Sunday With The Boys: Billetproof 2009

From Sasha

Last Sunday I joined Chris and his dad for an adventure: we drove down to the Bay Area for the infamous Billetproof vintage car show. "Billetproof"'s name refers to billeted aluminum, the material that is often used on the super-shiny, super posh vintage cars that are maintained like untouchable museum pieces and seldom driven (or raced) in the real world. The Billetproof folks like to rebel against that monied and exclusive collector's culture with their own gathering, which features raw-looking vintage cars with artistic details and a lowbrow, fringe-of-society vibe (we even saw one that used a shotgun as the shift stick!). A lot of these cars not only look cool, but they go FAST... and, if you remember my post about how Chris and his dad are working on a racecar for the speed trials in Bonneville, you know that FAST is the new modus operendi in our household.

We started off the day with a good old fashioned Swap Meet in Auburn. A swap meet is exactly what its name implies, a place for people to swap and buy goods, mostly of the automotive variety. There were lots of random things, too, of course:


...and lots of guys standing around piles of rusted metal:


Now I'm not really being fair to call it rusted metal, am I? Those are car parts, some of them hard to find anywhere but at a swap meet. Still, the guy with the 45 records was more up my alley. Here are my scores!:


Next stop, Billetproof in Antioch. We went in Chris' Dad's mustang, and took the back roads through the Delta to get there. 


There were a lot of lowriders at Billetproof... cool! We loved this unexpected color combo, and the flames:


Here are the Men, standing by a Rat Rod (a term for a street rod with a pronounced retro aesthetic hearkening back to the 1950s) in matte black. The matte paint not only looks way tougher than shiny black, but it is a tribute to the less expensive paint that your average kid making a street rod back in the 50s could actually afford. Chris' dad grew up in the Bronx during this era, and had a car much like one of these. So cool.


I totally dig all the pinstriping that you see on these cars... what an amazing art form:


Billetproof has a Pin-Up girl contest, which means lots of seriously done-up ladies walking around the Fairgrounds! Here they are getting ready for a photo shoot:


I love their hair and makeup so much... retro perfection!


This car was my personal Best of Show. This kind of paint job is called "scalloping", and it just slays me. Did any of you watch the TV show "Crime Story" in the 80s? That pretty much cemented my love for this era of automobile. Sigh.


This car was for sale for $2,500... whatta deal! Yup, that's just what we need, another car. (But daddy, I don't have a convertible!)


Here is Chris, a man possessed by car fever. He is up to a car customization project of his own at home... he is turning a 1970 BMW into an American-design-influenced Rat Rod. That, by the way, is a totally novel idea... but that's what happens when you have an artist's brain.