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Lakesides's 35 Radster
2006 "Ridler Award" Winner, 2007 America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award Winner, America's Most Beautiful Street Rod Award, Goodguys Street Rod d'Elegance Award and Goldmark Award Winner

This years' 54th annual Detroit Autorama was a major success on many fronts. With over 165,000 people crossing the gates it just might have set an all time attendance record. There were also a couple of personal records set. The two that come to mind are that this years "Ridler Award" was awarded to Iowa residents Kevin and Karen Alstott and the "Builder Award" was awarded to Iowas Roger Burman and his crew at Lakeside Rods and Rides. Never before in the history of the Autorama have these prestigious awards been awarded to anyone from the state of Iowa! The "Ridler" wasn't the only award this talented group won. They also won the "Yosemite Sam Award" (Sam Radoff) for sculptural excellence, ISCA's "Best Rod Award" and "Outstanding Individual Display" honors. In addition to these prestigious awards, it has most recently won the 2007 American Most Beautiful Roadster Award at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, CA. and the Street Rod d'Elegance Award for 2007 given at the Goodguys 7th Del Mar Nationals in Del Mar, CA. These three awards are considered the sports triple crown, and as far as I can recollect only one other time has an entrant won this trio of events, ("Impression" a Chip Foose designed and built roadster won the crown last year). The list of awards goes on with the "Goldmark Award" at the Boise Roadster Show. Most recently the "Radster" scored another major award as it won the "America's Most Beautiful Street Rod" Award at the West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton, CA.

Over 30 contenders for the "Ridler Award" appeared, and I've got to say that the craftsmanship on all was phenomenal. Every one of them was a winner in my opinion.

Roger Burman and his crew at Lakeside Rods and Rides have long been known as a rod shop that has built some of the finest rods and customs ever. Back in 2004, they built the Goodguys "Custom Rod of the Year" winner. This custom 55 Chevy owned by Doug and Flo Hoppe is an inspiration to many.

Focusing in on the "Ridler Award" winning build, Lakeside started with a Sac's frame and then heavily modified it. After many modifications an Indy style front end was mated to the frame along with a Corvette independent rear. Every nook, cranny and component was either painted, polished, plated or powder coated so the bottom side would have that desired visual impact. The brakes of choice were Wilwood and along with the 17" and 20" front and rear custom one-off billet wheels and tires gave this street rod a road racing flavor. We (J & B Microfinish), provided Roger with the one-off multifaceted billet centers for these wheels so that the center would match the sculptural shape of the wheel. This idea was Rogers and a good one at that.

The engine they chose was an All American aluminum Dart small block built by Woody's Automotive, mated to a Tremec 6 speed manual gear box. The engine block, heads, intake and transmission were exquisitly polished by Kirk Bowman, while the Demon carb, valve covers and air cleaner were chrome plated to the max (by Sherms Plating). Needless to say, the engine exhibits a jewel-like appearance.

The body, coach built by Marcel's Custom Metal was all handmade from flat sheet metal! Marcel, Luc and Mark DeLey are to be commended for their fine work. Marcel's Custom Metal, no doubt, the premier coach building shop in the industry, continue to raise the bar.

A really cool feature that I noticed was the Frenched prismatic taillights. Chris Mernka of Lakeside R & R Frenched the taillight housings at just the right depth. The grille, also one-off exhibits a distinctive shape featuring a nice inward curvature at the bottom to conform to the fenders and apron.

The bodywork, paint and prep work, again as with every car that is built at Lakeside Rods and Rides, is flawless in its execution. Dean Fowler shot the top with a beautiful PPG copper and the bottom with a PPG platinum. What really caught my eye was the gold leaf treatment that separates the two colors. Gold leaf, primarily used on custom choppers, was aptly applied to the beltline of this roadster by Curt Bacon and Roger Burman and gives it a new and way cool look.

Another interesting fact is that the gas tank and most of the roadsters' electrical system is located in the cowl area of the car. This, according to Roger, is so that the under carriage, trunk and other areas would not be obstructed. This idea really cleaned up the under carriage and allowed clear viewing of the highly detailed independent rear suspension and exhaust system.

The interior, upholstered by The Recovery Room of Plattesmouth, NE, is a sight to behold. The leather hide gives the car a very plush and elegant look. Lakeside R & R fabricated the steel door panels along with the dash, which gives the interior excellent contrast. Classic Instruments of Boyne City, MI supplied Roger with the awesome one-off gauge cluster which has a geometrical wing shape.

We ( J & B Microfinish) hand made the teardrop shift knob out of 6061-T6 billet and then polished it to a mirror finish. The teardrop shape, designed by Roger, matched the shape of the brake and clutch pedals, the really cool seat back openings, taillights, trunk badge, interior floor treatment, and front and rear fenders. This look gives The Radster a very pleasing visual theme and also gives the car a uniform and symmetrical look.
Street Rod Builder Magazine is the first to respond in bringing coverage of the Detroit Autorama to the readership. The Lakeside Radster was given a front cover, and was also featured in the Autorama coverage of this May 2006 edition. In the July 2006 edition of Street Rod Builder it was featured with a full front cover and 10 page feature. Hot Rod Magazine (June 2006) also featured this fine car with a full page picture on page 170 and Super Rod also featured it in their June 2006 edition. It has also been featured in Goodguys Gazette, Street Scene, Auto Week, Hemmings, Street Rodder, Rod & Custom and Rodder's Digest. In addition to this magazine coverage, it has also been featured on TLC's TV program "SEMA, The World's Greatest Car Show" and on MSN's Streaming Auto Video. The ISCA has featured this car on much of their promotional posters, brochures, tickets and billboards.

Creativity, engineering and workmanship, the three key words the Michigan Hot Rod Association give to custom car builders vying for the "Ridler" as guidelines to adhere to. These three guidelines are what Lakeside R & R crew, Roger Burman, Kevin Alstott, Chris Mernka, Marshall Starrett, Chad Walker and Dean Fowler live by, and it shows in the cars this group builds in magnitude.

Check out Lakesides website for more of their projects

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