Frequently Asked Questions about

Steve Scott’s Radical Hot Rod Creation

“The Uncertain-T”

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I’m going to post and update Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the answers

here when it seems right. If you have a burning question that you haven’t found

the answer to yet, either send me an email with your question here:

or post it on my Facebook website here:

Mail: from the FAQ page

The first, and most asked question of course is… Where is “The Uncertain-T” now, do I still own it, and what condition is it in?  A friend of mine acquired “The Uncertain-T” back in the early 80's during one of the MANY very difficult times in my life. He was supposed to be restoring it, but he’s a very busy guy in the automotive world and that hasn’t happened. He’s confirmed that it’s in very good condition, stored in the barn at his home and vineyard in Northern California. His name, where he lives, his phone number, etc. are all very confidential.

Do you still have the rear slicks and mag wheels that were on it when it was first built and shown?

No, I don’t, and I can’t remember what I did with them. I’ll update this if and when I ever remember.

What are the colors that “The Uncertain-T” has been?  I first had Bill Cushenberry paint it at the recommendation of several people, and by his reputation. When he came to pick up the body, he asked what color I want it. I still hadn’t decided! He said to leave it up to him. I said okay... but when he brought it back several days later, it was a dark, bluish candy apple red that I didn’t like at all, with vertical sections that started at the top of the back corners and went down to the bottom of the back, with a thin line, then a thick line around it. To the best of my recollection, the color or colors inside these panels were darker and lighter gradient blends. Whatever it was, I REALLY didn’t like it at all. Don’t get me wrong... it was a spectacular paint job… just totally not my thing. And no, I don't have any photos of the original dark candy red color. It was that color for only a few days, and never was on the chassis.

I IMMEDIATELY started calling around again, and this time the unanimous favorite was Junior, of Junior’s House of Color. I called and told him what I was building and who I was and he drove out right away. When he saw the body, his face lit up. He said that he had a gorgeous new color that will be just right for it. This time, I asked him to describe it to me. I REALLY liked what he had to say. They took it away, and brought it back in about a week. It was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! It was the metalflake tangerine orange that it was in every car show, with like 30 coats of clear... it looked like you could reach into it!

A few years later, I let a good friend borrow the T for several months to display it in front of his little speed shop in Van Nuys, California. He took very good care of it. A few guys have told me that they not only remember it being there, but that they often went to look at it. Summers were usually VERY hot in the San Fernando Valley. After a while he noticed a couple of small blisters on the back of the body on the right side a bit below the rear window… then more spots! It had to be repainted! I don’t remember if I had it repainted, or if my friend did, but I certainly would not have had it repainted the greenish gold that it is in a few photos. Most likely my friend felt so bad about it sitting in front of his speed shop in the intense sun and heat, which was most likely a major factor causing the blistering… that he had it repainted. If I had it repainted, I would have had Junior paint it the same gorgeous tangerine orange metalflake again!

Will Monogram ever re-release their model kit?  No, absolutely not… for several reasons. As I was told several times, and as many other people have been told through the years, that the tooling was “scrapped” many years ago… even though it was our verbal agreement / contract that I could buy the tooling if they ever stopped producing it! After they SOLD OUT to big Detroit money and started focusing on muscle cars, they discontinued the kit WAY too soon.  I called many times, every couple of months, and was told each time that the unused tooling wasn’t available for sale “yet”. Then… I was told that it was “scrapped”! Not nice at all! It doesn’t bother me at all that Monogram no longer exists.

They also mistreated me in other ways that made me not want to talk to them if they ever happen to contact me about reproducing it again… something that never happened. They paid me to put together a package of everything they needed to make the tooling and the packaging, thereby saving them A LOT of development cost! I paid a draftsman to measure everything and make a complete set of plans / blueprints. I sent MY plans to them, with MY copyright notice all over them, along with several photos for reference, copy (words) for the box, instructions, etc… AND ALL the very high quality, COPYRIGHTED color transparencies of the car that I took, that were used on the boxes! They should have paid me A LOT more just for the use of MY color transparencies that they used on the boxes! Everything was MINE that I LOANED to them. It was ALL supposed to be returned to me after the kit was produced. This DID NOT HAPPEN!

WORSE… several years ago, a hobby store owner was selling three of MY COPYRIGHTED black and white photos on eBay that I LOANED to Monogram!  He even stated in his eBay description that a friend acquired them while he was working at Monogram! I wrote to him and told him that they were my property, that however he acquired them… they were stolen! He didn’t care. I had to pay him $20 for them! Yes, he will have a nice write-up on my website one of these days, and most definitely in my book! The color transparencies have not turned up. If anybody knows anything about the whereabouts of my other black and white photos, color transparencies, copyrighted plans / blueprints, etc.; please let me know.

On a much brighter note… I’m working on producing a MY OWN much better, “All New And Improved”, new kit! Go here to learn about it:

Even better news! Since Monogram developed and produced their Uncertain-T model kit using MY very detailed and COPYRIGHTED blueprints / plans that I LOANED to them… which they never returned to me… then abruptly stopped producing the kit… MUCH sooner than they should have… and soon scrapped the tooling which they PROMISED to sell to me, I consider that I will be keeping their promise for them by making MY OWN tooling to exactly reproduce the original kit. Whatever copyrights they had, they transferred back to me when they didn’t honor the verbal contract with me to sell the tooling to me!

Many have asked: Was the classified ad that was in the

HOT ROD MART section of the July 1967 issue of Hot

Rod Magazine for real?

It said that "The Uncertain-T" was for sale for the ridiculously

low price of only $7000.

No… it most certainly was not for real!  It was a prank, or

worse. I did not place the ad. That was my address at the

time, but everybody must have guessed that it wasn’t real,

because I never received ANY replies at all.

I had my thoughts at the time who placed it, and many

who have asked me about this on my Facebook website

have told me the same person… without me telling them

who I thought did it. We’ll never know, though… will we :)

What’s your guess for who did it?

There were reports of “The Uncertain-T” being painted

gold metalflake, and in Reseda, California. Are these true?

No. The only time it was in Reseda was at my home, Southwest of Roscoe and Reseda Blvd., when I was building it. It also was never gold metalflake. It was a candy lime greenish gold as explained above. After he acquired it. He lived in Tarzana, California, just South of Reseda. Maybe this is what started the rumors.

Was the cartoon, “How’s that for brakes?”,

that ran in the November 1965 issue of

Car Craft the one that inspired you to build

"The Uncertain-T”?

No, it’s the other way around. The fact that

my hot rod, “The Uncertain-T”, was on the

cover and featured in that same issue, is

what inspired the cartoon to be drawn to

go along with the story.

As I remember, the cartoon that a classmate

drew in our experimental physics class in high

school of a wild Model T hot rod was a ¾ front

view. What I immediately saw in my mind was

similar, but very different… and very much

like “The Uncertain-T” turned out.

I had been going to car shows for many years,

and subscribed to several hot rodding magazines,

and I had very definite ideas about what features I liked and didn’t like. Every time I saw something that didn’t appeal to me, I redesigned it in my mind the way that I thought it should be, and could be, to look much better. When I saw the cartoon, and everybody in our advanced experimental physics class said that something like that couldn’t be built, and I said that if you can think of it, you can create it, I realized that it was an opportunity for me to improve on many of the features of most hot rods that I thought could, and should, be much better; and to build a hot rod like no other before it! As the saying goes… “the rest is history”.

Is there any video of The Uncertain-T?  Unfortunately there is no video that I'm aware of. Someone told me they saw it in a drag racing video of The 1965 Bakersfield Fuel and Gas Championships when I raced down the track to pick up Don Garlits after he won Top Fuel, but nobody could tell me which video it was, or how to get it. A very good friend finally found it and sent it to me, but it’s only a 3 second clip.

How user-friendly was the Hilborn fuel injection?  Very friendly, I’m glad to say. When I was ready to start the engine for the first time and do the first test drive, I took it to Hilborn for them to flow test and calibrate it, and told them everything about the engine and how I would be using the T. When I got it back and double-checked everything, then turned the key, it fired up immediately! It always started right away, and always performed flawlessly. Thank you Hilborn!

Why did you disappear?  I didn’t “disappear”, and I didn’t “hide”. After all that I had

experienced dealing with automotive industry people while building “The Uncertain-T”,

then show producers, and too many jealous car owners while going to car shows, then

dealing with the inner workings of the automotive industry and unsavory elements,

about and in the magazine publishing and distributing world… even though I had met

many very fine people along the way… I had encountered so many unpleasant people,

and so many unpleasant, negative, even bordering on evil people and companies; that

one day driving home from my job at Petersen Publishing Company… I suddenly, and

very noticeably, totally lost all interest in anything to do with the automotive world. I

didn't “decide” to have this happen… it just happened. It was like the channel on a TV

just changed while I was watching a program that up until that moment was everything

I had lived for! I was left with a total understanding of what had happened, and why

and no desire whatsoever to try to change the channel back. I knew that even if I had tried to change the channel back… the program wouldn’t be there. I gave notice the next day that I was quitting, and from that moment on I just simply went about my life with very different interests and focus.

I still love “The Uncertain-T”! I poured my heart and soul and sweat and tears into creating it… every little bit of it… all by myself! More than sharing the “T” with hot rod enthusiasts, and old goats like me who remember what it did to and for them the first time around, I deeply want to take it to shows and other events again to do the same thing that I did the first time… to watch for that “look” in the eyes of young visitors, and spend time sincerely talking to them, and imparting with them the principals that drove me while creating it… that if you can dream of something… you can create it! To believe that nothing is impossible! If something is worth doing… it’s worth doing right! And more than anything else… ALWAYS treat everybody, and everything, with kindness, understanding and respect! You know who you are that I talked to the first time around back then… because so many of you have told me that you still remember almost my every word, and that you based your life upon what we talked about. Thank you my friends! I look forward to talking with you again…

How did you come up with the name, “The Uncertain-T”?  I had been trying to come up with a REALLY good name for it right from the very beginning… from when I was driving home from school to draw it on the wall of our little garage to figure out what I needed to do to build it. Since I still hadn’t come up with a PERFECT name for it, I put a sign on the wall of the BIG extension that I had built onto the back of our little garage for building my hot rod creation… I can see it in my mind. On it I offered $50 to whoever came up with a name that I used. Back then, $50 was a lot of money… it sure was to me!

It had to be sometime in the 3rd year of construction because after I had written to Revell, Monogram and a few others, Revell sent a very nice young product development guy out to see the progress every couple of months or so. I can’t remember if he came up with his suggestion when he first saw the sign, or after thinking about it and told me on a subsequent visit. I can’t remember for sure if he said, “Certain T”, or “Most Certain T”, but I DO remember that I instantly turned it into “The Uncertain-T”! I told him that since he came up with half of the name for me, he deserved half of the prize. He agreed, and I paid him $25 right then. That young product development guy is the famous car model innovator, Jim Keeler!

Am I planning on showing the T again, and if so will I be showing it in the Midwest and East?  If and when I’m finally able to afford to move back to the mainland, I will first be going to shows by myself without the T, to meet everyone, and sell tee shirts, photos and lots of other good stuff to help finance either somehow getting “The Uncertain-T” back, or building another one! My “friend” who has had the T all these years, and promised to restore it with me so that we could go to shows together, has not been able to due to serious life problems of his own! He said that he’s been dealing with severe financial problems for many years and can’t afford the money or time to work on it. As I wrote above, his name, where he lives, his phone number, etc. are all very confidential. I’m looking forward to the day that he’s able to finally restore it so that we can go to car shows together.

Even so, I would like to build an exact duplicate, and film a “documentary / movie” at the same time, about building it the first time. If I get set up with everything that it will take to recreate “The Uncertain-T”… there will be no stopping me… I would like to create some other new machines, too! :)

If and when I can afford to move back to the mainland, I want to move to somewhere more centrally located so that I can more conveniently go to shows and other events all over the USA. After much research I’ve narrowed it down to the area between Charlotte, Asheville, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Greenville, in North and South Carolina and Tennessee.

Who is the girl in the photos on the model kit box, and can you buy 8-1/2” x 11” autographed photos of the ones on the boxes?  She was the girlfriend of one of my best friends, and a good friend of mine. I lost track of her in the 70’s and had been looking for her ever since. I finally found her a couple of years ago. For now, she would like to remain an anonymous “mystery girl”. If she changes her mind, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.

Even though I took ALL the photos on the boxes, and “loaned” them to Monogram. They never returned them to me, so I have no way of printing high quality photos of them. As I explained above, some of the 8x10 black and white photos that I loaned to Monogram turned up on ebay a few years ago, being sold by the owner of a hobby store in the South. He even stated in the description that they were some of the photos used by Monogram for producing the model kit! Even though I explained to him that they were my property, and were stolen, I still had to pay for them! This episode will be in my book for sure!

How old were you when you started building The Uncertain-T, and how old are you in the photos when it was finished?  I started building The Uncertain-T in about March 1960 when I was 17 and still in the 12th grade. I finished it a few weeks before my 22nd birthday (January 7, 1965).  All the photos of The Uncertain-T finished were taken by me in either 1965 or 1966 when I was 22 or 23.

Where is the gas tank?  Behind the panel that’s behind the seats. The gas cap and fill tube are behind the license plate, like most cars of the day.

What do I think about “clones” of The Uncertain-T”?  First, and very important, since the definition of a “clone” is “an exact replica” of something, I don’t consider any of the Uncertain-T “clones” to be actual “clones”, as none of them are exact. They are all hot rods that have been “influenced by” and “resemble” “The Uncertain-T”, some, much more than others, and some… only using some of the unique basic shapes of the body, and nothing more. Some are very nice, most are ok, and some don’t appeal to me at all.

So, what do I think about hot rods that “resemble” The Uncertain-T? I consider ALL of them to be a HUGE compliment to me, and all the time, effort and money I spent creating it… even the “rough” ones that don’t appeal to me at all. For someone to spend all THEIR time, effort and money to build their hot rod to “resemble” The Uncertain-T in any way… is totally an honor to me! Thank you to all of you!

What’s the story behind the "Born Bad" drawing by Ed Roth?

Ed Roth drew this "Born Bad" cartoon of me and The Uncertain-T

when I filed a complaint against George Barris after he slapped

me at the end of the 1965 Winternationals Car Show in the old

Pan Pacific Auditorium, in West Los Angeles, and I took him to

court. “BORN BAD” couldn't possibly refer to me, as I’m “Mr. Nice

Guy”. In my opinion, and the opinion of many others, “BORN BAD”

surely refers to George Barris!

Here are the facts about Ed Roth’s cool drawing:

I used to always wear that type of sport shirt.

The rolled up summons paper says "Big George, Notice to Appear."

The Uncertain-T is Buick “nailhead” powered.

There is a “T?” on the radiator shell.

That's the correct key for the back bumper of The Uncertain-T.

The front axle is close, but not right.

The Uncertain-T does not have springs for the front suspension.

I made my own custom torsion bar that goes through the frame

just behind the front crossbar and the radiator.

The bandage is on the wrong side.

And, my teeth weren't quite that sharp. LOL!

George was well-known for instigating situations, then suing the other party, claiming that they started it! He always had one or more "witness" who would back up whatever he said in court. This happened way back in 1965, but it's still a vivid video in my mind. I can even see in my mind what clothes George was wearing. The car show was just over. I was carrying the heavy car battery back to “The Uncertain-T” on my shoulder. You had to take them out during the show to comply with Fire Department rules. George, a couple of his "henchmen", and the family that had paid George A LOT of money to rebuild their well-known white pearl pickup show car, “The Ala Kart”, all approached and confronted me in a group in the side aisle. George started angrily asserting that I had "kiss-assed the judges” to win the Sweepstakes Hot Rod category, instead of “The Ala Kart”. I said that was ridiculous, and that I didn't even know who the judges were. The woman / mother then blurted out that George promised them that they would win! George then slapped me, obviously hoping that I was stupid enough to retaliate! I just stared down at him and laughed.

George was not very smart at all, because he was VERY lucky that I wasn't stupid enough to let him dupe me into retaliating! Someone else with less restraint than I had might have smashed the very heavy car battery on his head! Hey... would that have been "Assault With A Battery"? LOL!

George was also very stupid to have done this where he did, without paying attention to the surroundings! I think he just saw me walking there alone and saw an “opportunity” to confront me. However, my mother was about 10 feet behind them and witnessed it all. Also, across the side aisle from us about 20 feet away was the show office with a big window facing us, and several people inside who saw it all!

I then went back to my display to resume moving out. Right behind me was a very nice young guy who came up to me and introduced himself. His name is Andy Anderson. He had been following me to ask me for an autograph. He had witnessed it all from just a few feet beside me. Andy is still a friend today.

Shortly thereafter, another very nice guy came up to me and handed me his business card. His name was Gene. Get this... he was a Los Angeles Police detective! He told me that his (gorgeous) black '34 Ford 2 door sedan was in the show space right next to where it all happened! Not only did he witness it all, but so did several of his off-duty police buddies who were there with him. Total recorded witnesses: 7 Los Angeles policemen, 8 car show officials and workers, Andy Anderson, and my mom!

Gene, the off-duty detective, advised me what to do. He said to go into the show office immediately and call the police to file a complaint, making sure that everyone in the office was listening. He said the police will refuse to file a complaint, saying that if nobody was hurt, that it was a civil matter. Gene said that I needed to make sure that the police logged my call for the record. He said to call the Los Angeles Court in the morning and file a formal complaint, and to have him (Gene) summoned as a witness in court. He gave me his business card. Other than in the court complaint, he asked me to NEVER divulge his name due to the nature of his work. I never have until now. Why? He was an "undercover cop"!

When I went to the courthouse, Gene came up to

me in the lobby and moved me over to a corner.

He said that he couldn't appear in the judge's

chamber because of the nature of his job. He

told me to not worry, that everything would be ok.

However, if it was absolutely necessary, to have

the judge call him in. I was soon led into a

judge's office, not a courtroom. Right behind us

entering the room was George and one of his

"witnesses". They must have been hiding,

because I hadn't seen seen them until then. The

judge had me sit to the right side of his desk,

and George and his "witness" in front of his desk.

George looked all puffed up by this, like he and

his “witness” were sitting in the important seats.

The judge read the complaint, then asked me to

tell my side of the story. Before I was finished,

George started blurting out his side of it, saying

that I was lying. The judge dramatically raised

up a bit and leaned far forward over his desk and

pointed his finger at George said… "Shut up...

we've had enough of you around here!"

The clip is from the January 30, 1965 issue of Drag Sport Illustrated, a popular weekly drag racing newspaper back then. It reads: “ ‘KUSTOM KING’ ATTACKS ‘RODDER’ AT CAR SHOW. George Barris, famous Show Car customizer, was charged Sunday night with assault and battery after attacking Hot Rodder Photographer, Steve Scott, at the NHRA Winternationals Car Show. Witnesses said Barris became enraged when he found out that Scott had won a Special Sweepstakes award for his wild “Uncertain-T” show car.”

WOW! That was it! Case Closed! The judge then pronounced that he was granting me a Permanent Restraining Order against George, and that if George ever came near me (I don't remember the distance), or in any way bothered me again, and I reported it, George would go to jail for slapping me!

It all lasted only a few minutes, as the papers were already done. Gene wasn't outside when it was over,

so I couldn't ask him what happened, and he probably didn't want to be seen with me AFTER George got

hammered by the Judge. My guess is that Gene had conferred with the judge before the hearing and

entered his sworn testimony... and that's all it took. Love it! - (copyright 2015 - 2019 Steve Scott)

Update: This was called to my attention recently from It’s typical of the type of very “questionable” things that Barris was well known for doing:

Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine Controversy:

“Over a decade after the release of “Back to the Future” Part III, one of the DeLorean time machines stunt cars used in the film was sent to Barris for restoration purposes to be put on display at the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles. The car was returned to Universal Studios in 2003. Barris later purchased a stock DeLorean DMC-12 and converted it into a time machine, which he used to promote himself and his company. While Barris never officially stated that he had anything to do with the “Back to the Future” films, he did like to indulge in stating that he had built a “Back to the Future” DeLorean time machine, but never disclosed that it was a replica car.”

“In 2007 Universal Studios officials sent Barris a Cease And Desist order demanding that he never again make misrepresentations regarding any involvement with the “Back to the Future” films. They called upon Barris to remove images of the flying DeLorean from his company's website and restrict his display of replicas of the gull-wing car used by Michael J. Fox in the popular 1985 movie and its sequels. ‘Back to the Future’ writer/producer Bob Gale went on record stating that ‘George Barris had absolutely nothing to do with the design or construction of the DeLorean time travel vehicle. The DeLorean was designed on paper by Ron Cobb and Andrew Probert, and it was built under the supervision of special effects supervisor Kevin Pike and construction coordinator Michael Scheffe.’”

Barris also came under fire from DeLorean automobile historians, when he proclaimed in a 2003 interview with Maxim magazine that he worked with John DeLorean on the actual car. Barris also had no involvement with the original DeLorean Motor Company and its sole automobile the DMC-12.

Did I ever build any other show hot rods?  No. I did have a ‘40 Ford Deluxe 2-door sedan that I drove during high school that I put a Cadillac motor in, but that’s it.

Why are you pushing it?  Fire department safety rules in

most cities require that fuel and batteries be removed from

all vehicles displayed in indoor car shows.

This photo was taken in Great Falls, Montana in 1965.

That’s Barney Cooper behind me. He was the president

of the Central Montana Timing Association car club that

put on the car show.

How does the cooling system work?  I had the radiator

custom made to my specifications to fit the Model T

radiator shell, with aircraft fittings instead of the large

tubes for radiator hoses. Since I didn't want an ugly

radiator fan on the front of the engine, I had it made with

two, 2" cores instead of one 4" core. This did two things...

it added an additional row of cooling tubes, and the front

core had larger spaces between the fins to force air thru

the fins of the back core, thereby increasing the amount

of air flow and cooling.

For additional cooling, I made the chassis frame out of

1/8" wall, 2" x 3" box aluminum tube. I used an electric

water pump that I mounted on the bottom of the engine

pan to circulate the water not just thru the radiator, but

Also thru the entire chassis. For the limited amount of

driving that I did, as you can see in this iconic photo that

Sherm Porter took at the 1965 Bakersfield Fuel and Gas

Championships… the system worked well.

What’s the roof covered with?  The roof is upholstered with black Naugahyde, same as the seats and all around the inside surface of the body. The excellent work was done by Lee Wells in his shop in North Hollywood, California.

To be continued…

- Updated 2/7/22 -

- © 2013 - 2022 Steve Scott -