If imitation is the highest form of flattery this painstakingly precise tribute build is adulation, admiration and a standing ovation all crafted into one of the most famous and mysterious rides from the Golden Days of Hot Rodding. It was the Hot Rod that launched a thousand day dreams and it’s undeniable that tribute to the celebrated Uncertain “T” pays loving homage to the original.
The original T-Bucket came from the fertile mind and talented hands of Steve Scott. The teenage Scott believed that “if you can think of something, you can create it.” When he saw a classmate’s cartoon he found his passion and at the ripe old age of 17 create it he did. Five years of wrenching in his parents garage resulted in one the most illustrious well known rods rolling. Car Craft magazine described it as a “A real bent out of shape show stopper!” The original was indeed a show stopper and then some. Even beating out George Barris and his well known “A La Kart” for the prestigious Special Sweepstakes Award at the 1965 Winternationals.
The Uncertain “T” gained even further acclaim after it became one of the most popular model cars ever produced. Nonetheless, the influential career of Steve and his “T” were short lived. In the late 60’s both car and creator disappeared into urban legend ether. Fast forward several decades and enter a Kiwi named Martin Bennett. He got the inspiration to create this tribute after he put together the model of the original Uncertain “T”. Bennett took the model to a local woodworker and together they determined they could build the body 24 times larger than the model. And then, some 6,700 miles away in the Southern Hemisphere the 1923 Ford Model T slowly came to life.
Completed in 2019, the car made its debut at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. We caught up with this Candy Tangerine/Gold Flaked coated rod at the Grand National Roadster Show where it was as much of a show stopper as the original was.
While the original sported a 1957 Buick 384 Nailhead between the rails, Mr. Bennett’s “T” sports a 1963 Buick 401 Nailhead. The power plant is augmented with a Hilborn Injection, Roller Rockers Performance Cam ported heads, Holley EFI, Hunts MSD magneto and Moon Dress-up gear. 727 Torque Flight, 2400 stall converter. A Winters V8 Quickchange with a 3.70 ratio and finally, the steering is Fiat/Pinto rack and pinion.
Mike Gibson Upholstery of Cambridge, NZ was the stitching wizard behind the immaculate interior. Jaz antique leather seats and Stewart Warner ‘60s-style gauges complete the look.
The custom-built body sits on a 75 x 50 RHS chassis. Schroeder custom torsion bars in the front and inverted leaf springs in the rear. The hefty meats in the rear are Radir Piecrust 12 x 16 tires with custom 16 x 12 E/T rims. Up front are Kenda 3.00 x 16 tires with Italian made Borrani wire wheels.
Make no mistake, the Uncertain “T” Tribute definitely hit all the marks!
No ifs ands or buts about it, our friends in New Zealand sure know how to build a Hot Rod. By the by, it’s street legal.
Check out Mr. Bennett’s home club Stragglers Rod & Kustom Club. The Kats in New Zealand, sure know how to celebrate Hot Rodding.
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Thank you Kustomrama for the historic pics.
Till the next time – Keep on Kruzin!