2017 T-Bucket Nationals Preview: Dan Holck’s FabulousFlathead T-Bucket

Still not convinced you need to attend the 2017 T-Bucket Nationals, June 22-24 in Carson City, Nevada? How about the low-slung, supercharged flathead-powered T-Bucket built by the late Dan Holck in the 1970s! Although Dan is no longer with us, his hot rod creation is kept alive by his son Paul Holck who will be attending the 2017 T-Bucket Nationals.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck
Dan Holck’s flathead T Bucket as featured in Street Rodder, August, 1984

The first time I saw this awesome, low-slung flathead T Bucket in a magazine it blew me away. It had the coolest profile I’d seen and, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m also a big bobtail T-Bucket fan.

Dan Holck Flathead T Bucket

Neither left nor right coast, this little bomb was built by Iowan Dan Holck in the 1970s, initially with a Ford Flathead mill topped by a quartet of Ford/Holley 94s.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck

Unfortunately, I learned that Dan passed away a few years ago.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck

His 2012 obituary read, “Dan had two passions in life: building street rods and doing God’s Ministry.” In 2008 Dan entered a small car show in Monmouth, IL with his 1953 Mercury — the first car he ever owned. The local paper interviewed Dan’s wife, Mary, who commented “He jokes that he still has his first car and his first wife.”

I later saw Dan’s flathead T Bucket in Kev Elliott’s “The History of Hot Rods in 500 Photos”, a great little book I recommend because you’ll spend hours flipping and enjoying its photo-filled pages.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck

Dan Holck’s Flathead T Bucket at 2008 T-Bucket Nationals

Imagine my surprise while attending the 2008 NTBA T-Bucket Nationals in Springfield, Illinois, and actually getting to see this wonderful little hot rod up close and personal. And now, it’s even sporting an Italmeccanica/S.Co.T. supercharger.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck

What’s not to like about this build? Check out that deeply dropped I-beam front axle and the finned Buick brake drums — all chromed and set off by some beautifully chromed split wishbones.

Dan Holck Blown Flathead T-Bucket

With a near perfect profile, the ageless chrome reversed wheel rims are nicely trimmed with narrow whitewalls that are period correct for a 1970s build — and check out that tall shifter, right up there for everyone to see.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck

If there had been no other cars at the National T-Bucket Alliance’s event in Springfield, Illinois, I would have driven home a happy man.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck

The interior is just as beautiful and era correct as the exterior and with the bucket seats it even appears roomy.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck

Of course, the bucket seats are purely functional when you consider the drive shaft tunnel that’s necessary because of the deep channel job on the T-Bucket body.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck

If you look closely, you’ll see behind the seat back and the body a beautifully fashioned fuel tank that is totally unobtrusive and it appears to be fabricated to straddle the quickchange rear axle housing.

Flathead T Bucket Dan Holck

Speaking of the rear axle, there’s no better way to get the most for your investment in chrome plating than how Dan displays it from this view.

Flathead T-Bucket Dan Holck

From this rear view, the symmetry is stunning and you realize how powerful the look of carefully chosen components can be.

Flathead T-Bucket Dan Holck

After seeing a low-slung T-Bucket roadster like this, it’s only natural to ask “How can I build or buy something like it?’ One thing you can do is follow along on our series about the build of the Fox Valley Hot Rods low-slung T-Bucket.

Flathead T-Bucket Dan Holck

And, just as I saw this awesome T-Bucket at the T-Bucket Nationals you’ll want to consider attending the 2017 T-Bucket Nationals in Carson City.

(Note: We’re not the organizers of the event; we’re just happy to help promote it. For further information and all event questions please go to the helpful NTBA Event Forum.)

Follow me

Latest posts by John Morehead (see all)

13 thoughts on “2017 T-Bucket Nationals Preview: Dan Holck’s FabulousFlathead T-Bucket”

  1. Owning our own shop does have it’s advantages. We are also working on a 57 Chevy P/U 3100 series I believe big window. This one will be mine though and my daily driver when it’s done. Thank you for the pictures and the article. I was able to print it up for Paul and we will be able to hang it up. I didn’t know all this stuff so I found it very interesting. Thank you again.

    Reply
      • I’m not sure if he has any old pics of the car when his dad had it or not I’ll have to check. If I do I’ll let you know. Let me know when you decide to do an article or an update and I can always get recent pics of it and get them to you. Those pics you posted the other day are the more recent ones of the car shows here and the parades we have been in.

        Reply
  2. Is my imagination or my sheer stupidity that there appears to be no bolts holding the head in place in the first photo?

    Reply
    • Interesting observation, Bill. If you’re like me, you’re used to seeing flathead engines with big chrome acorn nuts. Dan, on the other hand, used Allen head bolts, whose height was about equal to the height of the fins on the heads and, therefore, not so visible.
      Supercharged flathead T-Bucket Dan Holck

      Reply
  3. The Speedway Motors Tribute T has caught my eye since its offering. I love this car here, digging the under car exhaust- a nice departure from the typical, and wonder if someone might write a book (e-book or otherwise) about the history of the T bucket and description of the style trends, etc.

    Reply

Leave a Comment