This roadster resting on ’32 ’rails is the highboy version and was built at Cotati Speed Shop in Santa Rosa, California, by Zane Cullen and his crew. This one uses the Shadow Rod XL27 body in its passenger form with a handmade hood and a lowered ’32 grille shell housing a Walker radiator.

The owner of this industrial-themed beauty is Knick Jimenez, a young entrepreneur from Northern California who has some cutting-edge and delightfully irreverent ideas about what makes a cool car. His stable includes a satin black ’65 Riviera and a Ferrari Scuderia with World War II P40 Warhawk shark teeth graphics wrapping the nose and the roadster. That paintjob on the Ferrari really met with disapproval from the purists. Can’t help but think Knick counted that as a resounding success.

Knick’s roadster is the latest from Cotati Speed Shop’s recent line of understated high-quality cars that build on the theme of traditional influence with contemporary details. The industrial look stems from an absence of chrome and paint accents. The Teutonic gray and black color scheme reflects an all-business attitude. The CSS signature Deuce chassis supports the Shadow Rods body and cradles a Chevrolet Performance HO Deluxe 350. This motor is a sturdy four-bolt main version that makes 330 hp at 5,000 rpm. More than enough to shove the roadster down the road at speeds considerably in excess of any posted limits. A GM 700-R4 mates the ponies to the Ford 9-inch rearend. Although the engine and trans are basically stock, the flexplate is a B&M and there are a number of performance accessories, such as the Aeromotive fuel pump and delivery system, ARP fasteners, an MSD electronic distributor and coils, Taylor wires and plug boot heat protectors, and a K&N filter element that have been enlisted for performance and enhanced reliability. Spent gases are expelled by Chevrolet Performance valves into hi-temp coated GM 2-1/2-inch cast-iron exhaust manifolds and finally to Flowmaster HPII mufflers. The loser’s view of the exhaust system shows a nifty pair of perforated tips hand fabbed at CSS.

The underpinnings are comprised of time-proven components, such as a Durant monoleaf over the dropped axle, Bilstein aircraft shocks in the front and coilovers out back. Wilwood stoppers at all corners are concealed by Buick-style finned aluminum covers that rest within the Coker steelies and radial Excelsior 5.00x16 in front and 7.50x16 in back. The Flaming River Vega-style steering is handled by a Juliano’s ’40 Ford column and wheel.

The flat surfaces in the aircraft-style cockpit are handmade ribbed panels adorned only with paint. The seat, upholstered by Plante Interior in Santa Rosa, California, is covered in distressed Italian leather in a rich color called Hershey Milk Chocolate. Cabin comfort is adjusted as the climate requires with a Vintage Air underdash unit. The top, made by Rod Tops in Ellsworth, Michigan, which includes the side curtain package, really works with the Vintage Air system. A fully developed layer of Dynamat helps keep temperature adjustments intact.

The Jimenez roadster made its public debut at the 2011 SEMA Show. Usually a fenderless hot rod roadster doesn’t communicate an image of understated elegance like this car does. Originally Knick was thinking a rougher look would be right for the car but, as the work progressed, the car began to scream for a fully finished approach. For instance, the Greening Auto Company lights ride on a CSS-made headlight bar and likewise custom brackets at the rear. Clay Cook Enterprises made the truly one-of-a-kind valve covers and air cleaner housing. They are distinctive at the very least and continue the theme of the one-off gauges by Classic Instruments.

Knick and the team at Cotati Speed Shop have come up with a car that is so understated that it seizes the limelight wherever it appears. It seems to be a car that you just can’t mess with. Take a look at this car and some of Knick’s other efforts at his website, www.egarage.com. Might as well scope out www.cotatispeedshop.com while you’re at it. It’s just cars, cars, cars everywhere you look.