Our hobby attracts participants for a variety of reasons, and while collecting trophies appeals to some the real enjoyment is hitting the open road in something as unique as a street rod and heading to an event to hang out with a bunch of like-minded folks. When STREET RODDER's Road Tour program began, the idea behind it was to reinforce the fact that a well-built car made from today's readily available aftermarket parts could be safe, reliable, and fun to drive. It's a point we've been making since 1996 when Jerry Dixey racked up 27,000 miles in the first Road Tour car.

Each year we've called upon some of the biggest names in the business to pull the Road Tour car together and for 2010 we were lucky enough to have the collaborative efforts of Jon Hall's Shadow Rods (builders of the redesigned Model T, the XL27) and Zane Cullen and his crew of craftsmen at Cotati Speed Shop.

The basis for new tour leader is a Shadow Rods XL27. Built in a variety of configurations, all are based on a stretched and deepened '27 T, however, builders can choose from a roadster body with trunk, lakes modified, or roadster pickup. In addition there are fendered and highboy options. Add to this the chassis choices with either a traditional frame or the Low Ride-High Caliber (LRHC) design and Shadow Rods offers the most versatile street rod components available. For 2010 we chose a Shadow Rods XL27 roadster pickup on an LRHC chassis.

To complete the Shadow Rods roller it was shipped to the Cotati Speed Shop where they would finish construction and add a number of features to make our car unique, including a race car-inspired nose and hood by Clay Cook, a top by Rod Tops, upholstery by Time Machines Unlimited, with a Wise Guys seat, and a host of other custom touches.

While we don't have room in the magazine for complete coverage of the Road Tour roadster pickup build (although a book covering its construction from start to finish will be available soon) the following is a glimpse at what it took to get it together (also see the full feature on page 33). We should point out that as this is being written Dixey has rolled up 10,000-plus trouble-free miles on the brilliant blue roadster pickup-but then driving is what the Road Tour is all about.

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