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Ridler Award Contender - Advanced Plating Lakester

Back in January a lot of people had a lot of comments about the fact that Steve Tracy, owner of Advanced Plating, and Chip Gerber entered a competition race car in the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster competition. The Gerber Special was a 1932 Ford Roadster that had made over 40 runs at 200-plus mph at the salt flats. Although it didn’t take home the big trophy, it did win “Best Engineered” in the AMBR competition. Now, just a little over a month later, they are diligently working to finish up a new competition lakester to enter in the Ridler competition at the Detroit Autorama. Here is some info on the new car.

Gerber/Tracy Special 1459 Class F/GL

Owners: Chip Gerber and Steve Tracy

Builder: Syclone Motorsports



Project started with a Sargent Fletcher drop tank off of a 1965 Phantom F-4 jet plane.  Ended up with an entirely hand fabricated, scratch built, one-off aluminum body by Craig Naff of Woodstock, VA.  Only original body pieces are the wings, which have been modified, and sections of the nose.  Total weight 1629-lbs


Esslinger Engineering of El Monte, CA designed, machined, and built a one-off 182 cubic inch four-cylinder that produces 375 horsepower at 8200rpm.  The engine is backed by a 5-speed Jerico air shift transmission outfitted with Tilton 5-1/2” clutch.


The lakester is set up with a 162” wheelbase for an overall length of 224”. The chassis/roll cage was constructed by Howards Custom Iron using 250’ of 1-5/8” .090 tubing. The front suspension is setup with a one-off straight front axle with spindles and steering arms by Pete and Jakes.  The wishbones are one-off arrow style.  The rear-end is a Ford 9” with Currie axles that has been gusseted with air deflectors and is fit with a 2.91 gear weight relief that is lightweight, balanced, and blue printed.  For braking, the suspension has been shod with Wilwood disc brakes featuring 11.5” rotors.

Paint and Plating

Various shades of purple paint by PPG, which was custom mixed and sprayed by Ernie Ball using a pearl silver base and applied with an eight color blend and fade.  Paintwork also features sprayed lettering and logos by Ernie Ball.  All chrome plating was done by Advanced Plating of Nashville, TN.  The total number of chrome plated pieces was 609 and of that 482 were fasteners.


Interior features handmade aluminum panels by Craig Naff, Kirkey seat upholstered in bombardier leather by Larry Sneed, one-off custom gauges by Classic Instruments, engine turned aluminum dash panel, Simpson seatbelts, and one-off programmable speed GPS.


Advanced Plating is the source for show quality chrome plating. Plating on all types of material, Steel, Aluminum, Brass & Potmetal. We offer Chrome, Copper, Nickel, 24kt. Gold, Black Chrome, Satin & Brushed finishes, Powder Coating and plating on some plastic & fiberglass. Difficult Bumper, grill repair & Potmetal Restoration a specialty. Look for our work on award winning cars. We also offer a complete in-house production service for high quality short to medium run polishing and plating. Our customers include: Lokar, Superbell, Heidts, Ididit, Mavel, Hagan, Comp Cams and many others. All parts are triple plated. Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Advanced Plating
1425 Cowan Ct.
Nashville, TN 37207
Toll Free: 1-800-588-6686
Local: 615-227-6900
Fax: 615-262-7935
E-mail: [email protected]