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How about an early Billet appreciation thread...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Hot Rods & Customs' started by Anderson, Jun 3, 2024.

  1. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 7,279

    Anderson
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  2. 32fenderless
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 359

    32fenderless
    Member

    I don’t have anything to add, but heck ya. I love the early 3 piece wheels and one off valve covers and dash inserts. Before they were mass produced.
     
    Ned Ludd likes this.
  3. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,893

    blue 49
    Member
    from Iowa

    Lil John's "strong arm milling machine".

    Gary
     
  4. Sky Six
    Joined: Mar 15, 2018
    Posts: 10,662

    Sky Six
    Member
    from Arizona

    I'm sorry, but for some reason, I can see @Moriarity just cringing at this.:)
     
  5. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 7,279

    Anderson
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  6. This pic doesn't really show the billet goodness of this car, but my dad owned this in the mid 90s. Built by Boyd and Lil John in the early 80s, it had valve covers milled from a solid chunk. Billet dash insert as well. I'll hafta dig for those pics.

    1011912_10101500958334357_1053892401_n_10101500958334357 (1).jpg 118156874_10109326881037527_3740077646176343625_o_10109326881032537.jpg 1004716_10101500958558907_213398911_n_10101500958558907.jpg
     
  7. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
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    Anderson
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    Damn that's cool Dan!
     
    Dan Hay likes this.
  8. Dad wanted to "update" it so when he had it, so he polished the wheels and put big stock 32 headlights on it. Always thought it was a mistake.

    Chris Coddington sent me the build pics of the chassis when I asked him about the car.

    He let me use it in my High School's homecoming parade!
     
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  9. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 7,279

    Anderson
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  10. And he’s not alone.
     
  11. This is the off topic forum you don’t have to click on it. I dig it because this is the era I grew up in.
     
  12. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
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    Anderson
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  13. Honestly I'm right there next to him lol
     
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  14. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,920

    JimSibley
    Member

    Me too, didnt like it in the 90s, dont like it now.
     
    guthriesmith likes this.
  15. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 7,279

    Anderson
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    Don’t avoid the Boyd.
    IMG_3602.jpeg
     
    teach'm and BigJoeArt like this.
  16. I completely agree, a good life balance includes some cringe time.
     
  17. It is also the timeframe that I somewhat grew up in, but I am still trying to forget it... :eek: The only good I can say about cars built during this time is that they can sometimes be bought cheap and turned into something cool. :D But, I know this is all a matter of opinion just like everything.
     
  18. BigJoeArt
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 568

    BigJoeArt
    Member

    Hell yes! I love this stuff. I'll see if I can dig any pictures up of the 'chrome shop coupe' Its been a favorite of that era for me, so much so, I started building a model of it, complete with carved styrene front nose panels.
     
    teach'm and Anderson like this.
  19. My post was made in jest, yes I realize this is the off topic forum, I said nothing derogatory toward billet or the billet era.
    I was very young but I remember this era, I am not a fan but that doesn’t mean I don’t have respect for the craftsmanship.

    By the way at lest one East Coast car had billet headlight/dash knobs in the 1950, made by the owner on his lathe!
    @nickthebandit could give more insight.
     
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  20. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,920

    JimSibley
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    Although I dont like the style, I do like this thread. Its a part of hotrod history, and kinda fun to look at. Its like parachute pants and teased hair.
     
  21. The Dennis Varni Roadster and my conversation with him is the only thing I remember about the 2015 Roundup. Drove that sucker from SF, with a bunch of other cool roadsters.
     
    Anderson likes this.
  22. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 7,279

    Anderson
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    I gotchu fam.
    001-1934-ford-coupe-former-ridler-winner.jpg 012-1934-ford-coupe-former-ridler-winner.jpg 013-1934-ford-coupe-former-ridler-winner.jpg 014-1934-ford-coupe-former-ridler-winner.jpg 017-1934-ford-coupe-former-ridler-winner.jpg 34-Ford-Altered-Street-Coupe.jpg
     
  23. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
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    Anderson
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    I could really do without the sunroof on that one.
     
    Dan Hay likes this.
  24. BigJoeArt
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 568

    BigJoeArt
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  25. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,901

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    While the styling on some of them is lacking, you can’t argue with the workmanship on most of them. The fit and finish always amazed me. In a way, it was like making a custom from a hot rod body, everything that wasn’t smooth was shaved off or leveled out. The attention to detail was off the wall, hours spent whittling down a chunk of aluminum for a bracket, unreal. Much more patience than I got.
     
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  26. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 5,124

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    Contrary to what some will claim, machining did happen in the '50s, as did fabrication.Some on here have the idea that "traditional hot rodding" is reassembling stock early Ford parts in different ways, and nothing more. I don't think early hot rodders gave a damn about that; they were always wishing they had greater technological capabilities than whatever they had, aspiring, figuring out ways to work around. "Billet" was what you did when you were technologically ambitious and didn't have a foundry. Nobody said, "Can't do that, because then it wouldn't be hot rodding any more."

    Even as a look, machining wasn't unprecedented. I think of engine-turned firewalls and dashboards, entire Bugatti engines, Voisin's "cocotte" radiator mascot. But somewhere in the '80s somebody gave it the name "billet" and turned it into a thing, and soon people were looking for excuses to make machined parts in place of whatever they'd been using before, just to have stuff that qualifies as "billet". There's a parallel to modernist architecture in what happened there; those infamous superfluous I-sections on the facade of the Seagram building, when "functionalness" became a kind of ornament. I think it's when "billetiness" became decoration that the whole thing fell apart.

    I'm not one to see a machined alloy part and go, "Ha! Billet! Bad!" But I was never a fan of going to town with the ball-milling, and machined flames always seemed pointless (if you'll excuse the pun) — especially on steering wheels. And that had already been well established by the time diecast stuff with a "machined" look began to appear.

    Billet needs to give me an argument as to why it was necessary, or better, to machine the part instead of making it in some other way. I need to see that; it has to make sense.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2024
    SR100 likes this.
  27. IMG_7615.jpeg IMG_7614.jpeg Larry Murray 1985 AMBR. Not my favorite, but dad worked for Larry at his concrete business as a fabricator for a while. I think the squared off top bugs me. Should perhaps lean forward.

    Also in the same vain, another Boyd built phaeton for Bob Kolmos
    IMG_7616.jpeg IMG_7617.jpeg
     
    teach'm and Anderson like this.
  28. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 7,279

    Anderson
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