Daily Driving a Vintage Gasser Is a Life-Long Obsession

Pete Gentile's '55 Chevy dragster used to dominate the Detroit drag strips. Now he uses that same car for Sunday ice cream runs with his grandkids.

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Most of us like to think of ourselves as hardcore. Dedicated to the automotive lifestyle; willing to live the life instead of just watching it as a bystander.

Pete Gentile is an example of what that means.

Gentile is a lifelong mechanic and body man, an early-days Detroit drag racer who worked a day job at Fisher Body making, among other things, body panels for the then-new Chevy Corvair. And while most young men grow out of their hot-rodding habit with the demands of job, family, and day-to-day life, Gentile never left the scene. In fact, he's still driving his 750-horsepower '55 Chevy gasser on the street today, using it for Sunday cruises and ice cream runs with his grandkids.

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Gentile isn't just resting with his '55, either: He's building a '55 Ford to match one that he restored, customized, then lost track of as a young man. While Gentile can't put in the long-hour garage thrash sessions of his youth, he's still living the life, just like he did as a young man. And you've got to respect that.

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