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Performance & Hotrod Business February '14

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Stat Sheet: A 1970 Pontiac GTO convertible restored by Deer Park, N.Y.-based Paul's Rods & Restos celebrates the life of Maj. Jeffrey Calero, a fallen soldier from Queens, N.Y. Car: 1970 Pontiac GTO Convertible. Builder: Paul's Rods & Restos (Deer Park, N.Y.). Owner: The family of Maj. Jeffrey Calero (Queens, N.Y.). Build Time: Five years. Interior: Two-toned black and red leather seats with red stitching with a Special Forces logo embossed in the front and rear seats. Other interior features include Remy Racing steering box, custom Grant steering wheel, Custom Auto Sound radio and speakers, and stock gauges and heating system. Chassis: Donor frame reconditioned and powder-coated. Suspension: Complete front and rear Hotchkis Sport Suspension with tubular front and rear control arms, sway bars and springs. Rear End: 10-bolt positraction rear end with 355 gears Powertrain: Rebuilt by Deer Park, N.Y.–based Ace Crankshaft. 375-hp 400 Pontiac engine with an Edelbrock carburetor and Performer intake manifold, CVF pulley kit, high energy ignition (HEI) and K&N filter. Drivetrain features a Muncie 4-speed with a Hurst shifter. Exhaust: Hedman coated headers connected to a 2-1/2-inch stainless X-pipe exhaust and mint stainless Ch- of time, we plugged away. We raised money for parts, but it was a restoration that spiraled out of control." After about a year, Paul's Restos began work on the GTO's body with donated sheet metal and structural pieces from Haynes Performance. However, the crew discovered that the frame was dead and had to get a donor car for the chassis. "With the donor car, we were able to get all of the structural pieces that were missing," DiMauro says. "It also needed a cowl because the front of the firewall was rotted. It was just one thing after the next." Funding was an obstacle, but DiMauro managed to collect supporters from all over the country. Paul's Restos hosted a raffle to raise funds; manufacturers donated parts and several of the shop's customers offered money out of pocket to support the build. "Funding was probably the toughest thing," he says. "You're not getting paid to do the build, but your passion and desire are still going into the project. Whether you're making nothing or $95 an hour, every job has to be prepared the same. I've always practiced that, and sometimes it's painful. You can't rush through a job." Other challenges included many fitment issues, which DiMauro says the shop often encounters with projects involving 1968'70 GTOs. "On the convertibles, they don't sell full quarter panels, so we could only use lower quarters," he says. "We took hard top quarters and actually cut them down and utilized them to make the quarter panels." February 2014 PHBFEB_52-77.indd 69 evelle tips. Cooling System: Be Cool aluminum radiator with a set of SPAL fans and shroud. Tires & Wheels: Gray-toned Hypershot Booster Wheels with 18inch 255 45R18 Falken tires in the rear and 255 45R18 Falken tires in the front. Chrome & Lights: Stock headlights and taillights. Chrome was prepared with epoxy etching primer and sprayed with PPG Hot Rod Black. Paint: PPG Starlight Black and Cardinal Red with custom airbrush work by Medford, N.Y.-based Island Air Custom Services. Hood features commemorative mural. n Performance & Hotrod Business n 69 1/2/14 4:37 PM

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