Back when smog control devices first started to appear on cars and light trucks the consensus in the enthusiast community was that performance vehicles were going to be targeted. By the mid-'70s Big Brother had them zeroed in with his nose up our tailpipes and it appeared that any engine that made decent horsepower was going to be gone for good. But then an amazing thing happened-computers came into our lives. Thanks to one or more black boxes, miles of wires, and a host of electronic gizmos, performance engines rebounded-today they run better than ever, get great gas mileage, and they meet stringent emissions standards.

So, what does all this have to do with Custom Classic Truck aficionados? In many cases the rides we know and love fly under the radar in terms of emissions regulations, but then the operative word is "many," as in not all. California has drawn a line in the sand, basically it has been decreed that the year of the engine is the determining factor as far as smog equipment is concerned, no ifs, ands, or buts. So, it you transplant an '02 engine into a '75 truck, the later smog requirements are applicable-many states look at engine swaps the same way. Of course, if an annual inspection isn't required an engine swap may go undetected (although that doesn't make it legal), and in some states that do require inspections, a late-model engine that appears to be from the same family as an earlier, emissions exempt version the swap will be deemed acceptable. Of course there are those states that have street rod laws that exempt 1948 and earlier vehicles from all of this administrivia, but that doesn't do much for owners of '49 and later cars and trucks that want an engine update, particularly those who live in California.

While engine swaps can be problematic, building a truck from the ground up, doing a chassis or cab swap, or any other process that causes you to haul your hauler to the Department of Motor Vehicles in California for a VIN verification or an inspection can derail the registration process if smog compliance is an issue. But there is hope on the horizon for those who want the latest in engine technology under the hood and the least hassle with bureaucratic red tape to obtain the state's blessing in the form of a pair of license plates, it's called the E-ROD system from General Motors. On the verge of being approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) this new engine package is based on an LS3 engine and includes the system components that will make any vehicle smog legal in the Golden State as well as those that follow CARB's lead once final approval is granted (hopefully by the time you read this).

GM introduced the E-ROD program at last year's SEMA shindig according to Dr. Jamie Meyer, product marketing manager for GM Performance Parts. "We developed this system because it's the right thing to do, but our engineers did not sacrifice the performance that stirs hot rodders in the first place. It is a compromise-free package that delivers great power and efficiency, with the emissions of a modern vehicle."

The E-ROD Package Includes:
6.2-liter LS3 crate engine, rated at 430 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque. This is the same base engine found in the Camaro SS and Corvette. (Additional engine choices including the LS7 and LSA are being planned.) GMPP LS3 engine wiring harness GMPP engine control module Exhaust manifolds Catalytic converters Oxygen sensors and sensor bosses Fuel tank evaporative emissions canister Mass airflow sensor and sensor boss Accelerator pedal (for use with the LS3's electronic throttle) Air filter Instruction manual

Additional Items Required (not included in the kit):
Fuel tank
Fuel lines (including return)
Fuel pump
Purge line from canister to engine purge solenoid
Induction system to incorporate the mass airflow sensor
Exhaust system behind the catalytic converters
Suitable front drive system