7 MORE [and then some!] #10

Article From Ultimate-Guitar.com:


Billy F Gibbons’ Car Collection

Billy F Gibbons is a prominent name in the world of hot rods!

In our previous article, we showed you James Hetfield’s cool hot rod collection. But, obviously, he is not the only rock star who is obsessed with cars.

ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons has been into cars from an early age. Hot rods, customs, and motorcycles became his main hobby over the years. His extremely hands-on collaborations with legendary designers and builders such as Boyd Coddington, Pete Chapouris, and many others have given birth to his famous creations. Today we’re giving you a sneak peek into the Gibbons’ extensive car collection.

The ZZ Top frontman said:

When it comes to automobiles, hot-roddin’ techniques are limited only to one’s imagination. That creative process brings one’s personality to a project. It’s just another way to stand out, it’s part of showmanship. That or lunacy, with the exorbitant costs…



1933 Ford Coupe a.k.a. Eliminator

Heavily influenced by Pete Chapouris’ the California Kid, Billy had Don Thelan’s Buffalo Motor Cars shop built him a chopped 1933 Ford in the early ’80s, that became one of his earliest custom cars. The Eliminator was featured on two of ZZ Top’s album covers and appeared in a handful of the band’s music videos.



Some of the defining features of the car include a 3-inch chop, custom 3-piece hood built by Steve Davis, ’34 Ford headlights, classic ’39 Ford teardrop taillights, and of course, the iconic red paint scheme with custom “ZZ” graphics, designed by Kenny Youngblood.


1948 Cadillac Series 62 a.k.a. CadZZilla

After Gibbons came up with the name for this Cadillac Sedanette, he went to straight to Larry Erickson for a design proposal. CadZZilla turned out to be a mix of early post-war Cadillac design and artistic customization at the hands of Larry Erickson, Boyd Coddington, and Craig Naff. The car has a custom House of Color’s deep purple paint scheme, and a unique interior. Under the hood sits a 500ci Cadillac V8 with a custom Holley fuel injection system and headers. The vehicle looks so modern that it’s hard to believe it debuted in the ’80s.


Gibbons said:

It was heavily hammered, repowered, repainted. There’s about one square foot of original metal left. But, as the old saying goes, ‘Anyone can rebuild a car, but it takes a real man to cut one up’.


1936 Ford a.k.a. Mambo Coupé

This is a three-window coupe with a cool paint job, and a screaming chrome skull on the front grille was named Mambo Coupe after a box, full of Hawaiian shirts, that was found in the trunk of the vehicle.


1932 Ford a.k.a. Highboy

Billy said:

The Rudy Rodriguez ’32 Ford “highboy” roadster that’s like a go-cart on steroids which is still a blast to putt around in.’

Gibbons believes that this is the most elegant car he owns. It has an old French-built V8 flathead under the hood.


1962 Chevrolet Impala a.k.a. Slampala

The modern air-ride suspension allows the car to be set to extremely low ground clearance. The name Slampala came from the slang term for a low clearance (‘slammed’) and the model (Impala).

Gibbons said:

It needed just a little extra something. It was parked at the hot-rod shop we do business with, the So-Cal SpeedShop. They marched forward with a cutting torch and a hammer and I said, ‘What are you doing? This is a European automobile!’ and they said, ‘Not for long!’ Sure enough, they gave the car a louvre job, cutting vents into the bonnet. “As soon as the paint dried, we were back on the street.


1950 Ford Business Coupe a.k.a. Kopperhed

Gibbons named the car Kopperhed because of its copper and black color combination that reminded him of the rattlesnake. The vehicle is based on the ’50 five-window business coupe/sedan that has been “metamorphosed” into a three-window. The car was created by Pete Chapouris, Jim Jacobs, Mike Cardenas, John “Waddy” Crambia and Rick LeFever.


1958 Ford Thunderbird a.k.a. Mexican Blackbird

A vintage vehicle nicknamed ‘The Mexican Blackbird’ (after a ’75 ZZ Top song of the same name), was customized by the SO-CAL Speed Shop in Pomona, California, under the direction of Pete Chapouris.


1936 Ford Truck a.k.a. Rat Rod

The Ford Model T was the start of the assembly line, mass-production, and Henry Ford’s fortune. This truck has the rat rod look but a custom hot rod function. It was this combination that caught Gibbons’ eye and made him need to have it. Stripped back to its basics, the Ford runs a ’53 Ford flathead engine with an S-10 transmission , 6-inch drop tube front axle, and an 8-inch Ford rearend with buggy springs and air shocks.


1933 Ford Coupe a.k.a. Wiskeyrunner

This is yet another unique ’33 Ford in Gibbons’ collection that was built by So-Cal. The most interesting feature of this car is the jagged line running from front to back and over a grille on the front fender/hood.



If you want to learn more about Gibbons’ collection, you can check out his book titled ‘Billy F Gibbons: Rock + Rock Gearhead,’ or watch the Discovery series called ‘Rockin’ Roadsters.

6 thoughts on “7 MORE [and then some!] #10”

  1. Billy. It seems like you rarely use fx pedals and you like to get your “sound” from amps and guitars. Can you give us some insight on your setup and what fx does you occasionally use. Thanks

  2. Hey Billy have you ever thought of taking a fan on a tour of the studio and the car shop, call the rolling studio ZZTOP STYLE

  3. Love all those Fords,Seems like they are forgotten sometimes.What I love about Billie is him not forgetting his roots.He’s from Texas and wears it proud.He acknowledges his southern Californiaian schooling by using So.Cal speed shop.I wish he would acknowledge those Ford and General Motor roots here in Michigan.We are the originators of all things automotive.The Fords in their Detroit roots and General Motors their Flint Mi. roots.Right in the middle of the Urban blight is a couple square blocks of small garages where General Motors got its start.There are some shops here in the state where it all began that could use the press and could sure use the dollars.I know Billie does more than his fair share when it comes to charity and is a class individual in an occupation not always know for that particular quality. Just maybe in the next build give the Michigan boys a chance to show we maybe down but certainly not out.Im sure Kid Rock could give you some names of Michigan talent.Kid Rock is another class individual carrying the Michigan flag proudly when sometimes that’s not easy to do.Bob Seger the same and love him or hate him Ted Nugent is another Axe man with a Texas/Michigan connection that maybe able to get the word out as far as Hot Rods are concerned.We are open for Business.Sorry for the long comment just proud of my States automotive and Rock and Roll history.

  4. Billy–saw you first time in Bangor ME…August 1973….you opened for Earth WInd and Fire…what an introduction to you style of blues….Love it and will continue…Michael J Kelly . . . . .Calais, Maine

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