Following Rob Fortier's announcement in his "Behind The Wheel" column in the April issue that we'll be building a project T as part of the magazine's 60th anniversary, we can now bring you the news that, as he said, the build is on! As he mentioned, we're using Speedway Motors' Tribute T as the basis for our project. The first couple of shipments of parts can be seen here, laid out much like a 1:1 scale model kit, just prior to the chassis and suspension components being shipped back out for powdercoating.
The Tribute T, or any of Speedway's 1923 or 1927 T kits, is about as easy as it gets when building a hot rod, and is truly a kit, with all suspension, steering, engine, and transmission mounts already installed on the chassis. Heck, Speedway even offers a pre-bent brake line kit, though this doesn't work with the 1927 or Tribute kits. Check out the company's dedicated T-bucket catalog, which includes everything you could need, plus all the options.
The Tribute T chassis has a 10-inch kick-up in the rear, with a Model A–style rear crossmember that accepts Speedway's medium arch spring, offering clearance for a 9-inch or Winters quick-change rearend. We chose the 9-inch option, the Currie-sourced housing supplied by Speedway with all bracketry already fully welded. The front suspension uses a 4-inch dropped I-beam, split wishbone–style radius rods, and traditional steering with a drag link and tie rod, coupled with a reversed Corvair steering box. A 3-inch-diameter tubular front crossmember mounts the transverse spring suicide-style, between the radius rods. Though early style drum brakes will fit the 1937-48 Ford-style spindles, we opted to use disc brakes with GM calipers.
The chassis is offered with either Flathead Ford or small-block Chevy engine mounts, ours featuring the latter, coupled with a suitable crossmember and mount for a TH350 trans. The Tribute T body is offered in one style only, with a floor allowing the body to be channeled (unlike the Nostalgia, Basic, DeLuxe, or 1927 kits, which can be ordered channeled or un-channeled), meaning the completed car will sit lower than a Fad-style T, perfect for our pre-Fad project plans.
Those plans will be put into action just as soon as the chassis and suspension parts come back powdercoated black—meaning next month we'll start bolting our lil' T together. Stay tuned...