Article and photos by Larry Crain
While doing a photo shoot of a private automotive collection of very diverse original, customs, classics and hot rods I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. I know a huge number of auto enthusiasts watched the TV show Home Improvement just to see what vehicles would turn up in Tim “The Toolman” Taylor’s garage or on his show “Tool Time”. The show ran from September 1991 through May 1999, and Tim Allen was just awesome in his character’s role as a guy that really wanted to be a hot rodder even though he was just a bit challenged mechanically. Over the series there were many vehicles featured, some more prominently than others, and what I saw in this private collection is supposedly one of the first vehicles to be featured on the show.
This bright red Pro Street 1923 C Cab is lettered on the sides with the words in gold that proclaim to the world “Tool Time Delivery” and the back of this hot rod has gold lettering that says “Tim Allen’s Tool Time As Seen On TV”. The unique red body is fiberglass and rides on a custom Total Performance chassis.
The motor for this beast is nothing less than a Keith Black 468 cubic inch Chevy Big Block topped off with a 2x4 tunnel ram intake and matching carbs topped off with a shotgun style air cleaner and, of course, the very necessary chromed out weed burner headers and pipes. This monster motor is backed up to a Turbo 400 transmission that kicks the power back to a Ford rear end equipped with coil overs and the mandatory wheelie bars. If you have any doubt about how fast this hot rod is the lettering on the cowl says “Gone for Parts…Back In 7 Seconds”.
The interior is definitely early 1990’s with light gold velour upholstery, a full set of AutoMeter gauges, a Hurst floor mounted console shifter and the very necessary cassette player for those years.
I could not document that this hot rod was used on the show other than what was said by the owner. This old hot rod has the early 90’s look and has the feel of something that could have been used on television as the lettering says. I would really like to hear from you readers who remember this vehicle being on the TV show during those early years when it first ran. By the way I went right to the source and posted a photo of this hot rod and the question on Tim Allen’s Facebook page asking is this the real deal? So far, no answer from the “Tool Man”.