Carter Pro Paint

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

By Anna Marco

Bill was born in Hollywood, CA and grew up during the birth of custom paint. It was a magical time of experimentation, groundbreaking designs, custom formulas and color combinations. He started in high school recalling, “I loved the smell of paint and lacquer.” One of his first paint jobs was Pearl White/Purple flames on a stock 1929 Model A with a dropped axle that belonged to a family member. He then proceeded to paint vehicles for his fathers trucking firm. Bill’s father was very supportive of his son and encouraged him to paint everything. After watching $5 sign painters, Bill decided to do that too and thus began his foray into striping and lettering. At age 23, Bill Carter became Larry Watson’s protégé and is the only person who can mix, match and recall the secret, original Watson

paint/color/formula combinations. Watson had opened up shop in the Valley and heard of Carter’s “badass paint jobs” so he called Billy and hired him on the spot. Carter quips, “I always wanted to work for him but would never ask. He heard about me!” Watson was a tough taskmaster in the shop but with his guidance, Bill learned valuable lessons regarding professionalism, trusting your instincts and honing your creative eye stating, “You either have it or you don’t. Watson was fast and innovative and he taught me skills in the paint booth, secret tricks and how to complete jobs efficiently. We would mix five gallon buckets of paint and still have enough left over for the doorjambs. My Watson tutelage exposed me to color in anew way and I took that to drag racing combined with chrome tape, pearls and candies. In addition to being inspired by Watson whom he affectionately called “Leader,” Bill Carter called Leadslinger Bill Hines, “miraculous.”


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