Rodger didn't want a typical small-block 350ci V-8 under the hood of Black Gold and with LS-engine technology on the rise, the decision to go modern was given the green light. The Street Legal Performance (SLP) LS2 stroker 406ci (6.6L) aluminum short block was delivered to Jim Watkins at Watkins Engine Development. Jim performed precise machining and assembly of the mighty LS2 stroker. The engine block was fitted with a pair of Racing Head Service (RHS) aluminum racing cylinder heads, a Comp Cams camshaft, and a set of Comp Cams roller hydraulic lifters were dropped into the lifter bores. A set of Comp Cams roller pushrods link the lifters to the Comp Cams 1.8 roller rocker arms. The Kinsler EFI features seven-inch velocity tubes directing fresh air into the intake ports. A Meziere water pump circulates the engine's coolant, while a FAST electronic injection computer makes sure the LS2 receives the precise amount of fuel when needed. A FAST E-distributor box is mated to the electronic injection harness and computer and a set of MSD ignition coils and alternator keep the electric juices flowing. Rodger and his crew fabricated a set of 2-inch O.D. custom stainless steel headers from SPD Inc. U-tubes. After completion, the headers 3-inch stainless steel exhaust system and Dynatech race mufflers were sent to Specialized Coating to be ceramic coated. After the engine was assembled, it was delivered to Westech Performance Group in Mira Loma, California, to be properly broken in and fine-tuned. The LS2 produced 600 hp and 598 lb-ft of torque.
Moving to the 50+ year-old sheetmetal, the cab door handles were shaved and a remote forward-tilt hood and tonneau cover were configured and then installed with actuators. A pair of one-piece side windows from No Limit Engineering and power units from Rocky Mountain were installed for modern convenience and Brother's supplied a new windshield and rear window. Jim Ramierez from Stockton, California, did the final metal surface preparation before spraying the entire skin with DuPont European black. Jim then buried it in multi-coats of clear. To increase the depth of the black paint it was cut, buffed, and polished using Meguiar's products. Looking beautiful on the outside, Rodger turned his focus to create a retro-inspired interior.
The interior's dash glovebox, radio knobs, and switches were shaved and smoothed. The instrument cluster eyebrow was extended before painting the dash and a custom instrument cluster was redesigned and laid out by Shannon Hudson at Redline Gauge Works, in Santa Clarita, California. The painted Flaming River tilt steering column was capped with a Budnik 15 1/2-inch Flat Track CV-3 red leather Corvette-style steering wheel. A set of custom aluminum clutch, brake, and roller throttle pedals were designed by Rodger, then sent out to Eric Turner, who whittled them from billet aluminum.