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John Wayne

A Hot Rod Life

By Andrea Wojcik

More than 60 years in the automotive service industry makes Don Gallant a walking history of the street rod scene on the Berlin Turnpike. Gallant's enthusiasm and ingenuity have played a key role in shaping Connecticut’s hot rod culture and making the turnpike the street to show off souped-up classic American cars.

Gallant is the 82-year-old owner of Don’s Speed Shop on the Berlin Turnpike. He runs the shop with the help of his youngest son, Paul. But in his prime, Don Gallant was a drag racer. When he returned from his post-World War II military station in Japan in 1950, Don Gallant threw himself - full throttle - into the emerging drag racing...

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