19 September 2011

Billetproof #15, Antioch, CA 9/17/11

Billetproof, the "World's Least Important Car Show", is now in it's fifteenth year, and it just keeps getting better and better. Back to a one day show this year, Billetproof in Antioch packed the Antioch Fairgrounds with an impressive array of the world's best hot rods, customs, and traditional lowriders for an amazing Saturday.I was really excited to finally enter my car in this show, I've been going to Billetproof since 2002 and it seems that every year, in some way or another, the universe has kept me from participating. Well, this year was different, and I was able to make it in my Buick, scoring my first ever car show window sticker and Billetproof timing plate. I don't really know why there are whisperings around the fringe of our Car Culture community about the relevance and legitimacy of this show; it makes no sense to me. Alan and his wife have been doing an incredible job keeping such a big show a down-to-earth and fun time, and there couldn't be a better set of people at the helm of this show. I'd also like to extend a huge thank you to the host car club, The Dragoons, for keeping this show as fun and laid back as possible, you guys are doing great. Everyone should be excited to have a great bunch of younger hot-rodders getting active and making this incredible show a success. Thank you. My weekend started with a last minute thrash through the charging system of my Buick. This was going to not only be it's first car show ever, but also it's third time on the freeway since I've owned it. I've been working like hell to get it roadworthy for the past four years, and finally the stars lined up and I was nearly ready the week before. I installed a new one-wire alternator and eliminated the old voltage regulator in the back lot of my apartment. I live in an urban loft that's not been too old-car friendly (at least to me; blow off a transmission line in the parking lot at your apartment if you're curious of what your neighbors think of your old cars). A few minutes after getting it running, and the new wiring passing the "hasn't caught fire yet" test; I was ready:I was hesitant to bring the car at all; aside from barely being road worthy, the car looks like hell. I still need to wetsand and do a final clear on the roof, the car desperately needs body work, and my temporary grill was only held in with zip ties. I eventually decided that if my car was going to any show in this state, there couldn't be a more appropriate venue than Billetproof. Sure, the hot-rodders probably wouldn't "get" my car, and the establishment custom geeks would probably laugh at my efforts towards building a mild-custom, but whatever. Those guys have their shows, and this one is ours. This is a show made for and run by DIY back-yard hot-rodders, driveway customizers, and sideyard painters. This is a show for cars that aren't perfect; a show for unfinished driven customs, and for cars built for the fun of the owners, not the approval of the masses. This is the punk rock of car shows, but not in an annoying "in-your-face" sorta way, it's more of the cool "you do your thing, and I'll do mine" atmosphere that the show was founded in so many years ago. If my car wasn't appropriate for this show, we'd need to start a new show where it was, so thank god for the Billetproof founders to do the hard part for us and establish this epic Bay Area show. Pulling into the gates meant worlds to me. I can't tell you how much I pined for this opportunity for years. I took my long-deserved place on the lawn, strategically parked by a tree to hide the needed body work on the front fender. Anyways, enough of my ramblings, there were other cars here too. Enjoy:Early morning, lots of cars were already here:Camp Dragoon, braving the mild cold and fighting of the racoons so we don't have to:Sunrise at the Antioch Fairgrounds, a beautiful sight to behold:I love the custom work on this pickup:Damn this felt good:The model car show was pretty impressive too! I dig it:Roof swap!I was parked next to a much nicer car...I love this Thunderbird. It was painted by Jonboy's Kustoms, it's Lil' Daddy Roth Snocaine flake under gold candy. Beautiful:This Rivera was beautiful, and was sporting BC plates. Dig the 50 Pontiac taillights:Nice to see this T-Bird around again:Always a pleasure to see the living legend Herb Martinez at work:And just like that, the show was over, and I watched the setting sun fall deep behind the hills. I made it home without incident, with a mind full of big hopes and wild dreams about taking the car to the next level. Thanks to everyone who made it happen, and thanks for reading.

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