Cape Gazette

Ellsworth building world's largest T-Bucket

By Dennis Forney | Jul 02, 2014
Photo by: Dennis Forney John takes a break in the shade behind his shop. "The key to happiness is slow."

Lewes blacksmith John Ellsworth took a break yesterday afternoon on a hot summer's day.  He was working on the grill of an old tractor he calls "The Secretary."

"When the Captain (Speed Lackhove) and I first formed the Tomato Alley Collectors' Association, we needed a secretary to write down on the paperwork. We had this Alice Chalmers tractor in our collection so we put Alice down as our secretary."

When Ellsworth isn't putting the secretary back into running condition, he turns his mechanical efforts to what he calls the world's largest T-Bucket.

"T-Buckets were the hot rods and the dune buggies of the 1940s and 1950s. [They were typically built using Model T-Ford vehicles of the 1915-1927 vintage.]   They were a lot smaller than this one.  Ours (it's a collaboration with brother Will) is being built with the frame and engine of a 1938 American LaFrance fire engine.  Three carburetors, 12 cylinders, 24 spark plugs and some pretty serious tires and wheels."

He might have the mighty T-bucket ready for the 2014 Lewes Christmas parade.

"She'll be Candy Apple Red."

They say the more active the mind, the more the need for play.  Based on his love for making toys - big ones - John's mind stays real active with real big ideas.

Here's the T-Bucket John's working on.
Here's the look he's after.
Here's the 12-cylinder engine with its 24 spark plugs and three carburetors.
And here's the secretary, awaiting the grill John was working on, in the heat of the sun, on the first day of July, in the year of our Lord 2014.
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