When the Intercity truck showed up at Cotati Speed Shop, the Shadow Rods XL27 Road Tour car was well on its way, but anyone who has built a street rod knows that there are a thousand details large and small that have to be taken care of even when you start with something as far along as our Shadow Rods roadster pickup.

One of the first chores for Zane Cullen and the Cotati crew was to install the Smeding Performance 427 Windsor. This Ford small-block stroker cranks out 462 hp with 529 lb-ft of torque and while those peak numbers are impressive, the engine's power is stretched over a broad rpm range enhancing driveability. These engines come dyno-tuned with a printout, run on 91-octane fuel, and have an aggressive idle with plenty of vacuum for power brake boosters.

Backing up the engine is a Ford AOD automatic transmission from Gearstar. As with all their transmissions, this one has all the latest factory updates along with a laundry list of performance upgrades that are proven performers. Along with Gearstar's bulletproof internals ours came with an extra capacity aluminum oil pan, 360-degree adjustable shift linkage arm, Lokar throttle pressure cable and bracket, and a 30,000 GVW cooler with an integrated fan.

With the engine and trans in place, the build team installed the fuel and exhaust systems. Following Aeromotive's suggestions, the fuel system is the return style. Fuel from the tank passes through a pre-filter, then the inline pump sends it through a return-style regulator, post filter, and onto a fuel log. For a nostalgic look the guys whipped up an exhaust system with Lakester-style headers from Patriot. Just for fun they included a pair of VaraFlow mufflers that will allow Road Tour leader, Jerry Dixey, to adjust the sound of the exhaust while he drives.

While part of the crew was working on the running gear, the rest of the gang was busy fabricating the transmission tunnel, installing the A/C, and checking things off on the long list of "to do" items. It won't be long until the Road Tour begins again for 2010. For more information on how to be part of it, check out www.streetrodderweb.com.