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Hangs off cliffs, blows stuff up, and collects hundreds of classic cars: He's the Rasta Blasta

Mike Hall, AKA the 'Rasta Blasta' at his property in Tappen.
April 11, 2017 - 8:00 PM

TAPPEN - When Mike Hall gets out of bed at 6 a.m., it’s pedal to the floor all day long.

The dreadlocked, 60-year-old vintage car collector known as the ‘Rasta Blasta’ hurtles through the day trying to strike as much off his never-ending to-do list as possible.

Take, for example, the hundreds of old cars he has parked on a field in Tappen, just outside of Salmon Arm.

“This is basically what I call my field of dreams, or as my wife used to call it her worst nightmare,” Hall says, speaking a thousand words an hour.

He’d restore all of them if he could, and refuses to simply scrap them for parts. The old cars might seem like junk to some, but Hall has what he calls his ‘metallic hallucinations’ of refinished interiors and sparkling chrome.

“No matter how bad some of these are if you really want to you can bring them back to life. They don’t make any more of them. Once you part them out, you basically kill them,” he says. “New cars are like assholes — everybody has one.”

He’s been amassing the collection — currently sitting at some 300 cars — for 40 years. He’s restored four.

Born in Saint Boniface, Manitoba, Hall moved to Kamloops as a kid after his dad got a job with CP Rail.

A backyard in Kamloops is where his car collection first began to evolve.

“I had like, 15 cars and then the city got on my ass. So then I rented a place… in an industrial area and it was up to 50 cars. And the city got on my ass. And then I bought 26 acres and had about 150. Then my wife got on my ass,” he says.

So, he bought the property in Tappen and the collection just kept growing. Some are lawn-ornaments, brought home just because he loves the way they look. Others are cars he once parted with and confesses he bought back for more than he sold them for.

He’s an encyclopedia of vintage cars, able to spew off makes and models and a boundless supply of vehicular trivia. Walking through his many rows of parked cars, he knows just what obscure part each needs for completion, be it a fender or rare hood ornament.

Most buyers, he says, are looking for the cars of their youth. He’s the same way; a 1961 Sunbeam — the first car he ever had — sits in his yard, awaiting revival. Ironically, only time stands in the way.

When he’s not working on cars, Hall runs a slope stabilization business, Chimera Springs Rock Works, which he sums up as: “we hang off cliffs and blow shit up.”

That’s how he got his nickname, the Rasta Blasta. While blowing up rocks for the highway in Summerland seven years ago, Hall went into a local coffee shop.

“This… high school teacher he said ‘you know what my kids call you?’ I said ‘no’. He said, ‘the Rasta Blasta.’ I said ‘I like that,’” Hall says.

The name suits him in more ways than one. There are the dreadlocks that dangle past his shoulders and his affinity for blowing stuff up. But there’s also his attitude toward life, which is at once mellow and fiercely extreme.

He admits he’s surprised he’s made it this far and should have died 100 times. His dad passed at 60, the age he is now.

“You start to think of your own mortality,” he says.

Which is why he’s trying to let go. The property in Tappen, and all that sits on it, is for sale. The cars are his obsession, and his alone; he doesn’t want his wife or kids having to deal with it once he’s gone.

Until that day comes, he’ll spend every waking hour full throttle doing what he loves. And the Rasta Blasta isn’t fretting about bumps in the road.

“If it doesn’t sell, I’ll continue living my dream. If it does, I’ll live a different dream.”

Mike Hall grew up in Kamloops and developed an affinity for classic cars early on in life.
Mike Hall grew up in Kamloops and developed an affinity for classic cars early on in life.

You can check out some of Hall's cars at the White Post Auto Museum on the Trans Canada Highway in Tappen.

Car enthusiasts may wish to attend an upcoming swap meet at the museum Saturday, May 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information about the event, call 250-835-2224 or email wpam@hotmail.ca


To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 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.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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