If you've been reading our show coverage, you know this magazine sent staff members to 10 designated street rod events throughout the '09 season, where we selected 10 vehicles per event. Those 100 selections were presented in these pages and on the STREET RODDER website in the "Turtle Wax Presents the STREET RODDER Top 100" section. At the end of the year, we invited everyone to visit the STREET RODDER website and vote for their 10 favorite rods or customs. We took the five highest vote getters and selected one as our '09 Street Rod of the Year. In addition to this indescribable honor, the owner of the winning car will receive an impressive grand prize: a 35th anniversary '28-31 Model A chassis from Total Cost Involved Engineering.

Ordinarily anniversaries are a time to receive gifts, but Total Cost Involved Engineering has decided to celebrate its 35 years in business by flipping tradition around and generously giving away a complete chassis assembly to the '09 Street Rod of the Year winner-this is after TCI Engineering already gave away a Model A chassis at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. And we're not talking about a simple set of 'rails and some laying-around-the-shop components. The STREET RODDER grand prize chassis consists of a custom-built, fully boxed frame, decked out with a full front and rear suspension, brakes and brake lines, and engine and transmission mounts.

TCI Engineering built their business, and reputation, on street rod chassis. In 35 years, the company has expanded into the postwar car market and most recently into muscle car applications. But the '28-31 Model A frame and chassis packages by themselves represent a big variety of assembly and component levels, starting with bare 2x4 tubing frames and moving up to a complete chassis, with options including IFS or dropped axle packages (available in stainless or chrome), and numerous rear suspension choices. The long list of options includes custom engine brackets, rear discs, Shockwave airbags, quick-change rear, and too many others to list. Five available rear crossmembers, including coilover, wraparound coilover, Jag, Corvette, and stock leaf are offered-and the website shows a Kugel 9-inch IRS setup, if that's what you're looking for. Needless to say, TCI Engineering can work with you to put together a complete chassis that is custom created for your specific application.

Jim Rizzo spent some time at TCI Engineering's Ontario, California, facility shooting photos of a few different chassis going together. Later, we went back for our own tour to see how chassis are built; each one moves from station to station where an individual or team concentrates on his specific components-like an assembly line without the line. Many of the suspension components, like the spindles, control arms, steering arms, and four-bars, are machined in house. Most of the parts that aren't built on site are contracted from reliable American manufacturers. Most of these photos depict the front end of a couple different chassis going together. Next time, we'll continue the build, focusing on the rear suspension parts.