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Bringing back the Speco Ford Falcon manifold

Published in blog.hemmings.com

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.

Photo 01

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.

Photo 02

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.

Lead Photo 13234892_1396300113730556_1482177625_o 13241551_1396299270397307_385821711_o 13242144_1396299093730658_1798161661_o 13271842_1396296840397550_1542828153_o 13272012_1396299457063955_97002653_o 13274995_1396299963730571_705556350_o 13275371_1396298563730711_85752840_o 13282330_1396297487064152_757567569_o Photo 01