Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

Billetproof Florida – The South’s Least Important Car Show

Billetproof Florida is an extension of promoter Alan Galbraith’s collection of events he laughingly coins “The World’s Least Important Car Shows.” We found BP Florida to be a treat, from the cars to the pinup contest and everything in between. If you’ve been to one, you know what to expect.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

The only question each year: What about the weather? Sweatshirts? Shorts and T shirt? Top up? Heater on?

Billetproof Florida, Fuel CurveFlorida weather can range from cold mornings with warm afternoons to pre-dawn rains and afternoon sunshine. If you’ve ever been in Florida in March, you know the drill.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

For the 2018 Billetproof Florida at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing just south of Ocala, weather was not an issue. A chilly dawn gave way to a pleasant day. And the show was even better.

Nearly 300 participants and hundreds more spectators enjoyed the cars, of course, as well as a pinstripe panel jam, live bands, a pinup girl contest, a large model car contest, vendors, a swap meet and two cool bands playing throughout the day.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

Billetproof Florida has spent most of its life at the Garlits facility. A couple of years in Gainesville a few years ago weren’t the greatest, so the event is back at its more comfortable home. For attendees, getting in the show for free, browsing Don’s Garage Sale (and meeting him, too) and touring the museum make for a great day.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

Billetproof Florida, Fuel CurveAnd like other Billetproof events throughout its two-decade history, the creativity put into the awards often outshine some of the cars.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

The model cars continue to amaze. The thought and workmanship in miniature boggles many a mind. And a couple of diorama displays would make Hollywood special effects designers envious.

The two bands entertained from the stage during the day with a variety of tunes, from pure rock-a-billy classics to hard-driving surf guitar riffs.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

The time put into the pinup contest wardrobes is impressive. You don’t buy those duds at Target. Upwards of 20 entrants were at the show early, too, enjoying the event and mingling with fans.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

The swap meet was always jammed with shoppers prowling through a variety of offerings, from cars and rare parts to vintage collectibles and clothing. The show-field vendors included vintage clothing and accessories, plus at least two stripers offering their services.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

One of the Billetproof Florida treats is the opportunity to walk Don Garlits’ garage and his garage sale. He’s there visiting with fans, signing autographs. And several of his historic dragsters are stored in the garage, so you get a sneak peek at what’s in the museum if you spring for the price of admission.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel CurveBilletproof Florida, Fuel Curve

While you expect to see traditional hot rods, customs, rat rods, etc., at a Billetproof event, this year’s Florida event also brought out a slew of unusual vehicles to admire.

Billetproof Florida, Fuel Curve

If you’re planning a trip to Florida next year for spring break, organize it around the 2019 Billetproof event. For many visitors, you’ll drive right by the museum on I-75 on your way to Disney or the beaches.

Billetproof Photo Extra!

Dave Doucette is a long-time Goodguys member with a career in newspaper, magazine and website journalism. He was one of the founding editors of USA TODAY, editor of two daily newspapers and co-owner of a magazine publishing and trade show company. He owns and operates Real Auto Media. His first car was a 1947 Ford; he has owned Camaros, Firebirds, El Caminos and a 1956 Chevy that was entered in shows from California to Florida before being sold last year. He was one of the original Goodguys Rodders Reps and served as president of two classic Chevy clubs. Doucette grew up in South Florida, avidly following the racing exploits of local hero Ollie Olsen and, of course, Don Garlits. He remembers riding his bicycle to Briggs Cunningham’s West Palm Beach factory to peak through the fence at his Sebring and LeMans racers.

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