Ron Bychowski wanted to own something different than everyone else. On June 17, 1990, he purchased his 1924 Ford T-Bucket after saving up from bailing hay and selling livestock in the 4-H and FFA. As the third owner, it was originally built around 1969. He has still never seen anything else quite like it. The body was painted the color it is now in 1988. At night, the pipes glow red and about 10″ of blue flame comes out of the side pipes.
After a few too many wheelies, he experienced a crack in the frame in 1997. This problem combined with mechanical issues, buying a house, getting married and beginning a family led to Ron parking the car in storage. With all the memories cruising around, he knew he couldn’t let this car go.
In 2013, his car was being stored in a barn at his work. His then eight-year-old daughter, Emily, stumbled upon it and picked up the cover to see what was underneath. Her eyes lit up and she said “Wow! Cool car who owns it?”. It brought a smile to Ron’s face as he told her that it was his. She wouldn’t back off on the car, so that weekend he caved in and they loaded it up and hauled it home. They started cleaning, rebuilt the carbs, and put in a new fuel pump. She fired right up! This happened to be two weeks before the Turning Back Time Car Show in Sycamore, Illinois. Emily was so excited and insisted that they take it to the show. Ron was a bit hesitant, as the motor smoked bad, the brakes were questionable and the transmission was slipping a bit. None the less, they went to the show and had a great time! After this, there was no stopping either of them.
That winter, they took the car apart and decided that if this is going to be done, it will be done the best they can. They stretched out the frame three and a half inches in the front to add more room for the cooling fan. Because of the few too many wheelies in the past, they strengthened the front axle mounts. They also switched to friction shocks on the front, which cleaned up the front end and increased travel for those landings. He dropped the front axle another inch to six inches and added new Ford spindles with Wildwood single-piston calipers and Radir Spindle Mount 18×3 wheels. The front tires are 3.60×18 motorcycle tires. The back wheels were then upgraded to Rocket Injector 15×10 wheels and Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro 28×12.5 LT tires to make sure that they have plenty of grip. The motor is a Chevrolet 283 bored 40 over with Powerpack heads lightly ported and matched to the Edelbrock XC 8 intake. They started to reassemble the whole thing while Emily helped pick out parts and learned how to assemble as much as she could. In 2017, the car makes its debut at the Turning Back Time Car Show again looking better than ever with Emily by his side.
This past winter they decided to do some more upgrades, which included replating the taillights and gas pedal. The biggest change was a brand-new set of AutoMeter Custom Shop gauges. The dash was designed by Ron and Emily and is made of highly figured walnut, which looks like it is flaming as your angle changes. The shift knob and headlight knob are made from mahogany and the shift plate is made from the same walnut. “I can’t say enough about how much I love these gauges. The presentation when you open the box for the first time is awesome which only inspired our creativity even more!” says Ron.
This year, they are turning even more heads and going to multiple shows nearly every weekend. “The best part of all is the quality time that my daughter and I get to spend with each other and knowing that she loves this car as much as I do. It’s all because I never gave up on a dream and she was just the right person to give me a push,” says Ron. “In the past 29 years lots of things have happened and who knows what the future holds. But the one thing that is for sure is there are lots more memories to come!”
1924 Ford T-Bucket
- Stretched out the frame three and a half inches in the front to add more room for the cooling fan
- Strengthened the front axle mounts
- Switched to friction shocks on the front
- Dropped the front axle another inch to six inches
- Added new Ford spindles
- Wildwood Single Piston Calipers
- Front Wheels: Radir Spindle Mount 18×3 Wheels
- Front tires: 3.60×18 Motorcycle tires
- Rear Wheels: Rocket Injector 15×10 Wheels
- Rear Tires: Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro 28×12.5 LT Tires
- Chevrolet 283 bored 40 over
- Powerpack heads lightly ported
- Edelbrock XC 8 intake
- High-volume high-pressure oil pump
- MSD Digital E-Curve Distributor
- Full Roller Rockers finned cast aluminum oil pan
- PML Chevrolet script valve covers
- Holley 600 cfm 4160 carbs
- Lunati Voodoo cam
- GM TH350 Transmission rebuilt with a mild shift kit and a new 2600 stall torque converter
- Regeared the Ford 8″ rearend to 3.80
- Lots of chrome plating and endless hours of polishing stainless-steel Allen bolts
- Brass radiator with wings and working moto meter
- New wiring
- AutoMeter Custom Shop Gauges