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Restoring rescue vehicles at Gasper’s Automotive Restoration in Manchester

Manchester small business brings “rolling history” back to life.

MANCHESTER, Conn. — John Gasper spent 23 years as a volunteer firefighter and that’s what drew him to his unique current job title. 

Gasper, who is the owner of the namesake Gasper’s Automotive Restoration in Manchester brings old firetrucks back to life for a living. 

“We do everything from an oil change to a full truck restoration,” said Gasper “We preserve fire history, these fire trucks come in as antiques from the 1920s, ’30s, or 40 and they want to get them restored or repaired so we make that happen.”

Opened for seven years, the word is getting out about Gasper’s Restoration and its niche services. Gasper said he’s getting calls from across the country from either private collectors or departments looking to restore their antique firetrucks to their former grandeur. 

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“New York state, Ohio, Texas, the furthest guy (who called) is from New Mexico,” he said. 

Gasper said there is a great satisfaction that comes from taking something that was unrecognizable and transforming it into something fully restored and roadworthy. 

“It's rolling history," said Gasper. "When it came to you it was a jalopy that was barely running or not running at all, and it goes out the door running like a clock – that’s the most gratifying part.”

John Gasper also has a YouTube Channel and posts videos of some of his firetruck restoration projects on it – to learn more click. 


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