Parting Shot: Tribute To Tommy Ivo’s Iconic T-Bucket

“TV Tommy” Ivo’s Ford T-Bucket is an Iconic Hot Rod … But There’s an Equally Impressive Tribute Model T Coming

By Brian Brennan

This month’s Parting Shot is looking at “TV Tommy” Ivo’s iconic T-bucket. We are fortunate to have hot rod historian extraordinaire Greg Sharp writing the historic look. It will appear in a rapidly approaching issue of Modern Rodding. To finish off the T-bucket story we have historical photos from Tommy himself.

- Advertisement -

Read More: Ford Roadster Pickup, The Forgotten Hot Rod

Now, we are also going to give you a sneak peek from Dave Rocha showing his build. It’s a tribute T-bucket that he is building that is as “correct” to the original as possible. We have been following this build for several years and Rocha is making progress, but it does take time.

Let’s take a preview of how Sharp opens the Ivo story:

- Advertisement -

“Anyone who’s been around hot rodding more than a minute knows the name ‘TV Tommy’ Ivo.  He earned the nickname by appearing in nearly 100 movies and 200 television shows. He earned the reputation by racing 36 different cars in 12 different classes over a career that spanned nearly 30 years.  He combined his show business flair with his hot-rodding talent to become “Drag Racing’s Master Showman.” It would take a book to tell the entire story and, in fact, Tom Cotter did a great job of covering the bases in a book of that very title.”

02 Here is a shot of the Ivo Model T in one of its earliest stages
You must start somewhere. Here is a shot of the Ivo Model T in one of its earliest stages.

Read More: Lil’ John Buttera, A True Innovator

“In 1956, after spotting Norm Grabowski’s Model T at the Toluca Lake Bob’s Big Boy with people three deep around it while Norm entertained the crowd, Ivo immediately thought, ‘I’ve got to have one of those!’”

Rocha, who is no stranger to hot rod building, tells us that he’s been a big fan of Tommy Ivo since 1958 and always wanted to own the famous T-bucket. Rocha was influential in the forming the Valley Roadsters in 1963 and this group ran with the L.A. and Bay Area clubs. The Valley Roadsters also joined with these other clubs in 1966 going to Bakersfield and Pismo Beach.

- Advertisement -
03 Ivo was a huge fan of drag racing to the point where he was an accomplished and highly successful Top Fuel drag racer
Coming off the line at the early Santa Ana drags. Ivo was a huge fan of drag racing to the point where he was an accomplished and highly successful drag racer, especially in the Top Fuel dragster ranks.

Next up it’s 2019 when Rocha’s friend Tony Thacker put him in touch with Tommy. It was at this point that Rocha and TV Tommy struck up a friendship and the building of the faithful tribute T-bucket was on.

Read More: 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Tudor Phaeton With ’60s Vibes

Enjoy this quick tribute to Ivo’s Ford roadster but remember this is the warm up for full coverage on Rocha’s tribute Ford Model T. MR

04 Dave Rocha a longtime hot rodder from the Northwest hard at it
Dave Rocha, a longtime hot rodder from the Northwest, hard at it. He’s fabricating his tribute T-Bucket that’s intended to be faithful to what Ivo originally built.
- Advertisement -

Related Articles

Search Our Site

More Modern Rodding

1949 Chevy Fleetline With Timeless Design

Custom Looks & Modern LS Performance By Brian Brennan   -  ...

How To Replace Upper and Lower Cowl On A Classic Car

New Sheetmetal From Auto Metal Direct For This 1964...

1932 Ford Highboy Coupe With 50s Vibe

Home-Built Hot Rod With 331 Hemi Power By Brian Brennan  ...

Rodding Around – ARP to Present Major Awards at 2023 Triple Crown of Rodding

By Brian Brennan ARP is getting into supporting the hot...

Truly Custom 1935 Chevy Coupe

Part Two: Ironworks Speed & Kustom Got It Just...

Donn Lowe’s 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

The Master Of Metal Brings Originality To The Ford...
More Modern Rodding

How To Stop Rust On a Trailer

POR-15’s Three Must Use Rust Remover Products By John Gilbert  ...

Seasoned Show Car: 1950 Mercury Custom

Kevin’s Candy Cobalt Blue 1950 Mercury Custom Has a...

Everything You Need To Know About a Ford 9 Inch Rear End

Our 1957 Ford Ranch Wagon Gets Rear End Components...

Deep Blue Bel Air With Big Block Performance

An Incomplete 1958 Chevy Bel Air Proved to be...

How To Install Firewall On A 1964 Ford Galaxie

Auto Metal Direct Supplies Replacement Firewalls For Your Classic...

Street Rod Rarity: Chevy Nomad Wagon

Jeff Calley’s ZZ4 Crate Engine Powered 1956 Chevy Nomad...