The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

Ken McLeod of Kathleen


“I’m not a professional car builder with a huge shop and a ton of tools. Instead, I’m just a car guy who wanted to build a true hotrod reminiscent of the Rat Fink cartoons from my childhood. It took three years to build the 1923 Ford T-Bucket in a one-car garage after the death of my sister-in-law, Lisa McMahan, who had inspired me to follow my dream. I did most of the work by myself, except for the paint and the top padding on the interior. In my vision, I wanted the car to be Mountain Dew green with purple flames in honor of Lisa. So Jeff Smith, of Jeff’s Paint & Body in Lakeland, laid down the House of Kolor pagan green paint with passion pearl flames on the Total Performance body. Emo's Upholstery finished the top of the seat and door panels.

“The T-Bucket is powered by a Chevrolet 350 bored .030, with Dart Pro 1 heads, Scat rotating assembly, Crane roller cam, and topped off with a Dyers 6-71 blower and dual Holley 600 CFM blower carbs; making eight pounds of boost and 600 plus horsepower on Sunoco 110 racing fuel. That power goes through a Hughes Performance TH350 automatic with a Lokar 32-inch radical shifter to a Ford 8-inch rear end with Richmond 3.55 gears and Currie axles. The four-wheel disc-brakes are from Wilwood. The front wheels are Dayton 16-inch chrome-laced spindle mounts wrapped with 4.60-16 motorcycle tires and 15x14 Billet Specialties street lite wheels with 31x18 Mickey Thompson sportsman S/R radials on the rear.

“It's a pure adrenaline rush to drive. As Tim ‘the tool man’ Taylor used to say, “It's really not yours useless you build it with your own two hands.”