13. Once Rodriguez was happy with the various clearances and fit, the firewall was TIG welded in place. Here, his son, Jasper, tackles the welding.
14. Finish-welded with just the centersection to add.
15. Rodriguez originally planned to reuse the center of this firewall for clearance around the distributor...
16.... but it needed to be deeper than the stocker, and it was easier to fabricate a new section from scratch. There's enough clearance to enable the distributor to be removed with the engine in situ.
17. The finished firewall from inside the car. All that remains now is to attach its lower edge to the floor, once the latter is fabricated.
18. Once the firewall was complete, the engine was removed to gain access to finish weld the centersection...
19. ...and to grind all welds smooth.
20. Up until now 2x2-inch steel box section had been used to space the carbs. These 2-inch aluminum spacers were obtained from Dashman's Hot Rod and Speed Parts, machined to follow the shape of the manifold bosses.
21. When Roch came to the shop for his “fitting”, he and Rodriguez had discussed the steering column routing. Their solution was to make use of a "Steer Clear" offset steering system by Wizard Fabrication, and a '40 Ford pickup steering box and column.
22. The top half of the column attaches to the Steer Clear using a U-joint, and to the lower edge of the dash (which had now been re-installed) via a modified aftermarket mount.
23. The lower half of the column exits the firewall via another U-joint, and is still attached to the steering box as per stock. The box itself was moved inboard slightly to align with the Steer Clear. You can see headers will now clear the steering column, which itself appears more stock than a double-D shaft and a U-joint at the box.
24. The completed firewall and steering installation, which allows for distributor removal, valve cover removal and header fitment, thanks to careful planning.