You could say that Vincent Paradiso is a Chevy guy. He has a shop in New Milford, Connecticut and his stable of cars are Chevrolet all the way! His stash of Bowties is comprised of everything from a 1932 Chevrolet to a pro-mod Corvette and this high-nosed gasser.
Vinny is now retired from his day job, but has been drag racing for most of his life. Most everything he builds at his business Paradise Auto and Paradiso Motor Sports is drag racing themed. He says that, “old gassers bring me back to when I was a kid!” Most of his builds would be considered pro-street, while some are built only for the track. He said he might consider selling some cars, but there are a few that are non-negotiable, like his ’55 gasser and his Bill Jenkins 1969 Camaro.
He has several Corvettes and the one that caught our eye was this 1960 gasser-style build that he recently completed. He originally purchased the car in Long Island New York, intending it to be road ready. But, as you can imagine, there were a few things that required his personal touch.
He swapped out the radiator, did a little bit of work on the engine, added a trans cooler, modified the rear suspension and installed those way-cool wheel-house headers and exhaust. As the gasser-requisite tilt front-end lifts forward, you get a full-on look at that 383 that is pushing about 525 horsepower. Atop the high-winding small-block is a tunnel-ram setup fed through eight barrels of Holley goodness.
While some folks might savor power-rowing a long-stick shifter for that gasser nostalgia, Vinny festooned his ’60 with a Turbo 400 transmission that twists those 4:56 gears in that nine-inch Ford differential. A coil over suspension keeps the car at that elevated stance and a full set of Wilwood disc brakes make sure that it stops as quick as it goes. After about a year of tweaking, Vinny reports that the car is officially complete.
As of this writing, Vinny’s gasser has only about twenty miles on the clock and most of them served as the necessary break-in for all the components to get used to working in unity. As such, Vinny has not had opportunity to try out the car on the track yet, but he figures that the car is a solid 10-second ride.
Currently, he reports that the car is a hit wherever it goes, its nose-high uniqueness putting it head and shoulders above the competition at the various car shows and cruise-ins where he’s shown the car thus far. The car is a blast to drive and slams Vinny back into that gasser era almost has hard as it sets him in the seat when he hits the loud pedal. Today’s cars have evolved to exhibit both quarter-mile prowess and the ability to handle the open road. While those early gasser-style racers were originally designed for track-only service, with today’s technology, they can also be fun, nostalgic drivers, competent show-winners and still be fan-favorite track stars. Just ask Vinny Paradiso.