Norm Grabowski’s “Kookie’s T” is among the most recognized hot rods ever built, and hands down, my favorite rod from Danbury Mint. And I thought that the red, white, blue and chrome scheme was just perfect for today.
I’ve had this one a while, but it’s one of those models that you never get tired of. It’s light, thanks to a fine-walled diecast body and frame, but it’s a heavyweight as far as visual impact. And I can’t think of a more in-your-face lesson on old school hot rodding than this. The paint and applied flames on the cowl are top shelf, with a fine metallic and a deep gloss. Despite a positively crunchy level of detail, the overall build and finish are up there with the best of the best – as I’ve come to expect from this company. As for finger fun, the top comes off, the wheels are poseable, and the passenger door opens – not a huge features list, but definitely in line with the real car’s stripped-down nature.
Where the model truly engages me is in all of the fine stuff. And there’s a lot of that. These guys went deep on this one; in addition to the sharp castings and great finishes on everything from the seats to the top to the outrageously well piped and plumbed ’52 Caddy engine (which builder Grabowski liberated from the family Cadillac), there’s what seems to be a couple of running feet of fine steel fuel and brake lines, deeply chromed trim bits, and just enough photo-etched steel to bring the model securely into the upper echelons of ready-to-display replicas.
Add in the screaming skull shifter, the carefully placed pinstriping, and the car’s classic rake on big-‘n’-little wide whites, and you’ve got one of the sharpest, cleanest, and most entertaining models from one of the best in the industry. Red, white, blue and chrome rocks.