We liked Shadow Rods’ XL27 LRHC roadster pickup so much we built one to drive across the country on the 2010 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour. Probably the only XL27 rpu with as many miles on it as ours is this one, owned by Jon Hall, the car’s creator.

Hall’s re-imagined T stretches the dimensions a little, making it a better fit for the 21st century’s larger dimensioned street rodders.

The steel body on Hall’s personal ride features a louvered Rootlieb steel hood, and ’48 Chevy taillights. Lenny Longuski at Lenny’s Auto shot the deep Lombard Blue paint, an early ’30s Ford color.

The all-steel body rides on custom rails featuring a Super Bell 4-inch dropped axle in front and a 4.11 9-inch rearend. Wilwood 11-inch disc brakes at all four corners grab 15- and 16-inch Real Rodders Wheels wrapped up in wide and narrow radial rubber.

The interior was done at DTS Enterprises, where the Wise Guys split bench seat was covered in Ultraleather. Matching carpet covers the floor. Tasteful dashboard pinstriping flanks a row of Classic Intruments gauges. A ’40 Ford steering wheel finishes off the cockpit, kept comfy on cool days by a Vintage Air heater.

The Ford engine in Hall’s updated T is a Booth-Arons Racing Engines 302, fired up with an MSD ignition with Taylor wires, and topped with a Holley carburetor and Billet Specialties air cleaner. Sanderson headers draw the exhaust. The 302 is matched with a Tremec T-5 five-speed transmission.

You’ve seen Hall’s private ride in these pages before, and we’re glad to bring it around again for another look, this time as a recipient of the STREET RODDER Best Ford In A Ford award.

Jon Hall, Saginaw, MI

1927 Ford roadster


Many times you will hear about how someone was able to find a cherry old car that has “never been touched” by the soiled hands of a decrepit hot rodder who would think nothing of taking vintage tin and perverting it for his own desires. It doesn’t take long before any sign of what was there to be gone because, like they say, “It’s only original once.”

But Jerry Horsley, from Greenfield, Indiana, has a pretty good excuse for making a street rod out of a pristine ’49 Ford: he’s owned it since 1964! It was the first purchase he and his new bride, Barbara, made together after getting married. Paying only $250 for it back when Lyndon Johnson was president, Jerry restored the car in the ’70s and it was maintained that way for the next 44 years.

But even the most solid rock eventually crumbles and, about four years ago, Jerry decided he’d like to make a street rod out of his cruiser. It wasn’t like he was struck by a lightning bolt or anything—he’d been around hot rodding for many years, and even helped his boy, Mark, get his mint green ’48 Ford into the pages of STREET RODDER back in January of 1995; Mark was just 21 years old.

Jerry was 70 years old when he started the redo of his beloved Ford, and he hooked up with Jim Robinson for some of the engineering help he was going to need. The Ford 9-inch rearend was narrowed 6 inches in order to accommodate the wide wheels inside the fenders and the frame has been C-notched to help get the stance lower.

The stock frame then received a Fatman Fabrications IFS setup, and four-wheel disc brakes and QA1 coilovers were added to each corner. The 17x6 and 18x10 Coy wheels are wrapped in 205/55-17 and 235/60-18 rubber. Under the hood is a well-detailed 347 Ford small-block from Smeding Performance, which also has a Front Runner belt system from Vintage Air.

Jeff Burns, of Shelbyville, Indiana, is the guy responsible for all of the custom bodywork and paint, as he frenched the headlights, shaved the door and trunk handles, and removed the vent windows. Another addition is the baby spotlights in each A-pillar. Gordon Riley made the billet hinges that support the hood, which was bull-nosed by Burns. Burns also painted the car (with Glasurit materials) black and then smoothed out the bumpers before reattaching them fore and aft.

Jerry turned to Coverall (Martinsville, Indiana) for the exceptional interior, which features tan leather with ostrich inserts over a liberal use of Dynamat insulation. Mustang buckets seats were used up front while the rears came out of a Thunderbird. The console that runs down the middle of the car is custom as are the small stainless steel trim pieces that are used throughout the interior.

Up on the smooth dash a 5-n-1 Haneline gauge tells Jerry what’s going on with his car and a Flaming River steering wheel and column help him get there. The radio, window controls (to operate the Nurelics power system), and door switches are built into the front of the console and the A/C system is located under the dash.

Jerry has been driving the car a fair amount since the redo and, when they take it Florida every year, he drives the wheels off of it down there, too. After Barbara and Jerry welcomed their son into the world back in 1974, Mark so enjoyed climbing around in it Jerry thought his ’49 would someday belong to his son, so they never sold it. Though a confirmed car addict (he recently had as many as 22 cars), Jerry always knew this was the one he’d never sell. More than 48 years later, he and Barbara still enjoying tooling around town in it.

Jerry Horsley, Greenfield, IN

1949 Ford