Gino Lubbi, all 5 feet 7 inches of him with a Brooklyn accent, supplies cars for movies-big movies like Vanilla Sky. Remember Tom Cruise driving a '67 Mustang fastback in that one? The car came from Gino's company, Picture Cars.
The latest addition to his Mustang stable is this concours Grabber Blue '70 Boss 429, KK-2432. In 2000, Casa Ford in El Paso, Texas, took the Boss 429 on a trade for a new minivan, of all things. They painted the car and put it up for sale.
This Boss '9 has an interesting history. The original owner, a Navy man from New York, bought the car in Baltimore, then got transferred to Hawaii, where the Boss remained for the next 26 years. The move to El Paso shook the car loose and Gino grabbed it. Technically, he's the second owner.
Mainly, it needed concours detailing, a job that Gino turned over to Ed Meyer of Indiana. "The car needed to be finished," Gino says. "Just detail work. Someone put an aftermarket driveshaft in it, along with a couple of little things that weren't correct under the hood, like new hoses instead of vintage hoses. I needed the expertise of Eddie to make the car right, to make it the way it was when it was delivered."
So far, no movie roles for the Boss 429, but that doesn't mean it won't appear on the big screen in the future. Gino's latest movie assignment is to supply cars for War Of The Worlds, again with Tom Cruise, who has requested to drive Gino's 19,000-mile '66 Shelby Hertz GT350 in the film. Gino also acquired "close to 70" late-model cars for the big-budget film.
Gino's company has 20 employees and supplies "basically all the cars for movies on the Eastern seaboard." One of those movies was Roller Ball in 1999, for which Gino set up a cameo appearance by Carroll Shelby, who supplied a pair of Series One Shelbys. Gino says, "When Carroll sees me, he calls me 'the magician' because we put stuff together in hours."
Gino's first Mustang was a Shelby. "I came back from Vietnam in October 1967," he tells us. "I had a bunch of money because, obviously being in a war zone, you don't pay taxes."
His choice was a '68 GT500 KR fastback in dark green. He plopped down $3,000 and financed the balance, which made the payments $34 a month. With the "only Shelby in Brooklyn," Gino street-raced for money. "I was pretty successful. Because it was an automatic, I was consistent."
Like most original buyers, Gino finally sold his Shelby. In the '80s, he got into the sports car scene, buying Porsches and Ferraris. But he admits "My love was always Mustang."
So, eventually, Gino bought back into Mustangs. Today he owns six: three Shelbys, a '65 convertible with 17,000 miles, a '67 fastback, and this Boss 429.
We met Gino at last summer's Carlisle All-Ford Nationals, where he had the Boss 429 on display. The Grabber Blue Boss with the black hoodscoop definitely stood out. Ed Meyer was there too, doting over the Boss. Gino admitted he's still looking for a '68 GT500 KR fastback like he bought new.
But he also remembers, "I used to race those cars and I knew a Boss 429 was a very special car." With the funds available to purchase what he wants, Gino wasn't about to turn down the opportunity to own such a great performance Mustang with a one-owner history.