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Robert Downey Jr. (Fuel-Efficiently) Pimps His Rides

Robert Downey Jr. (Fuel-Efficiently) Pimps His Rides

Michael Schulman, The New Yorker

Chris Mazzilli is a restorer of vintage cars, the kind you buy during a midlife crisis. “We primarily work on Corvettes, muscle cars, and classics,” he said the other day at Dream Car Restorations, his shop on Long Island. He also does “restomods”—custom updates of old vehicles. Three and a half years ago, one of his clients, a TV and film producer named Jay Peterson (“We built a really cool ’73 Ford Bronco for him”), was having dinner in the Hamptons with Robert Downey, Jr., and a colleague who works on the actor’s climate initiative, FootPrint Coalition. When Downey spotted Peterson’s ride, a ’68 Camaro convertible, he asked who’d restored it—he wanted to give his own cars an eco-friendly facelift.

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