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Billetproof NorCal, Part Two

Hooniverse October 22, 2010 Car Shows, Hooniverse Goes To... 9 Comments

Going back to September’s Billetproof car show in Antioch, CA, we showed you afew custom classics like a convertible two door Kaiser and a Chevy truck propelledby a ’98 Camaro LS1. Today we’re kicking it off with Terrence Lee Martin’s ’44 Chevy truck.

Martin is a metal artist from Sacramento, CA, and spends his time making metal art structures similar to those seen at Burning Man. I even asked him if he’d been to Burning Man before, and as we were talking another Burner happened to walk by and suggest the same thing. Martin makes art, but loves cars. It’s his passion. Martin keeps himself busy by either working on his art or one of his eleven project cars scattered around his garage.

[After running Part One some time ago, this has been sitting in the queue for an embarrassingly long time. My apologies on the delay. – Ed]

This is Martin’s work truck, a ’44 Chevrolet truck on an ’88 Isuzu 1 ½ ton chassis powered by an ’83 Iveco turbo diesel engine. Martin started building this one off truck in 2006 and got in on the road in early ’08. Since then he’s been enjoying the truck, taking it to job sites. It’s not a gas guzzler either as the truck gets around 22 miles per gallon, and Martin says it can use vegetable oil.

“I do art for a living and I’m just a car fanatic”, says Martin.

Martin says this is the first time his work truck gets featured anywhere and one of his eleven project rat rods, a 1933 Ford, was just about to get on the front cover of amagazine. If that’s just his work truck, I’m dying to see the fleet of rat rods he’s got in his garage.

corvair van

This Joseph Amador’s 1962 Chevrolet Corvair 95. Amador says he bought it nearly 2 years ago and felt attracted to it after seeing the ad on craigslist. Amador says he has a fascination with oddball stuff, so naturally he felt inclined to buy the car.

Amador says he’s the Corvair’s second owner, the previous owner bought the vanin a fleet for a baking company brand new in ’61 and kept it in service until the 80s.The car happens to be completely stock and packs 118 original thousand miles.Amador plans to just lower it, fix some rust and keep it stock and pass it on to his kids.

And that’s the neat thing of these type of car shows, lots father and son builds. I was able to hang out and have a beer with a father-and-son duo while talking about their rod. The car they brought out was a work in progress and originally belonged to the father, but he handed it down to his son. Unfortunately they asked not to be photographed and decline to give any more details.

willys truck hot rod rat rod

Mike Fudge and his father Ken own this 1933 Willys pickup they bought for $300 from their neighbor after it was found in a barn. A little over a year later and it sits now with a shorter truck bed, reworked body and other parts stripped out of a Chevy van. The cab was put together from the factory with a wood structure and by the time the Fudges had found it the wood had rotted out. Hours of welding and sourcing parts from flea markets and other cars produced one of the more interesting rat rods of the day.

Look inside the cab and behind the driver and passenger is the decaying remains of a rat, immortalized as a piece of car decoration. Fudge Jr. says it’s been at Midnight Mass in Roseville, CA and a few other local shows. The interior to the truck is like a steampunk crossover into the automotive world. Nothing short of badass.

Check out the rest of the pictures from Billetproof!

  • These are all cool but there's something inauthentic about all the tacked-on, gaudy kitsch added to these trucks and rods. Maybe I'm just being nitpicky but I prefer the natural patina and wear paired with more tasteful customization.

  • In Billetproof's defense, it is intended to be a "traditional" show, not a "rat-rod" show. Yeah, if something shows up that isn't dripping in billet, there's a fair chance it'll get in, but most of the cars I've seen there haven't been rat rods. From the FAQ:

    What is "traditional" style?
    If you dont know what a 50's and 60's styled hot rod or custom is, refer to the rules at the top of the page for the roughest of guidelines. Other than that, look through pictures of past shows on this website to get a taste of the style. You can also refer to hot rodding magazines from the 50's and 60's. They are full of 50's and 60's styled hot rods and customs.

    Is Billetproof a "Rat Rod" show?

    Is Billetproof a Rock-a-Billy revival?


    • ChuckyShamrok

      I have nothing against Billetproof, I support car shows that aren't full of old farts in their Corvettes. I was raging against the entire Rat Rod trend

    • Yeah nothing against Billetproof and thanks for clarifying / linking the rules. I understand what they're trying to do and most people appreciate a forum dedicated to the serious, traditional styled hot rod. We can all grow tired of the stereotypical "custom" built '32 Fords that all look the same. Some people are just blurring the interpretation of the traditional hot-rod by adding their own pieces of flair. That's OK too, but once these interpretations start too feed off one another and become cliches, they become just as boring. Also personally I value simplicity so once too many of these little add-ons appear on a car it just clutters the overall look IMO. Start changing it up and reflecting your own interests as opposed to following the trend and your car will never be boring.

  • Alff

    Thank you for saying it. I agree completely.

  • Saturnsufferer

    Chucky. I agree half assed car building needs to go away. It's one thing to have a driveable, work in progress that is unfinished and unpainted. It is another thing entirely to put work into making something look unfinished. I heart you man!

  • facelvega

    Yeah, to stick on one of your smaller points, the Iron Crosses with skulls theme is just not okay. Why not just put swastikas on everything? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that this reference is what they were shooting for, but ignorance is no excuse.

  • Joe Amador

    Abraham, Whats up? Good job on the artical, yes part one and two. Man I've been waiting for over a month,lol. And for the record I dont consider my van a rat rod, its definatly a work in progress. I do agree what everyone is saying, But I love the weird stuff.

    • Abe Rodriguez

      Hey, Joe, thanks! I'm glad you were able to see your van online.