When a street rod is constructed from the ground up with pieces and parts, it is safe to say that all of the components are important. If a part is not critical to the function or aesthetics of the rod, it would not be there. That is the basic premise of the street rod concept: function and beauty at its streamlined, stripped-down best. But if you had to rate components by importance, none would rank much higher than the hardware that takes the directions of the driver and conveys them to the vehicle: the steering assembly, the throttle assembly, and the brake pedal assembly.

As progress continued on the Road Tour 2000 Roadster, the craftsmen at Lobeck's Hot Rod Shop moved on to the installation of these "very important parts." The steering column used was a Flaming River Industries 25-inch paintable tilt column from their new 2000 series of steering components. Also used was the Flaming River 2-1/2-inch column drop and floor mount. Utilized throughout this critical assembly were Flaming River steering universal joints, DD shafts, and support bearings.

Some of the other very important parts installed at this stage of construction included the Hagan Street Rod Necessities hood, hood sides, and hinge assembly, and a Sun Specs rearview mirror--to see where we have been! A Walker Radiator Works Z Series radiator was chosen to keep things cool in the engine compartment during those long summer days of cross-country travel.

In the "go and whoa" department, billet throttle and brake assemblies were installed from Debbie and Skip Walls' Lokar Performance Products in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The summer is almost here and the construction is in the final stages for the Street Rodder Road Tour 2000 Roadster. These "very important parts" will all play a very important role in our travels to the National Street Rod Association events around the country. Follow our adventures to each of the events this year in the pages of STREET RODDER or plan to attend an NSRA event and get a look at the M-2000 up close.

We will also be having our Road Shows at selected street rod shops and manufacturers before each event. For monthly updates on our progress and schedule, log on to our Web site at www.streetrodderweb.com and click on "Road Tour" for up-to-the-minute information and to check out the cool Road Tour merchandise that is available.

Whichever way you choose, keep in touch--it's going to be a wild ride! Next month we get some power and paint.