Current Issue » Lifestyle » Vol. 23

Car Collector Mike Trotto

By Joshua Lyford

Worcester native and lifetime resident Mike Trotto is an avid collector of antique vehicles ~ and has been since the age of 16, when he bought a Model A Ford. Little did he know then, but cars would become his lifelong passion. Now a true car [and truck] connoisseur, he took time out of his busy day to share some of his vehicular and personal history ~ which have been inextricably intertwined for decades.

truck-copyMike entered the work force at a young age at what is now Worcester Sand and Gravel; founded in 1910 by Trotto’s father and grandfather, the company recently celebrated its one hundredth birthday. Mike joined the business as soon as he was “old enough to hold a shovel.” By the time he was ten, he was “running the trucks and operating equipment…” (It’s definitely worth noting, too, that in addition to his roots in Worcester’s sand and gravel industry, Trotto has spent much of his life in local politics. When he was 27, he worked at Shrewsbury’s housing authority, then put in 6 years as a selectman. He also spent time working on both sides of the political aisle for politicians including the late Ted Kennedy and Mike Dukakis.) Trotto has fond memories of when he and his friends started collecting now nostalgic hot-rods for twenty to twenty five dollars; they would hang out on Shrewsbury Street at what was then Speedy’s or at the former Mill Street Speedway. He recalls, “After their shifts, even the cops would come to race with us.”
The vehicles that Trotto collects have almost as unique and varied a past as the man himself. He owns a fire-truck from the old Grafton State Hospital as well as one (a 1939 Mack) from Brookfield. His collection is so vast that he rents a three-acre building simply to store everything in one location. He says that “…the classic cars are more distinct. With the old cars I could tell you the make from a mile away. With the new cars you can’t tell a Cadillac from a Kia.” The cars and trucks he purchases come in all conditions and generally Trotto lovingly restores them himself; if there is something that he can’t fix, he’ll bring in professional help ~ anything to restore the vehicles’original glory and pristine condition.

Trotto says that there is no unobtainable dream vehicle waiting out there for him. He has been building his antique motor vehicle collection for over fifty years and has everything he could ever want ~ almost: he counts a 1956 Black Ford pick-up, which he drove home from Georgia, as one of his personal favorites, but there’s an incredibly rare 1937 Mack Jr. pick-up that he’s been trying to purchase for years ~ and he’s confident that he’ll one day be able to add it to his collection.  Once he does, he’ll consider his collection complete.

Pictured: 1956 Ford pick-up, similar to the one Trotto owns.

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