Frequently Asked Questions about
Steve Scott’s Radical Hot Rod Creation
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:
The first, and most asked question of course is… Where is “The Uncertain-
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-
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-
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-
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: www.UncertainTModelKits.com
Even better news! Since Monogram developed and produced their Uncertain-
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-
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-
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
No, it’s the other way around. The fact that
my hot rod, “The Uncertain-
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-
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-
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-
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-
How did you come up with the name, “The Uncertain-
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-
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
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-
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-
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-
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-
So, what do I think about hot rods that “resemble” The Uncertain-
What’s the story behind the "Born Bad" drawing by Ed Roth?
Ed Roth drew this "Born Bad" cartoon of me and The Uncertain-
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
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."
There is a “T?” on the radiator shell.
That's the correct key for the back bumper of The Uncertain-
The front axle is close, but not right.
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-
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
Gene, the off-
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-
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! -
Update: This was called to my attention recently from Wikipedia.org. 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-
“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-
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-
Did I ever build any other show hot rods? No. I did have a ‘40 Ford Deluxe 2-
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…