If you have followed us through parts one and two of our Targa Newfoundland Documentary, you have most certainly noticed two very fitting songs It’s About the Drive and Mopar Ride. The first is a journey through the experience that is Targa Newfoundland calling out real life people like The Faster Pastor (coming up in Part Three) and the latter is the story of those who always wanted a new Challenger but weren’t around in the early 70s. So those are the songs, but who is behind them and how did they come about?
Short answer: Savista.
Long answer, as much as I hate to make his head bigger than it already is, Dr Robert T Pacione is owed some credit here.
Thankfully, no that is not him singing. Although, Pacione’s cover of Mambo Italiano would be an ideal secret weapon against any enemy you may have.
Rewind MANY years ago when then freshman Pacione at University of Toronto overhears a guy a couple of places in front of him in line at a coffee joint complaining about, you guessed it, bad coffee. Rob, ever the diplomat, challenges this poor guy about his standing as a coffee expert and boom – a lifelong friendship was born. That guy? The multi-talented Sav Tropiano.
If you have perused the credits of our two Targa full episodes you will see that Sav Tropiano is the Pacione Motorsports team manager. Together, Sav and Rob have competed in 6 targas, ice racing, track racing and just about any other motorsport you can think of. Other than putting up with Pacione, Sav has two other key talents going for him: One of the best guys you will ever meet and a serious musician.
I hit it off famously with Sav the minute I stepped off the plane in St John’s but didn’t learn about his music side immediately. Let’s go back to University of Toronto.
Sav, ever the good Italian boy, went off to school to learn how to stake his claim to the world and provide for his future family. But he always knew he wanted to be musician. Like most of us, he thought he would do the ‘right’ thing first then follow his passion: Music. So young Sav graduated college and left Pacione to torture unsuspecting people in a dental chair for a living while he grew in the business world at the intersection of technology and communications. Along the way he met the right girl, settled down and had a family. Always knowing he wanted to follow through on his passion of music he would sit in with other musicians and ‘jammed’ where he could.
Then after traveling the world our fearless hero, Sav, decided to follow through on the promise of his passion. Along with guitar man Paul Valentini, he founded, Savista. Influenced by his travels and experiences, their debut CD Business or Pleasure features sounds ranging from Latin to Blues.
At the same time, in a universe not to far away, his best friend - a certain gearhead driller of teeth – started developing a keen skill at racing. So much so, people started to notice. People like Ralph Gilles.
So just about the same time Ralph was in my studio two years ago in front of a detonator yellow Challenger telling you – my audience – to trust him and that the future of Chrysler was bright he was also asking Sav to write a song about the upcoming improved version of the Challenger. What we now know as the 392 SRT8.
He asked Sav to tell the story about a guy who dreamed of having a Challenger when they were first out and couldn’t afford one then but can now. There was one more request: Throw in a mention of the Targa car he was building at the time – ‘Samantha’ – the sublime green, crate motor equipped beast that Pacione won his class in this year.
So fast forward to September of 2011 and there I am in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada in a Dodge Minivan with Pacione smoking a cigar and Sav busts out a CD. He wanted to know what I thought about this song he was working on. He was playing around with the title but was thinking it needed the word ‘Mopar’.
Friends, if you have seen WINACHEE and I ripping through the peaceful community of Gander in our 500 HP Challenger, then you know what I thought.
You can hear Mopar Ride in its entirety here
. You can hear more of Savista here
, see them all around the Metro Toronto area and hopefully soon at one of our Cruise Ins at our Studio
in El Segundo, California.