With its completely handcrafted body, customized interior and stunning two-toned paint job, it’s safe to say that Kevin and Karen Alstott’s 1935 Ford roadster was built to win awards.When the car, named “Radster,” took home the coveted Ridler Award at the 2006 Detroit Autorama, the Alstotts and the car’s builder, Roger Burman of Lakeside Rods & Rides, were thrilled.
Little did they know that the Ridler win was just the beginning. The “Radster” would later go on to win the AMBR and AMBSR awards, as well as the Street Rod d’Elegance title. Only one other car, the Chip Foose-built 1936 Ford “Impression,” has won all four of the industry’s major awards.
At first, Burman wanted to build a fenderless 1935 roadster, something that hadn’t been done up until that point. Although Kevin Alstott loved the idea, he eventually decided that he wanted this build to be a fully fendered car. (Burman did end up building a fenderless yellow 1935 roadster for the Alstotts that also did well on the show circuit.) With the plan in place, Burman and his team at Lakeside Rods & Rides got to work. It took two years and a team of 18 to build the striking award-winning roadster.
Marcel’s Custom Metal of Corona, California, fabricated the entire body of the car out of flat sheet metal. The hand-formed body includes an SAC’s frame that was modified and built at Lakeside Rods & Rides.The car’s two-toned paint job was achieved using PPG’s copper on the top and platinum on the bottom. A gold leaf treatment was used to separate the two colors.
The car features a teardrop theme that can be seen throughout its interior. Burman commissioned J&B Microfinish of Pontiac, Illinois, to create one-off billet parts to highlight both the outside and the inside of the car. The company created a teardrop-shaped shift knob, suspension nut covers and one-off wheel centers. The teardrop shape can also be seen in the shape of the brake and clutch pedals, the taillights, trunk badge, and front and rear fenders. Recovery Room Interiors in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, upholstered the roadster’s interior and, keeping with the teardrop theme, made a teardrop-shaped cut-out in the leather bucket seats to allow for a view of the trunk. Even the floor mats carry this theme. Under the hood sits a Dart small-block 408ci, 550-horsepower V-8 engine. The engine block, along with the Sanderson headers, intake manifold and six-speed transmission were polished, while the Demon carburetor, valve covers and air cleaners feature chrome plating done by Sherm’s Custom Plating of Sacramento, California.
To keep the car’s undercarriage and trunk looking clean, Burman positioned the car’s gas tank and most of its electrical system in the cowl area. This also provided a nice view of the IRS and exhaust system.