Pete Gentile and INJECTICIDE

Not every one that raced at Detroit Dragway was a big named driver & car.  Detroit Dragway had lots of every day local racers.  These are the one that supported the track week after week.  One such racer was Pete Gentile, and his 1955 Chev. hot rod INJECTICIDE….

Pete no longer races INJECTICIDE, but you can see him at some of the local car cruises & car shows.  Pete has owned his beloved INJECTICIDE for over 30 years.  It’s always great to see Pete and if your lucky you may just get a ride inINJECTICIDE.

Pete’s Bio

I BOUGHT THE CAR AS A GUTTED SHELL FROM A FRIEND TEDDY Z WHO BOUGHT IT THAT WAY. HE WAS GOING TO BUILD IT AND RACE IT BUT DIDN’T KNOW THE FIRST THING ABOUT ENGINES BUT WAS A REAL GOOD HOT ROD BUILDER A NEPHEW OF BILL HINES AKA THE LEAD SLINGER WHO TAUGHT HIM WELL AND WAS MY MENTOR. I WOULD RIDE MY BIKE TO HIS SHOP AND WATCH HIM PUT LEAD ON ALL HIS CREATIONS. HE LATER MOVED TO CA. AND WORKED WITH BARRIS FOR A WHILE AND IS STILL WORKING IN CA.

YOU COULD SAY I WAS THE BUILDER.THIS WAS IN 1966.

THERE WASN’T A DRIVETRAIN IN THE CAR.

THE CAR WAS FOUND IN DETROIT AND TEDDY Z WAS TOLD IT CAME FROM THE SOUTHWEST.

THE FIRST ENGINE WAS A SBC 301 CU.IN. WITH CORVETTE FUEL INJECTION, LATER WITH HILBORN INJECTION AND A VERTEX MAGNITO, CYL HEADS WERE CORVETTE. ALSO THE ENGINE WAS UPDATED WITH A 302Z SERVICE PACKAGE ENGINE THAT WAS BLUE PRINTED.

NOW AS A RESTORED STREET CAR, IT HAS A SBC 383 WITH A GMC SUPERCHARGER EAGLE CRANK AND RODS FORGED PISTONS AND DART SPORTSMAN II ALUM. HEADS. TWO 600 CFM HOLLEY CARBS, AND MSD IGNITION.

I FIRST STARTED WITH B&M HYDRO TRANSMISSION. THEN TO A 4 SPEED CLOSE RATIO MUNCIE TRANSMISSION. THE REAR END WAS A CHEVY, THEN AN OLDS, AND FINALLY TO A GMC ¾ TON WITH A 5.83 RATIO.

THE CAR RAN AS AN E/GAS COUPE AND WHEN I WAS TRYING TO WORK WITH THE INJECTION (CHANGING THE PILLS) FUEL DELIVERY I RAN IN D/ALTERED LESS THE FRONT END.

THE BEST THE CAR RAN WAS IN THE MID 11S AT 119 MPH.

THE CAR WAS BLACK LACQUER WITH GOLD LETTERING WHEN RACED BACK IN THE DAY AND NOW HAS SINGLE STAGE ENAMEL WITH A HARDNER AND WAS LETTERED BY PAUL HATTON BOTH TIME.

THE BODY SHELL HAS ALL THE ORIGINAL STEEL ROOF, QUARTERS, TRUNK, AND FLOOR EXCEPT WHERE IT WAS MODIFIED FOR ENGINE SETBACK. THE FRONTEND ANDDOORS ARE FIBERGLASS. THE FIREWALL AND DASH WERE MODIFIED FOR THE 10% ENGINE SETBACK ALLOWED BY NHRA RULES FOR WEIGHT TRANSFER. REAR WHEELWELLS WERE RAISED 3 1/2 INCHES BUT REMAIN THE LOOK OF STOCK. THE REAR PAN WAS ROLLED AND A 50POUND BUMPER (PUSH BAR) WAS INSTALLED AS THE RULE ALLOWED.

I PAINTED THE CAR BOTH TIMES AND BOTH TIMES WAS A BODY OFF FRAME BUILD.

AT THE TIME I BUILT THE CAR I OWNED A GAS STATION/ REPAIR BUSINESS. ONE OF MY EMPLOYES FOLLOWED HORSE RACING, SEEN THE NAME OF A HORSE CALLED INJECTIDE, WE THOUGHT WITH THE HILBORN INJECTION THAT WOULD BE PERFECT.

THE WHEELS WERE ASTRO CHROME SLOTTED. AFTER I PUT THE ¾ TON UNDER THE CAR, I HAD TO MAKE MY OWN WHEELS FOR THE BACK. I HAD A DRUM LATHE IN MY SHOP THAT I SET UP TO TURN THE CENTER OUT OF THE 8 LUG GM WHEELS. THEN I TOOK THE CENTER OUT OF THE 8 INCH 5 LUG GM WHEELS AND PUT THEM TOGETHER, AND TOOK THEM TO A CERTIFIED WELDER. I LATER MADE A FEW MORE SETS ONE OF THEM WAS FOR AL MAYNARD A GOOD FRIEND. HE WAS THE ONE WHO TALKED ME INTO PUTTING THE ¾ TON UNDER THE CAR. HE ALSO RAN THAT STYLE IN HIS 57 CHEVY D/GAS AND E/GAS CAMARO. IT NOW HAS SPOKE WHEELS ON THE FRONT AND CUSTOM 17INCH BILLET WHEELS THAT CENTERLINE MADE TO MY SPECS.ON THE BACK.

THE FRONT END WAS A TUBE AXLE WITH EARLY FORD SPINDLES AND LEAF SPRING SUSPENSION, AND HAD DISC BRAKES ON THE FRONT AND DRUM ON THE BACK.

IN 2010 I HAD TO REPLACE THE REAR END BECAUSE IT WAS WORN OUT AND I COULD NOT FIND ANY GEARS WITH A RATIO THAT I COULD USE FOR STREET DRIVING. I HAD DTS BUILD ME A DANA 60 SERIES REAR END WITH A DETROIT LOCKER AND 3.53 RATIO AND 35 SPLINE AXLES, FLOATING HUBS AND DISC BRAKES. I COULD HAVE PUT ANOTHER STYLE OF REAR END UNDER THE CAR BUT I WANTED TO KEEP THE CAR AS MUCH AS I COULD THE WAY IT WAS AND I ALREADY HAD THE WHEELS. PEOPLE THAT LOOK AT THE CAR ALWAYS ASK WHY THAT TRUCK WHEEL IS ON THE CAR, WHICH SETS UP A CONVERSATION. MOST ARE YOUNGER PEOPLE THAT WERE NOT AROUND WHEN THE CARS WERE RACED AND SOME SAY THEY WISHED THEY WERE.

BACK WHEN I RACED IT HAD STEWART GAUGES AND A SUN TACH. NOW IT HAS AUTOMETER GAUGES AND TACH. THE SHIFTER WAS A HURST 4 SPEED AND NOW WITH A TURBO 400 AUTO TRANS IT HAS A HURST SHIFTER.

BACK WHEN I RACED I HAD 2 FIBERGLASS BUCKETS THAT WERE REQUIRED. THEY WERE BLACK ROLLED AND PLEATED LEATHER. NOW IT HAS A WISEGUYS FRONT BENCH SEAT AND A STOCK REAR SEAT THAT IS ROLLED AND PLEATED IN RED LEATHER.

THE CAR WAS LAST RACED IN THE FALL OF 1971. IN 1972 I WENT TOO WORK AT FORD MOTOR COMPANY AS A PROTOTYPE ENGINE BUILDER AND THEN VEHICLE BUILDER. AFTER THAT I WAS TRAINING ENGINEERS THAT CAME TO FORD MOTOR CO. ABOUT THE MECHINICAL PARTS OF VEHICLES. I ALSO WAS IN CHARGE OF THE RESEARCH AIR FLOW LABORATORY AND AN ENGINE FLUID DYNAMICS LABORATORY. AFTER 34 YEARS I RETIRED WITH A NON DEGREE ENGINEERS RATING AS A HARDWARE SPECIALIST.

I SOLD THE DRIVE TRAIN AND PUT A SBC 350 CU INCH IN IT SO I COULD MOVE IT.

IN 1976 I PUT IT ON THE STREET BRIEFLY BUT CARS LIKE THAT WERE NOT SEEN MUCH AND EVERYBODY EITHER WANTED TO RACE OR WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT IT AND THAT MADE ME NERVIOUS SO BACK IN THE BARN IT WENT.

I HAVE DONE MOST OF THE BODY, PAINT, FABRICATION, ENGINE BUILDING.TRIM WAS DONE BY PETES UPHOLSTERY IN SOUTHGATE MICHIGAN AND TEDDY Z WHO I BOUGHT THE SHELL FROM WHO DID THE WHEELWELLS AND ROLLED THE PAN ON THE BACK OF THE CAR. HE PRETTY MUCH GAVE ME THE CAR AND KNEW I WOULD DO A GOOD JOB BUILDING IT.

REVISED 1/25/2014

 

 

If you have any photos from Detroit Dragway please share them with us.  Just email them to us here.  detroitdragway.com@hotmail.com

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook Page —> Click Here

Here are just a few photos of INJECTICIDE.