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Q & A with a classic car collector

Just give him plenty of chrome and lots of horsepower, says car collector Mike Scott, an entrant in the 2012 Surrey Show 'n Shine Aug. 4.
The deluxe dash of Mike Scott's classic

Name: Mike Scott

Hometown: North Delta

Tell me about your car:

"It's a 1957 Oldsmobile. It's been shortened by 3 feet, 9 inches."

How do you shorten it?

"You have to cut the car in half, take the back seat out, then cut it a bit again, and weld it back together, and make it shorter," says Scott, spotted with his sky blue Oldsmobile convertible at 11 a.m. July 19, in the 5700-block of 176 Street in the historic heart of Cloverdale, where a small crowd of admirers has gathered.

"I didn't do the work. Apparently some fellow over in Sechelt built the car over there."

What are you bringing to the Surrey Show 'n Shine?

I'm going to be bringing a 1972 Ford Mach 1 pro street with 1,200 Horsepower.

Is that a drag racer?"Yeah, it is a drag racer, but I won't race this car. It's too nice. It's a show car more than a drag car. I've got too much money in it to smack it into the wall. I got other cars I can race."

You have a lot of cars.

"Last time I counted I think it was 46."

Are they all vintage or classic?

"Mostly. I got everything. I got a couple of 1927 Fords – stock, with wooden-spoke rims. And I've got the '23 Bucket T show car. I got a Cadillac that's completely stocked – convertible. It's like new."

"I got Studebakers, I got Fords, I got a '61 bubble top, which is a really nice car, with air ride in it. I can drop it to the ground. I got a '62 Impala convertible. It's a frame off. It's my most expensive car."

This sounds like an expensive hobby.

"Just ask my wife."

Do you do the tinkering yourself?

"I can't anymore."

But did you in the past.

"Oh yeah. When I was healthy and younger."

A stroke 10 years ago left Scott paralyzed on his left side.

Doctors said he'd never drive again.

"That's what they told me. But I told them just watch me. But that isn't the way I said it. I won't use the words I said. When you got 50 cars sitting at home, you go, 'I'm driving. I don't care how I gotta do it.'"

"For me, if it wasn't for that, I'd be sitting at home in a chair vegetating."

Do you own any foreign cars?"My motto is, if I lift up the hood, and it doesn't have eight spark plugs, it's not a car. And it's got to have lots of chrome," he says, admitting American muscle cars are his absolute favourite.

"I love horsepower. Chrome and horsepower are my favourite things. The more chrome the better. And lots of horsepower."

Do you get a lot of speeding tickets?

"No. I'm too old for that. That's for the young guys. I got no money. It's all in my cars. I can't afford tickets."

He plans to bring his Dodge Roadrunner and its 900-hp custom engine to Langley's Cruise-in.

"If I fired it up here, this whole town would shake."

Why do you like going to car shows?

"I just enjoy that other people enjoy – that's what I enjoy. Like with my 1923 Ford Bucket T. I meet more old ladies than you can shake a stick at with that car, you know?"

Basically, you're in it for the girls?

He laughs. "I been a car guy since I was born. I had to have all the dinky toys, hundreds of model cars. I went to car shows."

On his first acquisition, a 1923 Ford bucket T:

"When I was a young guy, I'd look at those and drool. I'd say, 'One day I'm going to have one.' So as soon as I had the money, I went out and bought a '23 Bucket T."

The vintage Ford is notable because it doesn't have doors.

"You have to climb in it. I say the day I can't get in this car, is the day I die."

Let's hope that's a long way off.

– Mike Scott turns 68 on Aug. 5. The day before, he'll be at the Surrey Show 'n Shine at the 9th annual Cloverdale Blueberry Festival.