TAPPEN, B.C. - What’s your field of dreams? Does it include tires, grease and headlights?
Mike Hall is looking for someone who answers with an emphatic "Yes." He's selling a property in Tappen, just north of Salmon Arm in the Shuswap, and while it’s five acres with auto workshop space and gear, it’s really the more than 300 cars that grab people’s attention.
“I started collecting cars when I was 20, I’m now 60,” he says. “I just turned 60 and there’s no guarantees in life.”
Hall, who runs a rock stabilization business, says that besides his work and his family, the cars on the lot are the biggest part of his life. However, before he’s unable to, he’s selling it all. It — the land, cars and equipment — is listed for $1.45 million, but he estimates a higher value if all the cars values are added up properly.
The list of cars captures many of the classics from the 1930s to 1970s. While he name drops makes and models from all the major American companies, more than half are muscle cars, with Chevelles, Novas, Challengers and more. There are also classic trucks, coupes from the 1930s and 1940s and a couple oddities, like a 1966 GMC Handyman or a 1972 Opel GT.
“Every one of them I bought,” he says. "And I don’t wreck the cars."
By his last count there were 300, but that was four or five years ago. Now he's only sure there's less than 400.
The intention was to restore them and sell them, which he’s starting to do with his body man Greg, but he wants to move on while he can. Last year they sold a 1973 Dodge Challenger. As baby boomers retire he says fewer people are interested in restoring classic cars themselves, and instead want to buy their childhood dream car fully restored. For Hall the best moment is seeing the finished car, knowing what it looked like when he got it and what went into it.
He hopes someone else has the same passion.
“I’m hoping for someone who respects them,” he says. “I’m looking for someone that can see the potential.”
Not all the cars on the lot are up for sale. He’s got a handful selected to keep with him including a pair of 1961 Sunbeams. While the rest are for sale, he’s not excited for them to leave his life.
“I’ve been accumulating all this stuff for 40 years,” he says. “It’s going to leave a pretty big hole.”
That’s why he’s not in a big rush. The lot has been on the market for a few months, but until a recent article on the motoring website Driving.ca appeared he says there hadn’t been much interest. However, in the last week he’s fielded inquires from across North America and as far as Australia.
He’s in no rush though.
“If no one buys it than I’ll keep on living the dream; keep restoring cars in the mean time.”
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