Yellow Bucket

Gillam Drive 2014 27

I was delighted to find this Ford Bucket at Gillam Drive 2014 because I knew it would allow me to say something in a positive light. I had been looking at a trend in hot rodding and did not know how to approach the topic respectfully.
Gillam Drive 2014 30

The thing is the front suspensions found in many modern rods. I am not speaking about the fully-fendered post-1948 vehicles that one sees – vehicles of all makes. The ones that hide the suspension inside – I am interested, of course, to see what has been done in these cases to restore, beef up, or replace front suspensions to cope with larger and heavier engines. I might add that my interest does not extend to the various schemes devised to jack up the fronts of low-riders.

Gillam Drive 2014 32

Well, if the thing is hidden by a lot of metal, it can be whatever it needs to be. Factory axles, wishbones, springs, air bags, lengths of railway iron or bits of 2 x 4 timber salvaged from the Bunnings off-cut sale*. It really only concerns the owner and the police licensing branch and they can fight it out between themselves. I am concerned with the open display of axles and suspension that might be seen in an open-wheeler roadster or coupe.

Gillam Drive 2014 28

I’m torn between admiration for builders who can sandwich a fighter plane engine into a Model T chassis and horror at how they do it. In particular I am sometimes dismayed at the appearance of the front suspension if it has been taken from a very much later car and clapped onto the shapely and delicate iron of a pre-40’s rod. I do understand the need to support the weight and not roll over or fracture when the car corners…but sometimes the more agricultural installations are hard on the eyes.

Gillam Drive 2014 29

Well, to put a short story long, this builder seems to have devised a very good solution to the business. Thats a big engine in there, and declares itself so – all the way to the Ford racing covers and bug collector. And it is heavy – hence the wise decision to put a wishbone suspension on rather than a thin transverse axle. But what a wise decision as well, to cover the mechanicals of that suspension in as far as possible with a fairing under the radiator grill. The fairing is deliberate and stylish and makes the front of the car look right.

Gillam Drive 2014 31

 

The interior is good – looks as comfy as a bucket can be. Wouldn’t want to be seven feet tall driving it, but then that would be a problem in my Suzuki as well. Amusing to see the break in the upholstery on the sides to suggest opening doors. No roll-down windows, however…I wonder how the driver gets any fresh air into the interior…

Gillam Drive 2014 33

 

The bed cover is interesting. I can only surmise that it was available and pressed into service. The moulding that suggests head rests may have another function of which I am unaware but at least the thing locks down and you could put your watercress sandwiches and copies of The Tatler under cover safe from interference.

  • A shameful episode from WA used-car sales history back in the 1960’s. It lead to all sorts of official notice and private nuisance.
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