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  • Writer's pictureTim B

The Man-A-Fre Story

The Man-A-Fre induction plate is perhaps the fastest most efficient carbureted fuel intake system ever produced yet very little accurate information is known about the system today. Invented by Robert E. Patrick of Hapeville, Georgia in 1952. A manifold free of passages, the earliest plate versions cured common fuel distribution problems and were designed for a V-8 engine of general design.

Below are two of the Earliest 9 LB versions fit the small block Chevy V-8 of 1955.

Most famous are the “Atlanta” plates, posting MAN-A-FRE MFG.CO. Atlanta 3. GA. Below is a first run plate still drilled for three bolt carbs.

Harold Graves corroborated with Patrick early on and further developed the system changing from a Stromberg to the more powerful Rochester 2GC carburetor.

A Rochester 2GC was placed directly over each cylinder head intake port, a hidden miniature balance tube made smoother idling. Harold Graves was far ahead of his time when he later introduced the “Afterburner Injection accessory” before nitrous was the norm.

“The Sting Of The Honeybee“ surprised many when the Man-A-Fre driver would cut in the Afterburner above 4500rpms nozzle injecting needed fuel at top end.

Further attention came when the intake was fitted to Milner’s coupe in American Graffiti. A whole culture arose reproducing clone coupes all wanting the famous Man-A-Fre intake.

By 1959 Harold Graves was in California producing Small Block Chevy plates carrying just the MAN A FRE on the casting. Other applications followed; the Big Block Chevy, Small Block Ford, Chevy in-line 6, Pontiac OHC6, and Pontiac V-8’s 326 thru 455. Most were produced at the now closed Sheehan Foundry in Sun Valley, CA. I will discuss these other applications further.

These systems continue to survive, found in old storage or popping up for sale, these intakes, called by some “the holy grail of intakes” are still restored or resurrected to original specifications. Tim Bowman, an employee of the original Man-A-Fre of the sixties continues the tradition today at Old School Induction in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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