No matter how hard you try to picture it in your head, a ’66-67 Chevy II is one of those cars that can’t possibly look good with a rear spoiler. Well it turns out the Roadster Shop has proven everyone wrong yet again. The key to pulling it off is in the subtlety. Innovator’s diminutive decklid spoiler flows neatly into the taillight structure, and does not exceed the height of the quarter-panels at any point. Not only does it play off of the car’s sharply chiseled panels, the spoiler also ties together the rounded portion of the trunk lid and the squared-off peaks of the quarter-panels. Two triangle-shaped supports hold the steel spoiler to the trunk, and add to the geometric theme.
Hot rodders tend to be opportunists, and when the Roadster Shop pulled off the factory molding that runs the entire width of the trunk lid, they found a big recess. Rather than smoothing it out, they split the long, rectangular recess into three different sections by simply welding in a few plates of metal. The end product is three trapezoid-shaped pockets, a theme that repeats in many parts of the car. A trick like this is easy enough that anyone with basic fabrication skills can pull it off. It sure looks more interesting than a flat, smooth trunk lid as well.
In contrast to the sharp, angular textures of the exterior, Innovator’s interior boasts a softer and more welcoming feel. Much of this is accomplished with a custom metal dash that has a mix of various smooth, rounded shapes. To establish the basic design of the dash, the Roadster Shop carved a piece of foam into shape. Using the foam as a template, pieces of sheetmetal were painstakingly formed to match. Two eyebrows were formed on the driver and passenger sides to clearly define the left and right sides of the car, and both transition into the custom center console. “There’s no scientific way to make a metal dash. You just have to spend a lot of time on the English wheel and with a planishing hammer,” Gerber says.
Outside-the-box thinking can transform even the most ordinary and utilitarian parts of a car into eye candy. Few things are as boring as air vents and turn signal stalks, but the Roadster Shop managed to carve one-off pieces out of billet aluminum that really grab your attention. The air vents are an oval-within-a-circle design in which the centersection swivels and rotates 360 degrees for near limitless adjustment. Likewise, the oval design carries over into the turn signal and steering column adjustment stalks as well. Even if you don’t have a CNC machine, or have an aversion to all things billet, the point is that with a bit of effort, even the most ordinary trim bits can take center stage as works of art.
Flush-fitting bumpers is nothing new, but Innovator takes this concept to another level. The front bumper started out as a stock piece, but a 2-foot-wide section in the center is the only factory metal that remains. In addition to being narrowed and tucked more tightly to the body, the Roadster Shop had to completely redesign the contours of the bumper around the heavily modified headlight design. The fabrication of the rear bumper followed a similar process as well. To tie the bumpers into the rocker, a custom splitter was hand-fabbed from sheetmetal stock and attached to it. The splitter follows the contours of the bumper, and features a large center opening to feed air to the radiator. Adjacent to the center opening are two smaller vents that supply air to cool the brakes. The rear valence was hand-fabbed as well, and wraps into the rockers and diffuser under tray. Between the rear bumper and valence are two openings that feature double-layer inserts that match the front grille design.