Friday, September 16, 2016

Tom Lieb bought his 1929 Ford, this very Model A roadster, when Eisenhower was in office, it just takes a while sometimes to get around to finishing some cars

Preoccupied with college and a fledgling business that paid for it, he put off building it. And it was the right thing to do; that fledgling business grew to one of the more prominent aftermarket manufacturers, Scat Performance. 

So he put off building it some more. In fact he put it off until about 2006 or ’07 when he broached the idea again. Still loaded with obligations, he resigned to let someone else do the heavy lifting. He delivered it to SO-CAL Speed Shop

The exhaust manifolds are rare and unusual: “They came off a World War II-era landing craft,” he reveals. “I found them in New Zealand, so I put some in my suitcase and brought ’em home!”

The air filters, are just as exceptional, they’re ’28-’29 Lincoln. “They have a little impeller in there,” he explains. “The louvers direct the air to spin the impeller which throws any solids to the outside.” A trough around the bottom perimeter catches and dispenses with the debris. “There’s no element, just the turbine wheel.”

Incidentally the tank began life as a crewman’s oxygen tank from a high-altitude bomber like a B-25. Shine elongated it to take it from 7-1/2 gallons to about 12.

Believe it or not but this very engine profoundly affected on the industry. “A fella who I knew is a third-generation crankshaft manufacturer in Spain,” Lieb says. “His family made all of the crankshafts for Simca, who used Flatheads in trucks until 1972. He told me about a surplus dealer in France who had 200 of those cranks and he wanted to sell them.” So he bought the cranks and put them in the catalog.

“In the process I set aside a couple for myself,” he continues. “A couple years later I went to collect all the parts to build the engine but the cranks weren’t there!” As it turns out, the warehouse manager thought they were out of place and put them with the rest of the inventory that sold off. “‘Aw man!’ I thought. ‘Well I guess there’s only one thing to do now, make them!’” Which he did, H-beam rods included. “Now we still sell an average of two of those cranks and rod assemblies a day.”


  1. I have a car im my garage I started when I was 18.

    .....its getting there.......

    Im now 47.

    I won't have it be said that I rush my projects!

    1. wow... I'm 46, and have been through a lot of cars in those years, I never found the car I will hang onto until 2002. I don't drive it much, but I have hopes that someday I'll be able to afford to put enough money into it to make it right, my 1969 R/T. Whats your car?

  2. When I was 16, The car to own(as far as I was concerned) was a 1964 EH Holden Premier sedan. Lowered, bombed up with a couple of webers, four speed, chrome and stainless, It was to be the road racing bomb.
    I looked for two years before finding the car I wanted for next to nothing. They were always popular.

    The problem at the time was that 60's cars were cheap, and redily available. It was often cheaper to buy another, than restore the one you already had. So, I would part out some and get distracted further with others.

    Many makes and models have come and gone since. All the big brands and some small ones. V8,6, and 4 cylinders. I wanted to try them all. Webers, strombergs, holley's, there was no end in sight, I was hooked.
    Meanwhile the Holden kept waiting patiently for its turn.
    I inherit from an old friend, a 1937 Dodge Roadster Ute.
    The Holden sits.
    I buy a house.
    The Holden sits.
    I wanted a Hotrod. The A roadster was born.
    The Holden sits.
    I think you can see a pattern emerging.

    Many times I had tried to convince myself and others. I was going to sell the Holden and enjoy the space it occupied. But I fought hard to keep it this long, and there is a point of which it starts to become more a member of the family than the dust magnet in the back of the shed.
    To this day I still walk into the garage and see the Holden I wanted as a young fella, it just needs some work. It needs a little bit of the two things that never co-incide. Time and Money.
    When I had the time, I didnt have the money.
    And when making money, never had the time.

    I see red leather inside and metallic Roebuck Pearl with Fowles Ivory top outside.
    It has all the best period correct bits to make it one hell of a neat package.
    I dont see the surface rust, the shelves full of old parts, or the cob webs and flat tyres.
    I can still hear and smell what that motor wants to be.
    Its a tangable part of my past and represents another time and place.
    I don't really know how it's managed to still be here, but I dont plan to let it go anymore.
    Some times I take a cold sherbert with me and sit and look at it for a while, or dust it down once more and run my hands over it.
    I still own the Dodge, I've only had that 20 years and still not sure what to do with it. Theres some sentiment attached, but it is a bit of a basket case and we can't keep them all. Can we?
    It may have find a new home this year, or next.
    And The A completes the stable. Full fendered, red hot 360 and 727. Owes me a fortune, but I accept that its money long parted.

    They represent a lifetime of buying and selling, the people the places and the blood spilt maintaining a garage fund from retrieving old parts from rusty wrecks. All while going to university, getting married and buying a home. Not easy work on a budget of fist all and nothing.

    I have actually thought before that the Holden chose me.
    I never set out planning to keep it this long, it just kinda happened that way. Believe me, there have been others I wish I kept. '71 E49 Charger, '65 Prince Skyline GT, 350 Bathurst Monaro, or my beloved '59 pontiac! What the hell was I thinking? Why didnt I keep one of those? idiot.

    I figure, although Im reluctant to spend the night on the garage floor these days, Im not dead yet and stranger things have been known to happen. So.....

    The Holden still sits.

    And Yes, Im jelous of the R/T.
    Some times it really doesnt matter how long it takes when they just look good sitting there.

    1. wow... you should take and send in this note to a magazine, with a photo or two, and get it published for money. Try Hagerty magazine. You're right, we can't keep them all... and it sure is cool though, that you kept your Holden