Hot Rod Santa and How He Built His T-Bucket Sleigh

Hot Rod Santa and His T-Bucket Sleigh

hot rod santa butch reeves

Santa T-Bucket Hot Rod Sleigh

Hot Rod Santa T-Bucket Sleigh

Hot Rod Santa faced global population explosion and the escalating costs of reindeer food so he turned to Chester Greenhalgh-like T-Bucket hot rod ingenuity for a better way to serve his billions of little customers.

Santa's T-Bucket Hot Rod Roadster Sleigh

This 400+ horse open sleigh was built by Russian artisans using only the highest quality Canadian Maple for the body.

Santa's T-Bucket Hot Rod Sleigh

With a dual-quad, tunnel ram-fed small block Chevy for power this T-Bucket sleigh was designed to leave Rudolph and his eight friends behind in the snowflakes.

Santa's T-Bucket Hot Rod Sleigh

Hot Rod Santa is T-Bucket Inspired

And, Santa’s Express features such standard T-Bucket features as carriage lamps (but, of course), a matching metalflake steering wheel and chromed differential cover.

Hot Rod Santa T-Bucket Sleigh

The plush interior is in keeping with T-Bucket hot rods past, like Marty Hollmann’s.

Hot Rod Santa T-Bucket Sleigh

It even features a tall shifter undoubtedly inspired by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth‘s weirdo cartoon character cars.

Hot Rod Santa T-Bucket Sleigh

In actuality, this Hot Rod Santa sleigh was built by Butch and Tina Reeves in a span of just over two weeks before Christmas back in 2002.

Hot Rod Santa Holiday T-Bucket (9)

They used it around St. Louis for charity events to make children happy like the ones at Ronald McDonald House. According to Butch, “It was thrown together out of a lot used parts. We loved building it and we still love the car.”

Hot Rod Santa Holiday T-Bucket (56)

It was sold on eBay in October, 2010, for $12,000 — a bargain if you not only enjoy leading the annual Christmas parade, but also bringing joy to the heart of every youngster who sees it.

Author Details
My grandparents subscribed to Life Magazine and I would look through each new weekly issue when I visited them. In the Spring of 1957, my 8 year old eyes were transfixed on a full page photo of Southern California rod builder Norm Grabowski chowing down on a car hop-delivered cheeseburger while seated with a buddy in the coolest car I had ever seen! The flames were awesome and the Cadillac engine hanging out there for all to see was mind-boggling. Contrary to popular misconception, the photo of Norm in what would shortly become known as the “Kookie Kar” was not on the cover. Rather, it was part of a Photographic Essay titled, “The drag racing rage: hot rodders grow in numbers but the road to respectability is a rough one.” Wow! A radically cool looking car that’s also part of an outlaw movement — I was hooked. About a year later, I was able to feed my appetite for more of this fascinating rod that started what would later become known as the T-bucket movement. Warner Brothers introduced the detective TV drama, 77 Sunset Strip, which ran for six seasons and featured car valet Edd “Kookie” Byrnes whose personal car in the show was Norm’s hot rod that had been rented out to the producers for $50 per day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in every episode, but I became an avid fan always hoping to catch a glimpse. The T-Bucket fire still burns strong.

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