A sunny event in the south hosted by “The American Father of Drag Racing”
More than likely you’ve heard the term Billetproof at least once before as they have been promoting rockabilly style hot rod and classic street rod truck shows for the past few years. If not, it’s a great time to introduce you to this fun family event that can make you fall in love with the unique culture it brings, if you haven’t already.
Billetproof events are put on all over the country which makes it possible to potentially find one in your area. Lucky for us, this most recent event just happened to be right in our backyard at Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida. Yes that’s right, the world-famous “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. As if I need to even tell you about his legacy, but for those that don’t know, Big Daddy was known worldwide for his accomplishments in drag racing bringing with him numerous records and hall of fame inductions. See Sidebar for more info on this great racing legend. His historical museum of drag racing was originally opened in 1976 to chronicle the history of the sport of drag racing. Some 90+ race cars can be seen in the Drag Race building and an additional 50 are in the Antique Car building. Many of the Garlits “Swamp Rat” cars are here as well, but as it turns out, he’s a bit of a packrat with an accumulation of cars and memorabilia from other top names in the sport. The iconic cars of Dean Moon, the Mooneyes gas dragster and the Moonbeam sports car are on display which is exciting for any true racing fan. The museum is also home to the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame with inductees that include Art Arfons, Sydney Allard, Zora Arkus-Duntov, Ray Godman, Raymond Beadle, Shirley Muldowney, Kenny Bernstein, and Don Schumacher.
Donald Glenn “Don” Garlits (born January 14, 1932, Tampa, Florida) is an American race car driver and automotive engineer. He is considered the father of drag racing. He is known as “Big Daddy” to drag racing fans around the world. Always a pioneer in the field of drag racing, he perfected the rear-engine Top Fuel dragster, an innovation motivated by the loss of part of his foot in a dragster accident. This design was notably safer since it put most of the fuel processing and rotating parts of the dragster behind the driver. The driver was placed in front of nearly all the mechanical components, thus protecting the driver and allowing him to activate a variety of safety equipment in the event of catastrophic mechanical failure or a fire. Garlits was an early promoter of the full-body, fire-resistant Nomex driving suit, complete with socks, gloves, and balaclava.
Garlits was the first drag racer to officially surpass the 170, 180, 200, 240, 250, and 270 mile per hour marks in the quarter mile; he was also the first to top 200-mph in the 1⁄8 mi (0.20 km). He has been inducted into several Halls of Fame and has won many awards during his career.
Now let’s get back to the show. In 1997, Billetproof put on its first ever event in Albany, California with around 27 vehicles and about 100 guests. Over the years, this event has clearly grown its attendees and supporters in a big way. The huge turn out in custom rides along with a solid number of spectators make it obvious that they’re on the right path to success.
We spent the day admiring the creativity of these custom vehicles, watching live bands perform on stage and the keeping an on all the decked out pinup girls walking around the event. These ladies go all out on dressing up from 60’s hair styles, red lips, and even sun umbrellas they definitely pull the look off without a doubt. While the men have their own trophies to strive for the ladies get a very own pinup category of their own and the winner named B.
While most shows don’t have many restrictions on the type of vehicle that enters, this event is a little different. In the rules are restrictions of 1964 and prior traditional style rods and customs only are allowed to register and show. There seems to be a few that slip in under the radar but there’s always a few rebels anywhere you go right? We have to admit, this was one of the most laid-back and enjoyable events we’ve been through in a long time. Sometimes you just need a different vibe to your event atmosphere, and these guys definitely bring something unique. Check them out online, and we hope to see you at the next event. Be sure to come to our All Truck Season Opener Feb 8th 2020. Here is the official Facebook Event Page!