Hey y’all, I’m Vito Pagliarulo.
It seems like I’ve always been involved with cars all of my life. My dad has been building and racing cars since before I was born.
We moved from Boston to north Georgia where dad was able to make a living as an independent chassis builder and mom could have her horses, cows, pigs, and chickens.
It was the early 70’s and it was very different, dad wouldn’t let me go to the shop just yet. I had plenty of work that had to be done every day on the farm though. And you can bet your boots it wasn’t the fear of my video game being taken away that motivated my young hind end!
By the fifth grade I finally got to start going to the shop every now and then during summer break. And some of those days the farm work would have been a wiser choice. You don’t start off sitting on the hauler with a radio head set on. I mostly cleaned the shop, parts, and on occasion wash a real race car. Dad and Pete Hamilton really had it going on with a chassis design that was very desired, the rolling chassis, and there was always some very cool people hanging out there.
There were so many innovations developing with the manufacturers during those years, and they drew knowledge right from the tracks and the teams. No excel spread sheets, it was actually pen and paper. Not even a calculator was used until I was in high school. I’m talking long hand division, algebra, and trig!
Dad didn’t want his grand kids “drug all around the country side”, I went to five different elementary schools as different opportunities came along. And his skills allowed us to settle, a very rare fortune in that industry at the time before flying in and out of a show. We drove!
Shop life, I guess is in my blood and making sure of who is on the other end of the wrench on someone’s car seems natural to me. I have seen the power chemistry has in a team. If you don’t win, you don’t have cars to work on. And every time you work on somebody’s car they’re not only depending on your team for its reliability, but also for the safety of them and the ones they love.