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Bringing back the Speco Ford Falcon manifold

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Photos courtesy Reg Uren

While Cobra Jet Torinos and Shelby Mustangs may get all the glory these days, the early Ford Falcons (alongside the Chevrolet Corvair and Chrysler’s Valiant) were also considered performance contenders when new, and spawned a whole lineup of aftermarket goodies before the Fairlane V-8 was even a twinkle in Lee Iaccoca’s eye. Appropriately, there are a whole rash of enthusiasts scouring swap meets, the pages of Hemmings Motor News and the Internet for vintage Falcon Six speed parts.

Thanks to The Ford Falcon Owner’s Group, a group of like-minded enthusiasts discovered that they were all searching for the elusive Speco cast-iron, dual-outlet exhaust manifold from Australia. Rather than view one another as competition for a rare part, they banded together to hopefully collaborate on bringing back this vintage chunk of cast iron for the modern hobbyist. Scot Thayer, of Hugo, Minnesota, took the lead.

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Speco started out as the Speed Equipment Company back in the 1950s.

Speco itself still exists as Speco Thomas, and Scot reached out to them first. Speco was enthusiastic about the project, but unable to help, even after an exhaustive search of its archives. Its casting plant is now closed, it ceased all manufacturing in 2009 and its General Managers from the era have passed away.

Positively, however, a representative of Speco was able to pass on the owner’s blessing for a reproduction project, provided the company was given the option of exclusive distribution rights in Australia.

With the closure of the Falconeer’s beloved Classic Inlines Performance Parts, following the passing of its owner, the go-to name for Falcon Six performance parts is the long-established inline powerhouse Jack Clifford Performance Parts, which made its name providing hop up pieces for the vaunted Hudson Hornet. Unfortunately, Clifford is not currently interested in undertaking the project. As this piece was going to publication, we learned that the remaining inventory of Classic Inlines has been purchased by a newly created Michigan firm, Vintage Inlines, LLC, so there may be a new player in this market as well.

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The author’s 250-powered ’62 Falcon NEEDS a Speco manifold and so does that 200-powered Mustang in your garage or the 170-powered Bronco in your carport.

So now this group of enthusiasts is plotting its next turn, hoping to find a set of Speco’s original drawings or a Speco owner in the U.S. willing to lend his or her manifold for 3D scanning from which a new casting core can be made. Scot says he is contemplating inviting familiar parts-store name Dorman Products to participate in the project, on the basis of its successful reproductions of the Corvette Ram’s Horn exhaust manifolds.

Does anyone in the Hemmings Nation have any suggestions for Scot and his band of intrepid Thrift Power enthusiasts? Comment here or e-mail me and I will pass along your help to Scot. There’s a ’62 Falcon in my driveway that is begging for a set of true dual exhausts.

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