Billetproof – The Counter Culture Car Show
Billetproof was Kirk Jones’ statement to the gold chain, Hawaiian shirt –wearing baby boomers who drove billet-clad smoothie rods in the 1990s. Instead of six-figure, milled aluminum supercars, Jones, and his cohorts built and drove real garage-based early Ford hot rods not meant for 8-foot trophies.
Billetproof was born over 20 years ago in the Holiday Bowl parking lot in Hayward, California and has grown into a series of nation-wide shows and drag races. Obviously, the rodding masses were ready for something new and different. Billetproof, now owned and operated by trusted agent Alan Galbraith, capped off its 2017 schedule with its flagship event (Billetproof, California) Sept. 16, 2017, at the Antioch Fairgrounds.
As always, hundreds of traditional pre-1964 hot rods and customs filled the fairgrounds while local surf and swing bands jitterbug’d in front of the capacity crowd. The vibe was similar to what it’s always been here – an upbeat affair showing equal affection for real hot rods, as well as the lifestyle that comes with them. The event has championed the traditional hot rod and custom style from the past and inspired new builds in the traditional style.
The Young Barrons, a local surf/rock band composed of high school aged teens rocked the house in the early morning hours, turning the stage over to seasoned veterans, Stompy Jones to bring it home. Once Stompy was done laying down some smoking swing and roots rock tunes the Pin-Ups took the stage. Mrs. Pura Vida took home the Miss Billetproof 2017 title with electric green hair worthy of a custom paint job and a personality that wowed the crowd.
Once the awards for the ladies were presented it was time to bring up rolling automotive art. Like Best Hot Rod winner, Dennis Shanahan’s 1930 Model A 5 Window Coupe. Sporting artillery wheels, a 3 deuce intake, Hunt magneto and just the right chop and channel, Dennis’ hot rod looks like it rolled off the pages of a 50’s little pages magazine. The burgundy A-bone got noticed by the Swanx car club, who made and presented the Best Hot Rod Trophy, the moment it rolled through the gates. Even though the paint is still fresh on the new build Dennis wasn’t afraid to put it on the road. The distance from Sacramento to Antioch was one of the shorter trips the coupe has handled.
From wild 60’s customs with flake, fade and lace panel paint jobs, to rough and tumble gassers, to bombs and led sleds, Billetproof CA had a little bit of everything from the traditional hot rodding world. The double decade old anti-billet rallying cry for real rodders continues to stoke fires and fuel passions.