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A t one event, car enthusiasts would be lucky to see one or two Porsche 917s in a single place. A legendary car in the German automaker's production history, the car from the 1970s is a treat to see at auto shows. So Bruce Canepa takes great pride in the fact that he saw and restored seven of them in 2017. "It's amazing. Most people have to travel all over to the world to see this kind of stuff. You come to our shop and it's all in one place," said Canepa, the 67-year-old founder and owner of Canepa in Scotts Valley. His company trades in collectible cars and does everything imaginable. Not only does Canepa sell the vehicles, the company also restores them and scours the globe to find them. On the company's website is a section labeled eye-candy which feature video after video of cars that come through the shop. The collectible car industry has become more lucrative with time, especially in the past decade. With price tags ranging anywhere from $50,000 to $5 million, Canepa said collectors see the vehicles as art. "People look at them as art. They look at them as an investment. And they look at them as fun. They're fun to drive," he said. But when he started the company in 1981, there were plenty of doubters. "They didn't think it was a big enough business model for this. But it's turned out to be four to five times bigger than anyone imagined," he said. "So I'm pretty lucky in that regard." His love of driving is part of what brought him into the industry. His father owned five car dealerships in Santa Cruz and, as a result, Bruce Canepa grew up working in every department of the car industry. He knew the ins and outs of cars. The family business also led him into racing cars. "Even today, I'm racing," he said. "Enough to get a smile on my face because I get to do it." His competitive racing days are over. But the fun isn't. Each day he comes into work at the company's Scotts Valley location is not work for him. While he founded the company and works as the chief executive, Canepa doesn't spend much time in the office. Cars are tested and driven to make sure they function for customers. That's part of why the company moved from Santa Cruz to Scotts Valley in 2006. Before the move, Canepa and his staff members needed to navigate residential traffic for 10 minutes before they could get to Highway 1. Even then, trying to get to 70 mph on Highway 1 wasn't always feasible. In Scotts Valley, there was less traffic congestion and more room to work. "We just needed to get away from all that traffic down there. It wasn't friendly to automotive type businesses," he said. While he's seen hundreds of cars come and go through his shop, one of Canepa's fondest memories is with his dad. The elder Canepa owned five car dealerships in Santa Cruz and is responsible for instilling a passion for cars in his son. While his father sold new cars, those shops didn't have the capabilities, cars or clientele that Bruce Canepa's shop did. "He would come here for years and years after he retired, and he would walk around and try to figure out how we did it," Canepa said. "It was always fun to watch my dad because it overwhelmed him to see how we even did any of this stuff." But there are some hard things about working in the industry. For one, letting go of the cars. "I said if I had unlimited resources, I probably wouldn't sell anything and keep all the cars that I've found over the years," he joked. Pipe dreams aside, the business has afforded him opportunities to cars that he wouldn't have ever thought he would sell and buy. by calvin men community The road to Scotts Valley has some rare vehicles Scotts Valley photos by Zach James Todd

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