Twin Cities to Embrace Hot Rod Roots at Billetproof Car Show

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Classic car enthusiasts around the Twin Cities will return to their hot rod roots Saturday at the seventh annual Billetproof Hot Rod and Custom Show at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds. 

Between 500 to 700 vintage cars made prior to 1965 are expected to be on display. No high tech, billet wheel, digital-dashed techno rods or street rods are allowed. 

After the show, the cars will cruise down Tower Avenue in Centralia from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  

“It’s back to the roots of hot rodding,” Billetproof spokesman Alan Galbraith said. “It’s a return to that style, it's a return to that vibe. It was more about what you could do in your garage than what you can do with your checkbook.”

Billetproof started in 1997 in Antioch, California, and has since expanded to shows in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington. 

Galbraith, from the Sacramento, California, area, said the other shows are larger but do not match the quality of cars that come to the show in the Twin Cities. 

The local show draws car owners from the Portland and Seattle areas, along with people from the Twin Cities. More than 2,500 spectators are expected this year. 

“It’s an excellent spot. The quality of cars in the Northwest is probably the highest of any of our shows. The overall quality is fantastic,” Galbraith said. “It’s probably a half step above the California show. The California show is larger, but the quality of cars in the Northwest is better.” 

While car owners show off their hot rods, children 12 years old and younger will be given a free model car to make and take from the show. The “make and take” will be in conjunction with a model car show at the fairgrounds.

“We are trying to include a lot of people and make it fun for everybody,” Galbraith said.

The second annual Billetproof Pin-Up Girl Contest will also be held on Saturday where women can dress up like pin-up models from the 1940s, Galbraith said.

The pin-up girl contest is being organized by professional pin-up photographer Mitzi Valenzuela, of Mitzi and Co. in San Dimas, California.

“It was new last year. Mitzi is a good friend of mine and she runs a lot of pin-up contests across the country. She attracts a lot of models that wouldn’t otherwise show up,” Galbraith said. “There was real good participation last year and we are looking for the same this year.” 

Billetproof, held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the fairgrounds, will also feature live bands and vendors. 

Awards will be given out to the best classic cars at the show. 

“The car clubs pick the winners and that is a high honor to be picked by your peers,” Galbraith said. 

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Reporter Kyle Spurr can be reached at (360) 807-8239

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