It was baseball great Yogi Berra who coined the expression, “It’s déjà vu all over again”. I found myself uttering this famous Yogiism while flipping through the ad-dense back pages of the November, 2010, “Street Rodder” magazine and seeing this ad for the Baron & Tucker Hot Rods 23 ‘T’ body and chassis kits for T-Buckets.
At first, I thought, “Man, that T-Bucket photo pose looks familiar!” Upon closer scrutiny, I realized that a lot of hot rod dudes have embraced the retro look, but most reflect the clothes and hair of the 50s and 60s — not the 70s and 80s. Then, a couple other things in the ad started bringing back nostalgic images to my feeble mind: the distinctive 23 ‘T’ outline typography and the phrases “ready to bolt together”, “buy factory direct” and the call to action to send $5 for a brochure were all it took for me to start channeling Yogi to myself. “This is incredibly reminiscent of the old Bird Automotive T-Bucket ads,” I mumbled.
What’s really interesting from a T-Bucket history perspective is that back in 1980/81 Bird Automotive in Nebraska and Total Performance in Connecticut seemed to have formed an alliance whereby Bird was beginning to market the much nicer looking Total Performance T-Bucket kits. If you look closely the T-Bucket in the photos is of Total Performance, rather than Bird Automotive, design.
Anyway, it continues to get interesting today in that Baron & Tucker Hot Rods is located in the third smallest state in the U.S. which was also home to Total Performance until it was purchased by Speedway Motors. Coincidence? I’m eager to learn more about this new (to me, at least) entrant in the T-Bucket world.
Update: 1/24/11 I did learn more about Baron and Tucker and you can, too, by clicking here>
Another Update: 2/19/2011 If you’re looking to relive those nostalgic days of the Bird T-Bucket kits, you’ll be happy to know we now have available authorized reproductions of the Bird T-Bucket plans, along with a nice Bird history and copies of most of those neat Bird T-Bucket ads you used to drool over. Click here to check it out>
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