Meet Holley's Ty Peek

By: Todd Veney | 10/22/2018 < Back to Motor Life Home

Ty Peek's truck isn't technically a "barn find" – he didn't just stumble across it; he knew it was there and had coveted it for years – but his '74 International Scout did come straight out of a barn, where it had languished for who knows how long. The tired but rugged little truck belonged to the family of a high school friend who grew up on a farm in Jasper, Ind., and hadn't seen the light of day until Peek walked up with cash in hand to inquire about its availability.

Just 13 short hours after he began digging, the Scout was free at last and on its way to new life with Peek, a 22-year-old Team Lead in the Technical Service Department who has worked at Holley since he graduated from the University of Northwestern Ohio a year and a half ago. "I'd go back home from college on the weekends and tinker with it, but I really didn't know a lot about the truck when I got it," he said. "I just knew I liked it. There was a big learning curve because there were just a lot weird things International did building these engines. It's supposed to be based off an AMC, but they timed it off of cylinder #8, not #1. I'd never even heard of that – it never even crossed my mind. I'd crank it over and crank it over, and it sounded like it wanted to start, but it never would. I actually figured out what the problem was from a forum. I was skeptical, obviously, but nothing else was working and a lot of different people from different forums all said that that's what the problem was, and they were right. First time I went off of #8, it fired right up."

That got the engine running, but not running well. Peek then removed the carburetor and brought it to work, where Holley's Greg House completely went through it. Peek installed new points, spark plug wires, and a coil and rebuilt the distributor, which "got it moving under its own power," he said. "I'd never actually heard one run before and figured, 'Well, maybe they just sound like this.' [They don't.] Then I swapped out the radiator, belts, and all the stuff that rots away, and it ran better but still smoked a lot. I put on new valve cover gaskets and that solved that problem, but it still wasn't running right."

Peek delved a little deeper and discovered that three pushrods were so worn out that they weren't even riding on a lifter anymore – one of them was actually up in the valley. A few new pushrods and lifters later and the engine was finally singing like it's supposed to. "It sounded like a V8 engine – not something out of a tractor," he said. "It felt like I had 500 horsepower." Since replacing the brakes, master cylinder, stainless steel and rubber brake lines, and proportioning valve to make it more road worthy, he now drives it all the time. Peek has since installed a 350 CFM 2-barrel Holley carburetor and will take a huge leap forward this winter with an upgrade to 2300 Sniper EFI.

It runs a lot better than it looks, but don't look for wholesale cosmetic changes in the near future. "It's not pretty at all, I know – not even after I power-washed everything," Peek said. "My mom and dad pretty much think I'm nuts to spend money on this thing, but I love it. I don't plan on doing a paint correction or anything like that. You can still see where they spilled gas on it filling the tank over the years, and the best part is probably the stain from where they left an oil can sitting on the hood, but I love the way it looks. It tells a story. The history of the vehicle is right there for you to see."

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