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Working With The Legend.

Updated: Jun 11, 2019


Harold Graves - master Rochester carburetor mechanic who developed the Man-A-Fre fuel system

In the early 1960’s, I got a job working for a company called Man-A-Fre located in Northridge, California. I was assigned to work alongside the company’s founder, Mr. Harold Graves, a master Rochester carburetor mechanic who developed, built, and perfected the Man-A-Fre fuel system. In my time working next to Harold, I was taught how to modify all the components that are particular to the various offered Man-A-Fre engine applications. He then had me build and assemble all the various units to be in turn-key fashion for all the Man-A-Fre customers. Harold also taught me the unique and specific installation and tuning techniques peculiar to the Man-A-Fre as it does not behave like other multiple carburetor systems.


I was fortunate to have spent time with Harold Graves. He was generous in passing on to me his knowledge and skills in working with Man-A-Fre systems and became a good friend. Harold passed away in 1977.


I got involved with the trucking industry after my time with Man-A-Fre. But I never lost interest and continued to occasionally build and restore units for people who heard I had worked with Harold in the years before his passing.


Now retired from the trucking industry, my interest in spending more time in building or restoring Man-A-Fre systems continued when I received an email from a guy who had heard about me through an article in Hot Rodder magazine. He had a unit that just wasn’t running right. Frustrated and discouraged, he wondered if I could help him out. Turns out he had received a lot of misinformation which, when implemented to his assembly, led to some of the typical symptoms I’ve found in other units today. So, of course, I was pleased to help him out. He was happy with the results and I was pleased to see this unit operating the way it was intended. With his word of mouth advertising, I soon started receiving emails and calls from others looking for help in restoring a unit or in finding a unit to buy.


Additionally, a member of Harold’s family, who knew me from “back in the day,” contacted me and asked if I would restore Harold’s last unfinished assembly, a small block Ford unit, the way Harold would have done. Of course, I was happy to do so and to reconnect.

All of this led to the decision to establish the Old School Induction Company. At OSI, my mission is to build and restore Man-A-Fre fuel systems the way Harold Graves taught me. In addition, by special order I occasionally offer units and parts for sale. If you have any questions or want to know more about what I can do to bring your Man-A-Fre system up to speed, feel free to email me directly at osi.bowman@gmail.com.


Stay tuned for additional articles that will give you tips, insights, dates of special meets, and so on. So be sure to check back!


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