In order to feed a steady supply of fresh air to the 454ci LS small-block without having to resort to a cowl-induction hood, the Roadster Shop pulled out all the stops. It first cut trapezoidal notches out of the rear corners of the hood. This required removing the outer skin of the hood, then cutting the inner bracing. To fill the void in the corners of the hood, custom airboxes were built that attach to the cowl and inner fender, then covered with stepped vents. Once completed, the airbox and vent assemblies are permanent structures attached to the car, and the hood opens and closes around them. Both airboxes feed induction tubing that runs along the inner fender and behind the radiator before meeting at a Y-junction in front of the throttle-body. Not only does the streamlined hood look cool, it’s 100 percent functional as well.
It’s one thing to chop a top, but it’s something else entirely to change the greenhouse profile of a car. The Roadster Shop took a multi-pronged approach to create a sleeker, more wedge-shaped profile with Innovator. The first step was cutting ¾ inch out of the A-pillar, then pie-cutting ½ inch out of the rear sail panel. This allowed tilting the front of the roof downward. Likewise, the A-pillars were leaned back at a sharper angle for a far less upright and blocky appearance. Performing such body mods are far easier said than done, but the end product is a greenhouse profile that looks nothing like stock.
Late-model engine swaps are a mainstay of the Pro Touring creed, but unfortunately, exposed coil packs and miles of wiring mean they aren’t exactly pretty. To hide all the plumbing and wiring, the Roadster Shop fabricated a custom metal shroud that covers up the fuel rails and throttle body, then spills over into the radiator support. It boasts a mix of smooth curves and sharply angled polygons, and looks like something straight out of a concept car. The design theme carries over into the inner fenders and airboxes as well, where multiple sections and tiers add depth. The Roadster Shop’s Phil Gerber says that there’s no scientific way to emulate this type of setup. Cardboard can’t be used as a template because it won’t bend into complex angles and shapes. His advice is simple: Just start bending metal until it looks impressive.
Rear Diffuser and Pan
From a functionality standpoint, Innovator’s rear underbody tray covers up the ugly stuff like the fuel pump and filters, and supplies fresh air to those components to keep them cool, however, from a design standpoint, it ties the rockers, quarter-panels, and rear lower valance all together for a clean and coherent look. A smooth, flat pan could have accomplished the same thing, but to kick things up a notch, the Roadster Shop added stepped side vents and a speared center diffuser. Visually, it complements the chiseled, angular body lines of the car very nicely and from the rear profile, the diffuser looks the part of a race car.