: Part 1”

  1. I first saw “Tweedy Pie” at an outdoor car show in Long Beach California, 1958 I think it was.
    I was 15 yrs old and had customized several stock car model kits (there weren’t many available at the time). Armed with a photo I took at the show using my mother’s Kodak (no car magazines had featured this car yet) I cobbled together a 1/25 scale model using parts from other stock car kits. There were no custom car kits available at this time.
    With widened rear tires, chrome thumb tack “baby moons”, large sized pencil section for gas tank, flathead engine using thread for ignition wires, and custom mixed purple paint, the model turned out so well I put it in a shoe box and hitch-hiked to Ed Roth’s shop to show it to him.
    Roth was impressed enough to offer to paint the Tweedy Pie name on the gas tank for free (which he did) and suggested I take it to show the owner Bob Johnston. He gave me Bob’s Anaheim address and I hitched there, met Bob and shared our cars in his garage.
    Roth was very gracious to me allowing me to watch as he striped, even gave me a couple of his older brushes. After much practice I later pinstriped several local cars.
    Went off to college and returned to discover that my entire model car collection had been given away.
    But I do have the wonderful memories that for sure I made the very first model of “Tweedy Pie” before the Revell kit, and how kind and generous Ed Roth was to me when I was young.

    • Thank you Daniel for sharing your up-close-and-personal Tweedy Pie experience. Your model sounds terrific, given the ingenuity that had to be employed and the fact you got to meet and discuss Tweedy with Bob and Ed is an enviable experience. If you might have any pics still available I would love to see them and will try to update the story with them. I’m a big Tweedy Pie fan. Thanks again.

  2. Gidday Guys over the christmas break i tried to down load a couple of your e books but my computer went tits up and the time line expired so i have paid for but not recieved the downloads can you please check your system for me and let me know when i can download what i bought.
    Scott Brancourt


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