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problems. The engine was never

started after the flood and all fluids

were drained and refilled. It was run-

ning three days later. But once the

electrical problems began cropping up

he traded it in on a 1969 GT500.

[Note: he sold the car two years ago; it

only had 22,000 miles on it.] This was

the car he drag raced frequently at

New Your National and held the

F/Pure Stock class record at 13.89 sec-


SAAC: You have acquired a large foot-

print in this club. You own Tech In-

spection, are one of the New Jersey

Region’s officers, are a SAAC Regis-

trar and served on the club’s Board of

Directors from 1991 to 2008. Where

did you come from?

LISKA: I joined the club after Down-

ingtown in 1979. I didn’t even know

there was a Shelby club at that time

but heard about the event. I slept in

my car and the people at the motel I

was parking at were very helpful.

They let me use the rest room and

wash up. I had a great time at that

convention and I said to myself, “


don’t think I’ll miss another one of


” And I haven’t. But now I get a

room. I’ve driven at most of the tracks

and can’t imagine having a better


SAAC: There is a story that you once

drove from New Jersey to a convention

in Dearborn on one tank of gas. True

or urban legend?

LISKA: True. Not that I was trying to

be “Mr. Economy” but I was being effi-

cient. I just wondered if I could do it. I

had my ‘69 GT350 convertible, with a

351 – not a 428 big block. The car was

a four-speed to begin with but I put a

Grenada transmission with overdrive,

which was a bolt-in deal. I changed the

rear end from a 3.00 air conditioned

that it was to a Lincoln 2.50 rear so in

fourth gear in overdrive I was proba-

bly down to a 1.87 final ratio. At 75

mph I was doing 1350 rpm. The carbu-

retor they had put on those 351s had

small primaries and large secondaries,

so when you’re running on the primar-

ies you get pretty good gas mileage. I

was feathering it and coasting down

hills when I could. I went out with a

bunch of guys, caravanning together.

When they stopped for gas I just sat in

the station waiting for them. The total

mileage was 622 and I had a 20-gallon

tank in the car, so that works out to 31

miles per gallon. As I got into Dear-

born and found my way around I

found a gas station and thought I bet-

ter stop. As I rolled into the gas station

the car stalled.

SAAC: You volunteered to take Shelby

to the airport at one convention, and

as we recall, it was hot out so your car

with air conditioning was perfect.

LISKA: I was driving in the “fuel

economy” mode and Shelby was winc-

ing at the low rpms. “

C’mon - shift this

thing down and give it some gas,

” he

said. “

I never made an economy car.

SAAC: How did you get involved with

tech inspection at the convention?

LISKA: After Downingtown I found

myself wanting to do a little more than

showing my car. I enjoyed that, but I

wanted to get more involved in help-

ing. At the convention out at the Utica

test track I got to help Jeff Burgy at

tech. It was fun: shake the tires to

check the wheel bearings, check the

helmets and seat belts, brake lights,

extra throttle return springs, overflow

cans. It was easy, mostly visual, and I

got to be there all day and see the cars

up close. I remember at one of the

Pocono events, one guy’s steering was

very, very loose. I wasn’t comfortable

with it and after looking at 400 or 500

cars you get a feel when something is

wrong. I told him that I thought there

was a problem with something feeling

loose. One of the other guys, maybe it

was Jeff Kaplan, said to the owner,

C’mon, I’ll help you look at it.

” He

stuck his hand down near the steering

column and came out with the guy’s

rag-joint in his hand. All the bolts

were loose. I felt that because we were

dedicated enough to say, “


wrong here – please look at it

,” we

probably saved him and his car from a

serious crash. When we tell a guy that

his wheel bearings are loose and he

looks at us funny because he has sup-

posedly gone all over his car, we’re just

not saying it to say it; something is

wrong and it needs to be looked at. The

last thing you need is a failure at 100

mph. Especially in a turn.


Summer 2016 56

Englishtown Raceway Park is a stone’s

throw away from Liska’s house and as a

long time drag racing enthusiast he has

developed an excellent relationship with

the track. He assists in putting on annual

Ford show and makes his car available

when race queens require transportation

in parades and other track activities.