When you're one of the world's fastest rock-and-roll guitarists, you set your standards high and your action low. And when it comes time to pick a car to keep up with your fast-paced lifestyle, there's only one choice: the Corvette.
"I've loved Corvettes since I was a kid," axe-slinger Dan Fastuca says. "My parents had a '69 427 tri-power and an '82 L81. My brother had '77, '79, and '81 Corvettes, and at one point was president of the Three Rivers Corvette Club in Pittsburgh. In fact, my brother was so crazy about Corvettes that he had me hooked by default.My feelings were, if he thought Corvettes were cool, then they must be cool."
With the Corvette influence so dominant in Fastuca's genes, you'd think this rock and roll guitar-wielder would have owned his own Vette as soon as he turned 16. But with his sights set on a music career, Fastuca's love for Chevy's sports car would have to wait. At age 19, the guitarist relocated to Los Angeles, where an intensive recording-and-touring schedule further delayed his Corvette dream. It was around this time that a twist of fate found Corvette racer and carbuilder Dick Guldstrand entering Fastuca's life, setting the wheels in motion for the theretofore passive Vette fan to develop into a dedicated marque enthusiast.
A Chance Meeting
"I was in consideration for the lead guitarist position for Ozzy Osbourne, and I was writing and recording with some other big names. But with heavy metal losing its popularity, I was spending less time on the road touring, and more time at home working as a writer, producer, and studio musician for my band Jet Black. This afforded me more time to spend on my cars. I called General Motors and asked who the best tuner in Los Angeles was. A man at Chevrolet said, `Guldstrand Motorsports. Go see these guys--they can make anything faster.'
"When I arrived, I quickly realized all the mechanics had abandoned their projects for their lunch hour. The only man who remained was an older gentleman sweeping the floor. I asked when a mechanic might return. He said that it would be a while and asked how he could help me. After several attempts to keep him from getting too close to my car--a brand new '88 Trans Am--I found myself sitting in the passenger seat. `It's a stick shift. Do you know how to drive a stick?' I asked him.
"The man answered, `Yeah, I think I'm alright.'
"Well, he didn't seem alright," Fastuca continues. "He left the alley, spinning the tires in the first two gears. He appeared to have no respect for the speed limit, much less the laws of physics. At one point, I remember involuntarily screaming, `Shift!' as I watched my tachometer spike over redline for the first time. The man said, `The suspension needs a lot of work; we should look at it,' and immediately pulled the car over to the side of the road. As I opened the door to get out and look, he said, `Oh, close the door, we'll be off in just a second.'
"It was then I realized that up ahead was a freeway on-ramp that had a speed limit of 15 mph. He was revving the motor and looking in the side mirror, waiting for traffic to clear. Before I knew what he was going to do, he popped the clutch and hit the on-ramp at 110 mph, blipping the throttle and steering wheel in unison as my car slid through the turn, with me plastered up against the passenger door.
"I looked at him and said, `What the hell was that?'
"He replied, `I think I have just what this car needs back at the shop.'
"After driving back to Guldstrand Motorsports, I got out of the car and asked, `Who the hell are you?'
"The man who I thought was a janitor then stuck his hand out and said, `Oh, I'm sorry for not introducing myself earlier. I'm Dick Guldstrand.'"
Before long, Fastuca and Guldstrand had become close friends. Fastuca learned more about Guldstrand's passion--Corvettes--and Guldstrand developed an appreciation for Fastuca's passion--rock and roll.