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Coupeville car restorer hasn’t missed a chance to showcase his work at North Whidbey Car Show

Scott Smith stands before a 1967 Pontiac Firebird that he restored and will bring to the North Whidbey Car Show Saturday. Smith has attended the show every year since it started in 1985. - Photos by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Scott Smith stands before a 1967 Pontiac Firebird that he restored and will bring to the North Whidbey Car Show Saturday. Smith has attended the show every year since it started in 1985.
— image credit: Photos by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Building a reputation as a self-taught, first-rate vehicle restorer has kept Scott Smith sometimes busier than he wants to be.

“I have a five-car garage and two of my own vehicles are parked outside,” Smith said.

Smith, who runs Scott’s Creative Customs out of his home shop in Coupeville, has been working in the car body business on Whidbey Island for nearly 40 years. And one of the places he likes to showcase some of his work is at the annual car show on the Oak Harbor waterfront.

Smith’s cars have been fixtures at the North Whidbey Car Show since the event’s inception in 1985.

He’ll bring at least two more shiny examples Saturday when the North Whidbey Lions Club’s big event happens for the 29th year at Windjammer Park.

Jim Woessner, founder of the car show, said Smith is one of the rare few who’ve been to every show and is a “local boy” who’s well-liked as both a fellow classic car enthusiast and restorer.

Smith, who actually hails from Seattle, guesses that he’s probably worked on about 25 cars that will appear at this year’s show.

His reputation already had begun growing when Woessner and a small group put on the first North Whidbey Car Show in the parking lot of the Oak Harbor Auto Center near Les Schwab Tire Center on State Highway 20 as a way to show off some of the locals’ nice rides.

“I think there were 35 cars, maybe, the first year we were there,” Smith said.

The event quickly outgrew that location and moved to the Seaplane Base, then Bayshore Drive and eventually to the city beach site where it’s been held for about the last 20 years, Woessner said.

“Holding it at city beach park has really been the secret to the success and consistency of the show,” Woessner said. “We’re told year after year by the attendees that it’s one of the best car show venues they’ve ever been to. It’s close to shopping. It’s on beautiful grass. A lot of shows are on bumpy fields or on the hot asphalt. It’s a place for kids to swim. It really is a family event.”

About 230 cars, trucks and motorcycles are expected Saturday to compete in 21 categories for more than 70 trophies that are awarded on the day. The event will take place on the sprawling grass; however, a stormwater project happening at the park’s south end will cut into some space and take a little away from the park’s beauty associated with the car show.

Smith is bringing two vehicles he restored, including a red 1967 Firebird owned by Coupeville’s Margeen Boyer. During that custom restoration, he said he was able to save the hood, driver’s door, trunk and roofline and “pretty much replaced everything else.

“I take them down the bare metal and start from there,” he said.

Smith also is planning to bring a ‘69 Camaro.

“The era I’ve built my business is mostly the mid 1960s to early ‘70s,” he said. “Those are the ones I like the best.”

Smith owns five cars and two motorcycles himself and tries not to push those numbers much higher to keep his wife, Alice Birkner, happy.

Unlike her husband, she won’t let projects push her car out of the garage.

“No,” Smith said. “She has a Mercedes. It doesn’t stay outside.”

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