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Grandfather plans a legacy of hot-rodding for his family

August 7, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Some get into classic vehicles for a hobby, for racing, or just for showing, but one Poland man has a different idea. Jim DeSimone loves building street rods and muscle cars, but he does it with some long range goals in mind.

At Sunday's Cars in the Park show at Boardman Park, DeSimone brought his 1968 Chevy Nova that he built for show. While DeSimone is enjoying it now, it will someday have a new owner.

"I have willed the car to my grandson, Rocco Previt," he said.

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Jim DeSimone of Poland poses next to his 1968 Chevy Nova that he plans on passing down to his grandchild someday.

The Nova was purchased four years ago out of New York state. DeSimone said it was in bad shape and took a lot of restoration. The quarter panels were rusted out and required cutting and welding in new ones. Once the body work was complete, DeSimone chose a 2008 Hyundai blue for the finish.

The plan was to have a bigger motor installed, but the frame had to be stronger to take the torque. To solve that problem, DeSimone had a tube frame installed to house a 468-cubic-inch big block motor with a Turbo 400 transmission.

The interior was redone with racing-style bucket seats and full instrumentation. The Nova was set up for drag racing, but DeSimone said it is not something he enjoys that much anymore.

"I raced it twice," he said. "Racing is expensive, specifically when you break something."

He said while it can handle the drag strip, he much prefers showing it and driving it to cruises.

One other reason he no longer races is the fact he is trying to keep three classic vehicles going. Each one of them has been willed to a grandchild. He has a 1969 Chevelle that will someday go to Carlo Previt, 1, and a 1930 Ford coupe that is willed to his granddaughter, Sophia Previt, 5. While all three grandchildren are very young, DeSimone said it gives him a little time to drive and enjoy the cars.

DeSimone retired from Youngstown State University six years ago and said he loves his car hobby as well as the fact he will pass on that legacy to his grandchildren. He is still working on classic vehicles and is right now restoring a 1967 Chevy convertible for a friend.



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