In the past few years, Joey Scarfone has become one of the authorities on vintage cars in Victoria and was invited to join a local prestigious car club — all without owning a car.
Most recently, the Victoria resident published a 124-page book about vintage cars in the city. The book, Vintage Cars of Victoria, includes 55 cars (that are 25 years or older) ranging from a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle to a 1956 Meteor Rideau, and a 1958 Willys Jeep to a 1990 Lotus Elan SE.
“Walking to work, I saw beautiful cars all the time,” Scarfone said, adding this is the first book on vintage cars in Victoria to be published. “No one has done a book on vintage cars in Victoria. I just saw it as a niche that I could do.”
Winding down a 40-year career as a goldsmith, Scarfone decided it was time to reinvent himself and tap into the local vintage car scene. He started by attending a car show in Esquimalt where he introduced himself to dozens of local vintage car owners, many of whom volunteered to be included in his book.
Shortly after, the Old English Car Club, one of the oldest car clubs in Victoria, got wind of what he was doing and Scarfone was flooded with emails from people wanting him to feature their cars.
“There’s a huge history behind some of the cars because some of the people who had the cars, their parents were into the garages and dealerships 40, 50, 60 years ago,” he said, admitting at first, he was not a car person, but has since grown to appreciate them. “People who have old cars just love talking about them.”
Within eight-and-a-half months, Scarfone had a majority of his book complete. The only problem — he needed a car to transport his books. Last year, Scarfone became the proud owner of a 2003 Ford Escape.
Scarfone’s book is on display at the Greater Victoria Public Library’s central branch as part of the library’s Emerging Local Authors Collection. As part of the collection, authors from the south Island donate their self-published books and in return the library catalogues and puts them on display on a special feature shelf for a year.
Now in its second year, the collection has been very successful, featuring 123 local authors and 178 titles this year, ranging in age from eight to 80 years old, along with a variety of literature from fiction to non-fiction, and children’s books to poetry.
According to Rina Hadziev, collections and technical services co-ordinator with the library, the collection has been a success getting local authors’ work read by the public.
“Local is huge right now. Why wouldn’t you want to eat local, read local, buy local? It just made so much sense,” Hadziev said, noting the average circulation for a book in the collection was seven times in 11 months, meaning the books were being checked out every month and a half. Some were checked out as many as 20 times.
“It means overall the collection was out more than it was in. Everything went out at least a couple of times. It enables everyone to be a part of the library.”
Vintage Cars of Victoria can also be found at Munro’s, Ivy Books or online at vintagecarsvictoria.com. For more information about the collection visit gvpl.ca.