Quality Metalcraft Teams with Hot Rod Kings Shadow Rods to Produce Manufacturable—and Affordable—XL ’27 Roadster Bodies

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Livonia, Michigan automotive stamping company Quality Metalcraft continues to bring state-of-the-art design, engineering, and manufacturing technology, once available only to the large automakers, to small specialty, aftermarket, and custom car makers--in this case with an entire, affordable hot rod body for Shadow Rods.

Livonia-based Quality Metalcraft Inc. continues to redefine the possibilities in the booming vehicle aftermarket industry by introducing OEM-standard design, engineering, and speed-to-market manufacturing capabilities to formerly cottage-type sheet metal stampings.

One of the firm’s latest efforts, an all-steel roadster body for Saginaw-based Shadow Rods, will be on display on two vehicles March 3-5, 2006 at Detroit’s Autorama custom car and hot rod show. Shadow Rods owner and hot rod legend Jon Hall asked Quality Metalcraft (QMC) to produce stamping dies for a limited production run on a street rod body he designed.

“There are few houses that can stamp this kind of metal, and we felt that Quality Metalcraft was the best,” Hall said. “Michael Chetcuti (President of QMC) has done a lot to make this happen.”

The new Shadow Rods body, called the XL ’27, is based on a ’27 T body that was stretched wider, longer, and taller to fit 1932 rails. After Hall hand-built the original body, he digitally scanned it and sent the data to Quality Metalcraft, which reverse engineered the design in CATIA and produced kirksite dies for stamping.

This is essentially the same way QMC has produced sophisticated stampings for the large OEMs for years, but now—with advanced computer-assisted design technologies and QMC’s recognition of the explosive creativity and potential in the aftermarket—the process is available to niche and enthusiast manufacturers like Shadow Rods. With the dies built, XL ’27 bodies can be stamped instantly and on demand, at a great price break to garage hobbyists who build their own roadsters.

Shadow Rods is one of the few street rodders stamping limited production runs of its custom body work, and the only group doing so with the ’27. With more than 16 separate dies employed in the process, theirs is by far the most sophisticated in the hot rod industry.

“We can build these hot rods all day, and ship them anywhere, at a fraction of the price of a custom hot rod body,” Chetcuti said. “Now a lot of guys—backyard tinkerers and even their teenage sons—can afford to build their own dynamite Shadow Rods roadster right at home.”

Hall said that the XL ’27 is currently available in two versions—a standard roadster that retails for $11,900 and a trunk-less Lakes-Modified version at $9,600. In addition to the two vehicles showing at Autorama, Quality Metalcraft currently has 35 XL ’27 bodies in production.


Quality Metalcraft is a leading low-volume parts supplier for international automakers, dealers, and the aftermarket. The company specializes in providing unique design, engineering, tooling, and sheet metal products that keep vehicles fresh and exciting. Information is available by calling 734.261.6700 or by visiting http://www.qualitymetalcraft.com.


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