A Langley mechanic has some long-term goals despite the fact that he’s just 17 years old.
Tobin Fitzl’s 1952 Lincoln Capri still doesn’t have an engine, and it resembles a metal sculpture on wheels.
But after two years of working on it with his father Willy, Tobin is still looking forward to another two years before the car is finished and on the road.
“It was pretty rough when I got it,” Tobin said of the classic, which he bought for $1,200 off Craigslist.
Tobin didn’t have any particular kind of vehicle in mind when he was looking for a project.
“I wasn’t really looking for anything special,” he said.
But when he found the Capri for sale, he was so excited he called his parents from his high school shop class.
The Capris were sometimes used as racecars, and had success in the Pan American Road Races in Mexico in the 1950s.
“I really do like these late ’40s, early ’50s customs,” Tobin said.
Tobin will turn the vehicle into a bit of a hot rod when it’s done, planning to shave off the chrome and cut off the roof. He plans to have the metal work done by next spring, working alongside his father.
The passion for cars isn’t something he gets directly from his dad, Tobin noted. His father had worked on cars when he was a teenager, but hadn’t since then. Now he’s helping Tobin out in the garage with the Capri.
“I probably got into cars when I was maybe 13 or 14,” Tobin said.
Since then, he’s taken his passion for vehicles to a professional level.
He’s working at two different shops right now, Top 10 Hot Rods and Customs an Rumble Seat Restorations.
He’s also pursuing a special course of education so that he will graduate Grade 12 with his first year apprenticeship in Motor Vehicle Body Repair already complete. He’s doing his schooling online so he can keep up with his job and special studies.
He wants to pursue automotive work as a career.
“I like the whole build,” he said of his projects. “You’re always looking at the goal at the end, of finally getting to drive it. It’s quite a journey getting there.”
Although the Capri won’t be done for a while, Tobin isn’t without a vehicle. He has a light pickup truck that he also extensively worked on before putting it on the road. He bought that vehicle for $200 and put a lot of work into it, including a complete engine swap and paint job.
Tobin will be at this year’s Langley Good Times Cruise-In, one of many car shows he likes to attend.