During my recent visit home to New York, I slipped up to Valley Stream to visit Kevin Mackay’s Corvette Repair, Inc. (www.corvetterepair.com) As Kevin says, his shop is a “hole in the wall,” but the work done inside those walls is Holy. His talented crew was finishing up the famed Owens Corning race car when I arrived. But this is not about Kevin, or rather, it’s about the person who got Kevin started.
Frank J. Dominianni opened Hi-Speed Power Equipment in 1947 or 1948. Frank began racing sports cars in 1950. He drove an MG TC at venues like Watkins Glen and raced against some people I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting over the years like Augie Pabst, Oscar Kovoleski, Briggs Cunningham and Brooks Stevens. When the Corvette came out, Frank became a fan and by ’62 he had a “Big Tank” race car on the circuit. Young Kevin Mackay used to watch him loading that car on summer weekends. Today, the car is in Mike Yager’s MY GARAGE Museum.
Frank Domininni is now 83 years old – and as sharp as a pistol. When I asked if I could do a story about him, his response was “You’d better write fast, I’m old.” But, Frank doesn’t seem as old as he is. He still builds custom racing engines, sets up fuel-injection systems and specializes in race tuning Corvette engines. His ancient speed shop houses an engine dyno and a chassis dyno. “It’s a good one, from Italy,” Frank pointed out.
While we were talking, two ‘Vette lovers came in and asked Frank about a 427 that he had rebuilt years earlier. He was friendly to them, but he couldn’t remember a lot of details on the big-block motor. He was too busy thinking about kicking up dust in his TC roadster nearly 60 years ago. At a certain age, you kind of max out your memory. After that, only the good things stay. All thoughts of the work that you had to do to pay the bills goes away. For Frank, it’s the racing memories that count!