Silicon Ghetto

Tony was born in Richmond, CA, a town that is less than 20 miles from San Francisco but has consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in America. His parents were Italian immigrants... and his father joined the United States military and fought in the South Pacific in order to gain citizenship for his family.

While growing up in a poor and crime-ridden neighborhood — an area he calls the Silicon Ghetto — Tony didn't always stay out of trouble, but he did have the good fortune of uncles and cousins who worked on cars. Motivated by his organic passion for repairing anything that was damaged, Tony found himself spending as much time as he could at his uncle's garage and body shop. He started by sweeping floors, but quickly became a skilled automotive journeyman with an unusual fanaticism for extreme accuracy and speed. By the age of 16, Tony's unusual fascination for cars was second only to his passion for understanding the science of how they work — and how cars could become safer with innovative technologies.

Never a conformist, but always inspired by his father and his country, Tony dropped out of school at the age of 17 to join the US Army. After serving between active and reserve for 8 years, Tony returned to civilian life, and immediately began working on his lifelong passion: cars, and advancing the art of the automotive industry.