Paul Gill, custom auto painter and drag racer - The Buffalo News
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Paul Gill, custom auto painter and drag racer

May 18, 1950 – Feb. 14, 2014

Paul Gill, of Blasdell, whose handiwork as a custom auto painter was seen in a James Bond movie, died Feb. 14 in Erie County Medical Center after a short illness. He was 63.

Mr. Gill, who was known throughout the region for his high-quality detail work, painted and detailed the orange 1974 AMC Hornet X stunt car that appeared in “The Man with the Golden Gun.”

He also built, rebuilt and repaired classic cars, notably a rare 1958 Ford called Perfidia that was created in a custom shop in Detroit.

In the 1980s, he built a Model T Ford from scratch.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, he drove muscle cars, primarily Oldsmobile 442s, in National Hot Rod Association-sanctioned drag races, winning numerous times.

Self-taught as a collision repairman and auto painter, he operated his own shop, Gill Collision, from his garage.

As a sideline, he also sold, collected, repaired, rebuilt and painted American Flyer toy trains, stations and tracks.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Frontier Central High School.

His wife of 34 years, the former Lynn Balicki, died in 2010.

Survivors include two daughters, Rachel A. Castrovinci and Kristen M., and a brother, Joseph Jr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, 3688 South Park Ave., Blasdell.

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