Motown Motorsports - Our History

The crew at Motown Motorsports can all trace their involvement in racing to three notable Speed Shops in the Detroit Area, the legendary “Gratiot Auto Supply”, the equally notable “Midwest Auto Parts”, and the infamous “Redford Speed Shop.”

Gratiot Auto Supply was started and founded by Bill Toia, an uncle by marriage of “Phast Philly Giacona” of the Motown Mafia team. Philly grew up around racing and performance parts with his long time friend and relative Angelo Giampetroni. Angelo Giampetroni was a longtime and loyal employee who started at Gratiot Auto while in his teens. Mr. Toia promoted him up the ranks and eventually made him co-owner turning the reigns over to him. Angelo was and is a great guy and excellent businessman, but let's not forget Bill who started it all!

Gratiot, as everyone called it in the 70’s was the place to get your speed parts on the east side of Detroit and for a very large part of the entire country. The “Gratiot” name was the icon of drag racing, it was a way cool place for any car guy to work or come to.... they were usually packed…..steady flow of people all day until 5:00 p.m. Then, they would usually get slammed; Every counter guy had customers 3 to 5 deep, they had a Ford, Chevy, Mopar and Street Rod/ Hot Rod guy at every store ( I don't know if that was by design, or just happened that way) on Saturday mornings, they would be waiting at the door for Gratiot to unlock it, then pandemonium all day!

You would never know when people like Larry Shinota, Frank Mack, Wayne Gapp and Jack Roush, Don Carlton, John & George Delorian – The list is endless – would just stroll in the door. "Gratiot" was the nucleus of all things Hot Rod in the Detroit Metro area for a lot of years. Phil Giacona, Denny Hummel and Bullet Bob Pacitto, all grew up on the Gratiot side of town, have long been friends, and are close friends to this day with Angelo Giampetroni, the former owner of Gratiot Auto Supply.

Phast Philly Giacona can still be found on the East Side of Detroit in the shadow of the original “Gratiot.” Let me forewarn you all when the yellow 1969 Hemi Roadrunner pulls up next to you on Gratiot Avenue, it will not only be loaded for bear, but with the likes of Phast Philly behind the wheel. Both Phil and the car are lightening quick and reminiscent of the North Woodward Timing Association days, when all you had to do was pull out onto the street in the greater Detroit area to get a good street race, and Philly is one of the best.

That brings us to “Bullet” Bob Pacitto, one of the most experienced members of Motown Motorsports and the Motown Mafia crew. The “Bullet” has got so much drag racing history, it is scary. Bob worked at one time for Logghe Stamping Company, building some of the fastest, and most notable slingshot dragsters, funny cars and altereds in racing. Bob shoed for the Logghe brothers, Connie Kalitta and Poncho Rendon, having driven everything from slingshots to funny cars and crewing for the likes of Shirley Muldowney in his free time. The “Bullet” is going to make his reappearance at the wheel of the “Lawman" N/FC funny car. Bob has the experience sitting behind a top fuel engine in a slingshot and will be the shoe again. If there was ever a perfect fit, it has to be Bullet Bob in the "Lawman" N/FC.

Wally Bolt, often mistaken for the legendary Wally Booth, is a long time street racer and drag racer from the Redford area of Detroit. Learning from an early age from his father and uncle Chuck, Wally was street racing against the likes of the “Hemi powered” Silver Bullet and the Black Bird of Wangers’ Pontiac. Most notable was Wally’s “Wing Nut” car, a nickname he got from flipping engines out in the 70 Camaro on a nightly basis. The parts for these multiple engine combinations usually came from Redford Speed Shop, where, depending on where you stood in the store, you could be in Redford or Detroit. Wally spent a lot of time in the old Redford Speed Shop, and with his friendship with Bill Kulp, waxed many a Detroit street racer. With Wally you never knew what size and how many inches you had to run against with him. An extraordinary painter, and long time racer, Wally is truly a jack of all trades, and, unlike the “Master of None”, Wally is a master and perfectionist of everything he does.

Then there is the real perfectionist of the team and the one person who greases the wheels to make it all come together smoothly, Nancy “Hotrod Hundley” Bolt. Nancy not only has been a long time performance enthusiast herself, gaining her nickname in high school from her hopped up 1970 Chevelle, but continues her zeal for the ultra quick quarter mile with the rest of the Motown Mafia team. Nancy’s organizational skills are invaluable to making all the support functions come together and making sure the team has what they need when they need it. No slouch behind the wheel of a hotrod herself, and always ready for the challenge of a good street race, many a person has learned the hard way she can handle a hotrod as well as anyone. Nancy makes sure it is done, done on time and done right, every time.