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The casual observer might walk right by Pat Swanson's orange "T-bucket" without so much as a second glance. To the educated, the T is a rolling, driving museum. It's a collection of some of the earliest speed equipment from the '40s and was built as a tribute to the car that the Spaulding brothers ran at Bonneville in 1949.
Owner, Pat Swanson decided to piece together the "period correct" roadster and had the very talented Butch Bowers of Renton, Washington build the car. Pat tracked down the vintage parts and Butch put it all together.
The parts that he managed to track down read like a collector's wish list. The main focus of the car begins with the Wayne engine, one of 125 built in the late 1940s, based upon a 1941 235ci Chevy truck engine.
Other rare engine bits include a Joe Hunt Magneto and a 12-port Wayne head topped with a very early WMD valve cover, one of only 15 produced. A Wayne side-draft intake manifold is capped with Flynn racing carbs (from the Ferguson collection), and a pair of Wayne "straight out" manifolds bellow into a chrome-plated track-style exhaust.
Dennis Webb built the distinctive nose on the original wooden buck used on the Spaulding car back in the late '40s by Don Borth. The grille insert was hand made to replicate the Spaulding car exactly.
Inside sits a pre-WWII Fairchild PT-19 aircraft seat with a five-inch wide, NOS 1943 military surplus seatbelt. A 17-inch four-spoke Bell steering wheel caps a 1928 Franklin steering assembly, just like the one used in the Spaulding car.
In keeping with the style of the Spaulding T, a custom box frame was constructed. A Ford V8-60 tube axle was used up front, dampened with a pair of Roto-Flow shocks that were flown in from a stash in New Zealand. 1940 Lincoln brakes were used up front and on the original Halibrand Culver City V8 quickchange on '40 Ford radius rods out back.
Kudos to Pat and his orange '24 for educating those who choose to take a second look at his "funny little T-bucket."