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Uncertain T

by Pat Ganahl

uncertaint

This crazy car is quite aptly named. In fact, I’m surprised Jay Fitzhugh didn’t include it in his list of “10 most wanted.” There seems to be a rabid, indefatigable contingent of fans who have been looking for it for the past three or four decades. They are now quite active on the Internet. The most common claim seems to be that it is in an enclosed trailer behind builder Steve Scott’s mother’s house in Reseda. But everyone who says they know where it is starts by saying they know someone, who knows someone, who—and so on. Well, I actually just talked to someone who went to high school with Steve Scott, and who recently talked to him by phone. But I’m not going to ask him to ask Steve where the T is, or where it went. He’s been bugged about it enough. In fact, I won’t even tell you where Scott is living, but I can say it’s not in North America—nowhere near Reseda.

I think one of the reasons this car continues to create so much interest is because of the model kit that was made of it, and that continues to be sold. Also, like any of Roth’s wild creations, it’s a unique vehicle that couldn’t easily be rebuilt into anything else, and would be pretty hard to make disappear. Even if it were parted out, most any of those parts would be identifiable. So where is it? I have no idea. Others are uncertain too.

Both this car and Steve Scott had a pretty brief but intense career in the hot rod world. Steve built the car by himself, welding up the frame from rectangular tubing and making the body from plywood and fiberglass, as he illustrated with his own photos in a three-page black-and-white feature in the November 1965 issue of Car Craft. Adding to this car’s mystique, the only color image is a full cover rendering with a blue see-through (or cut-away) body painted or airbrushed over a photograph of a red frame with yellow accents. But the car was never blue. It was first a dark-red candy painted by Bill Cushenbery. But when it was beaten by the Lee & Wells Continental for Best Paint at the 1965 Winternats, Scott had Junior repaint it Nutmeg Metalflake (a brown/red/gold mix), before embarking on a national show tour. Then, before it disappeared, it got painted the gold Metalflake you see in the third photo here.

Scott was also an avid photographer. He took these pictures, and also freelanced several rod features to magazines for about two years, including the photos of Bob Grossi’s T coupe in  Chapter Eleven. Not only did he pose pneumatic girls with beehive hairdos in many of his photos, he somehow included himself, as well.

I inherited some of his photography because when he quit, as abruptly as he started, he left it unclaimed. Nobody knew where to contact him, just as nobody seems to really know what happened to his Uncertain T. The last I saw of it, it was advertised for sale, with a small black-and-white photo, in the “Rod Mart” section in the back of the July–September 1967 Hot Rod, for “$7,000 or eng. $650.” An address and phone number is listed in North Hollywood, and the color is stated as “orange ’flake.” My assumption is that the car didn’t sell, and Scott painted it the gold Metalflake later.

Two things I’d guess: A car like this doesn’t just disappear, and, if it were going to show up, we’d surely have seen it by now. However, I’m  not really certain—that is, I am uncertain—of either conclusion.

 

 


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