iN VIDEO: Film crew meets up with Mike Hall of 'Rust Valley Restorers' to talk car culture
Mike Hall of Rust Bros Restorations was with a film crew on his Tappen property over the weekend.
A film crew with an Okanagan-based company promoting car culture was there interviewing Hall’s parts person, Sarah Ward, as part of a video showcasing women in car culture.
The company, called Cruising the Okanagan, is made up of car enthusiasts and was formed last year.
“We’re proud to say 30% of our members are women and we’re featuring a couple of them for women’s day on March 8,” founder of Cruising the Okanagan and Lumby resident Randy Barton said.
The company produces a YouTube show called “On the Road with CTO” about what is happening in car culture in the Okanagan, South Okanagan, Similkameen, Kootenays and the Shuswap.
The film crew stopped by Hall’s property yesterday, Feb. 26.
“Mike (Hall) recently got rid of hundreds of vehicles but he pulled out the cars most important to him which are up at the main shop,” Barton said. “You can see some in the video.”
Hall is the star of the reality TV show Rust Valley Restorers and is better known as the Rasta Blasta for his dreadlocks and rock blasting business, and his team of auto mechanics.
READ MORE: Rust Valley Restorers' Mike Hall down to 40 cars after auction
Cruising the Okanagan grew from Barton’s hobby of taking videos of car shows several years ago. When COVID hit, Barton organized mini classic car cruises where car enthusiasts would meet up and tour their vintage cars through various communities in the Okanagan.
“It was quite a show, we’d average 30 cars per cruise,” he said. “Other car clubs started joining in and it kept growing from there.”
He said today there is growing interest from the coast, and 20 new members are joining the Facebook group every day.
“More women and younger people are getting into it,” Barton said. “In the last couple of years six young guys opened up shops to build cars. It is making a comeback. The business took off more than I imagined.”
READ MORE: 'Remarkable find': Rare historical Shuswap scrapbooks and photos in new book
Cruising the Okanagan sells merchandise, provides photography and video services at events, hosts classic car events, attends shows and organizes vintage car cruises.
“We were hired to do video and report on the demolition derby in Armstrong and some of the wineries want us to do shows,” he said. “Our schedule is full and we are turning a lot of requests down.”
Barton said he prioritizes putting on car shows for seniors.
“There was a big one in Enderby with a band recently and we show at Parkview in Vernon a lot,” he said. “Seniors just love it. Once we were told an old fella who never smiled was smiling all day the day we were there.”
Last month, the film crew was in Notch Hill interviewing a resident with classic cars, classic boats and a vintage train car.
The next video showcasing women in car culture will be released on March 8.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.