Sep 17

Billetproof 2012: Hot rods, Customs, and Metal Flake

Edsel pinstripe


If you like traditional hot rods and customs you owe it to yourself to attend the Billetproof show in Antioch, CA.  Hit the jump for more pics and details of our epic journey to the show in a ’49 Lincoln.

The Billetproof show grew out of the California’s emerging old school rod scene of late nineties. Fifteen years later and it has grown into a series of shows and vintage drag events spread across the country.

What is an “old school” rod?  Billetproof’s simply rules for entry do a great job of defining “old school’ (from the Billetproof F.A.Q.)

  • 1964 and prior TRADITIONAL style rods and customs ONLY
  • No visible billet anything! Especially wheels!
  • No digital gauges
  • No IFS on fenderless cars
  • No trailer queens
  • No mag wheel styles made after the 60’s
  • No high tech styled, pastel heart beat graphic, tweed interior, fenderless IFS sporting hot rods
In the interest of getting the full Billetproof experience I caught a ride over to Antioch in a friend’s ’49 Lincoln.  Leaving Infinite Garage’s luxurious suburban west coast offices at 7 A.M., we hoped to arrive in Antioch early enough to register the car at the gate.
A couple hours later, as we rolled into Sacramento, the car hit an exceptionally big bump and started to die, rolling to a stop underneath a freeway junction.  A quick check under the hood didn’t turn up any obvious failure and after a few minutes the car started right up and seemed none the worse for wear.
The mystery ailment cropped up a couple more times.  Just outside of Lodi, we took a more serious look underneath the car and found that we had broken the fuel pump.  After a short tow to the nearest Autozone, and some creative parking lot wrenching, we were back on the road.
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it in time to register the car at the gate.  Regardless of our tardiness there were still plenty of amazing looking cars and the swap meet looked packed.
It really doesn’t get much more traditional than a lowered Merc with lots of chrome and a metal flake paint job.
There were plenty of hot rods like this one for those with even more traditional taste.  This car is the very definition of old school.
This guy had the right idea, skull pattern lace paint and a twelver of PBR.  I couldn’t get a good picture of the whole car but I think it was a Buick?
Apache trucks from the early sixties were well represented.  How do you get your truck to sit this low?
…airbags, a custom four link  rear end and a notched frame.
Not every car there was black or primered.
Another perfect example of a traditional hot rod.
The obligatory “self portrait in a hub cap” shot.
Check back tomorrow for more Billetproof coverage and the thrilling conclusion to our epic hot rod road trip.
For more on Billetproof and the Flickr gallery click the links below:


  1. Jason

    So in the repair picture what was the golf club used for? Some of those PBRs in the back of that Buick probably could have come in handy too. Despite the troubles with the hot rod Lincoln that’s some pretty awesome coverage. Looks like a nice variety of traditional Rods. That Z’s garage car is the stuff my dreams are made of.

    1. RenoWrench

      The golf clubs are for roadside recreation and more importantly acting as struts to hold the hood and trunk open, it’s pretty classy.

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