A different Kind of Bucket: Steve Scott’s Uncertain-T

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

As the story goes, in 1961 a school buddy of Steve Scott drew a wild looking hot rod in a cartoon and when everyone agreed it would make an awesome car but would be impossible to build, Steve took up the challenge.

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

Four years later in its November, 1965 issue, Car Craft magazine unveiled the “Uncertain T” with unprecedented fanfare. How about a cutaway on the cover, a 3-page feature story, a mini-feature on how to scratch build a model of the car, and the introduction of a young Steve Scott as Associate Editor.

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

Much has been written about the Uncertain T, so I won’t go into detail about the scratch built exaggerated T body, the injected Buick nailhead engine and tons of innovative suspension and driveline work, including rack and pinion steering.

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

The alert, faithful Car Craft readers, however, would have seen a small preview pic of the Uncertain T in the May ’65 issue in which it had the enviable chore of scooting down the Bakersfield quarter mile after the Top Fuel eliminator showdown to fetch “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and return him promptly to the starting line for the trophy presentation.

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

Coincidentally, this was all happening about the same time that the hot rod world saw the introduction of Dan Woods’ cartoonish “Milk Truck”. Thus, a whole new era of show cars was born.

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

It should also be noted that not only was Steve an accomplished car builder, but also an excellent photographer and a promoter of the first order; all of which helped ensure the Uncertain T’s huge success.

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

Built at a reported cost of $15,000, which was exhorbitant for the times, on the car show circuit Steve was able to pull down from $400 to $1000 per appearance, all while Steve was still a college student.

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

At the time of its Car Craft appearance, the Uncertain T had been a sweepstakes winner at the ’65 NHRA Winternationals, the ’65 Oakland Roadster Show, the Seattle Custom Auto Show and many others, having not failed to win in any show it had entered since early in 1965.

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

Alas, in the July, 1967 issue of Hot Rod magazine the Uncertain T was for sale at the bargain price (compared to the claimed build cost) of $7000. Oh, to have had that kind of money back then.

Steve Scott Uncertain-T

Let us know if your own T-Bucket interests or activities have been influenced in some way by Steve Scott’s Uncertain T, by posting a comment below.

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Comments

  1. says

    Always loved the model kit as a kid, but could never afford to buy it, now what kits are left are high dollar collectibles, but, still it is as “radical” a design now, as it was in the 60’s, great job, Steve.

  2. says

    Hi John. Thanks for the note back. I decided to start working on reviewing, editing and updating this very nice post you did on the “T” and me long ago now, instead of you having to remind me long after I forgot about it being SOOOO busy with all the fans’ questions on my Facebook page :)

    1 – Would you like for me to send you each paragraph as I update them, or wait until I’ve reviewed and updated them all?

    2 – How do I add a photo of me and the “T” to my name so that it will appear with each of my posts?

    3 – Have a GREAT day! :)

    Steve

  3. says

    Thanks Steve, for the informative updates. It’s easy and fun for us to speculate, but much more fulfilling to know the facts. We’ll be following your website and Facebook page as well for the latest developments of interest to all Uncertain T fans.

  4. says

    Thought I’d clear up a couple of things for Dave Blakeman. 2 years ago on Dec. 16, 2010, he wrote (above):

    Dave: “Every high school had an auto shop.”
    Steve: I never took auto shop. It was mostly guys avoiding educational classes and just working on their cars. Very boring.

    Dave: “Pretty amazing when you consider he was right out of high school when he built it.”
    Steve: Thanks VERY much!

    Dave: “I wonder what his job was throughout his college years.”
    Steve: I started college as a physics major, but had to quit after only a few weeks because we were so poor after my dad had died a horrible death the year before. I didn’t like college anyway. Nobody seemed serious. It was like a high school with ash trays. Besides… I had a hot rod to build :)

    Dave: “Dad I need 15 grand to build a show car, but I can win money.” ”Sorry son, not happening.”
    Steve: You can’t imagine how far from actuality that is. I kept very close tabs on what I spent. I included the cost of building the extension to the back of our little garage that I needed to build the “T” in, running electricity all the way from the other side of the house, buying a good, permanent air compressor so I could plug in for air anywhere in the garage, etc., etc.

    Steve: “Hi John!”

  5. says

    Hi John. I enjoyed meeting you on the phone and talking about so many things related to my Uncertain-T, hot rodding in general, so many hot rodders and people in the industry that we both know or knew, answering so many questions, etc.

    Thanks so much for your compliments on the “Uncertain-T”! :)

    I hope to be able to be MUCH more active in hot rodding and model kit forums than I’ve been able to be for way too many years. To that end, as we talked about on the phone, I hope to start developing my website soon at: http://www.SteveScottsUncertainT.com. I’ll let you know when it’s online so that you can tell your many followers here on TBucketPlans.

    All The Best!

    Steve

  6. says

    Would I ever like to know more!
    Hi, Steve. It’s great to hear from you because I was one of many who were hugely inspired by the creativity and workmanship of your Uncertain T.
    I’m about to start updating the blog here with vigor and would love to cover more about your Uncertain T. If there’s anything I can do to help spread the word don’t hesitate to let me know.
    Thanks again, Steve. I’m certain everyone here looks with great interest to hearing from you.

  7. Ron says

    Loved the model of this car as a kid, always wanted one, but never had one, Sure wish Monogram would re-release it…

  8. Rodney Woolnough says

    Still looking for some nice images of John SOUZAS T,if any one has feb 62 R/C a scan on the test would be good…RODNEY

  9. Matt E. says

    AUTHENTIC

    Anyone interested ina signed lithograph of Uncertain-T by Steve Scott email me at mengle2@insight.rr.com.

    I can send you and image of the piece.
    It is dated 9-5-65 and in red ink. Near mint mint piece.

    Picked iot up at an estate sale.

    Thanks,

    Matt

  10. Augie says

    Just to let you guys know john souza still has his 27 T and drives it all the time and still looks and runs like it did in 62!!!

  11. says

    Thanks for your comments, Rodney and Dave.

    Coincidentally, Rodney, I’ve been a John Souza T fan since ’62 and will try to post something soon. Here’s something for you for now, though.

    John Souza 1927 T-Bucket

    Good observations, Dave. As I understand it, Steve Scott had been building hot rods since he was 14, so there’s a chance he may have sold one or two before starting on the Uncertain T, but even back then a couple together might not have brought more than $5k at most. I would also guess the $15k included four years of Steve’s labor.

    Thanks guys, we’ll try to keep it interesting for you.

  12. Dave Blakeman says

    Cars like this were bound to be real popular at shows and make all the magazine covers. This was built before guys knew alot about english wheels and planishing hammers. Every high school had an auto shop [not like today].Pretty amazing when you consider he was right out of high school when he built it.A brand new Pontiac only cost 3500-4000 at that time. I wonder what his job was throughout his college years.” Dad I need 15 grand to build a show car,but I can win money” ” Sorry son , not happening”

  13. RODNEY WOOLNOUGH says

    John Souza.s 27 T,,,HAS ANY BODY GO PHOTOS OF TIS CAR OR MAY BE THE FEB 62 R/C ROD TEST ,,,,,RODNEY TASMANIA

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