1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454
by Michael Fortuna
ARS & CULTURE C
ince 1970, Vinny Cognato has been cruising the streets of New York in his Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454. Some 40 years later, he’s now brought the red two-door muscle car to The Villages, where he joined the Vintage Car Club. The Village of Ashland resident still has the original bill of sale and brochures from the dealer.
Q. What was it about this car?
A: It was like the (hot) car at the time. I wanted to be the cool guy. In ‘69 the Chevelle came out with the brochures about the car. I went to the dealer and looked at the brochure. They told me they didn’t even make it yet. Attheendof‘69whentheystartedsellingthecars, I went to a car show at the Coliseum in New York. I was walking through with my friend.
Q. Were you looking for the car, or was the car looking for you?
Q. What was your reaction when you drove it off the lot?
A: It was really nice to see people staring at the car. The car was very fast. I did a peel out and made a scene. (When I got back to) my block in Brooklyn, all my neighbors came out (to see the car). They loved the car. I was eating it up. I had a second car that was used for everyday driving. I used that to go to gigs.
A: I knew what I wanted. I was in my early 20s, and I wanted a racing car where I could meet girls. I decided this is the car I wanted. I decided to keep this car forever. I’ve had it for 40 years.
Villages resident Vinny Cognato has owned the Chevelle SS 454 since 1970.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - February 2011