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Committee Member Dennis Kelly on His Love of American Muscle Cars

Committee Member Dennis Kelly on His Love of American Muscle Cars

February 14, 2020 by

Dennis Kelly Dennis Kelly

As a Master Sommelier and owner of Silicon Valley’s award-winning Protégé restaurant, I am focused on delivering an extraordinary food and wine experience to our guests. But, deep down in my heart of hearts, I’m still a Midwestern kid who fell in love with bombastic American muscle cars. My love for those cars started with the car in the picture below: A 1973 fire-engine red Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that my father bought my mother for Valentine’s Day in 1974. My brother-in-law Ron (shown pointing in the photo) recently refurbished the car for my mom, and I’m looking forward to taking it for a nostalgic cruise this summer. I learned to drive in this car—and I remember accidentally ‘chirping’ the tires backing out of my girlfriend’s driveway in front of her mom. It was a challenge to control the 455 cubic-inch V8 rumbling underneath the shaker-scoop adorned hood.

momscar.jpeg

Like fine wine, my appreciation of these iconic automobiles is in the details. The cars I list here are all very special, even more special than their stock versions and other variants. These are all very desirable pieces of driveable art; I only wish I had a big enough “wine cellar” to acquire and store them all. Here is my Top 5 Wishlist, in ascending order:

#5: 1969 Hurst/Oldsmobile Cutlass 442, which initially stood for the four-barrel carburetor, four on the floor transmission, and dual exhaust—decked out in gold racing stripes over a white paint scheme.

#4: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z28: With only 602 produced in its first year of production, this version sported duel racing stripes and was designed to be “virtually race ready.”

#3: 1969 Pontiac GTO “The Judge,” ideally in Warwick Blue with its duel racing scoops and rear spoiler, and showcasing a 400 cubic-inch Ram Air III V8 engine.

#2: 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am: The introduction of the second-generation Firebird featured functional spoilers, side vents, a shaker hood scoop, and introduced the iconic single racing stripe and nose bird-decal combination.

#1: 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, of course, preferably in black with red racing stripes and the iconic 427 cubic-inch “Big Block" engine, which cranked out a whopping 425 horsepower!

protegepaloalto.com













Committee Member Dennis Kelly on His Love of American Muscle Cars

February 14, 2020 by Dennis Kelly

As a Master Sommelier and owner of Silicon Valley’s award-winning Protégé restaurant, I am focused on delivering an extraordinary food and wine experience to our guests. But, deep down in my heart of hearts, I’m still a Midwestern kid who fell in love with bombastic American muscle cars. My love for those cars started with the car in the picture below: A 1973 fire-engine red Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that my father bought my mother for Valentine’s Day in 1974. My brother-in-law Ron (shown pointing in the photo) recently refurbished the car for my mom, and I’m looking forward to taking it for a nostalgic cruise this summer. I learned to drive in this car—and I remember accidentally ‘chirping’ the tires backing out of my girlfriend’s driveway in front of her mom. It was a challenge to control the 455 cubic-inch V8 rumbling underneath the shaker-scoop adorned hood.

momscar.jpeg

Like fine wine, my appreciation of these iconic automobiles is in the details. The cars I list here are all very special, even more special than their stock versions and other variants. These are all very desirable pieces of driveable art; I only wish I had a big enough “wine cellar” to acquire and store them all. Here is my Top 5 Wishlist, in ascending order:

#5: 1969 Hurst/Oldsmobile Cutlass 442, which initially stood for the four-barrel carburetor, four on the floor transmission, and dual exhaust—decked out in gold racing stripes over a white paint scheme.

#4: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z28: With only 602 produced in its first year of production, this version sported duel racing stripes and was designed to be “virtually race ready.”

#3: 1969 Pontiac GTO “The Judge,” ideally in Warwick Blue with its duel racing scoops and rear spoiler, and showcasing a 400 cubic-inch Ram Air III V8 engine.

#2: 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am: The introduction of the second-generation Firebird featured functional spoilers, side vents, a shaker hood scoop, and introduced the iconic single racing stripe and nose bird-decal combination.

#1: 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, of course, preferably in black with red racing stripes and the iconic 427 cubic-inch “Big Block" engine, which cranked out a whopping 425 horsepower!

protegepaloalto.com