Auto Tech instructor designs and exhibits high-performance vehicles


Mark Aquino

A 1954 Mercedez Benz 300SL gull-wing.

Mark Aquino

De Anza College’s abundance of talent in the motorsports industry continues with alumni, and current auto tech instructor Scott Tucker.

In addition to teaching in De Anza’s Auto Tech Department, Tucker designs and refurbishes high-performance vehicles.

His classes cover gasoline engines for street cars and race cars.

Tucker talked about how different cars can be designed or modified for an increase in power, and he teaches these concepts as part of his class.

“The class is intended for those wishing to go into the high-performance industry or those who enjoy modifying cars for a hobby,” Tucker said.

De Anza’s auto tech program had many students graduate to work in the industry.

“De Anza auto tech graduates have a very high success rate,” Tucker said. “The quality of education is much higher than other schools in the area, especially trade schools.”

The high-performance prep class teaches students the science behind the way cars operate, instead of simply showing them how to turn a wrench.

Tucker began in the Auto Tech Department as a student in 1988 with instructor Mike Brandt, who is currently the executive head of the department.

“The education I received at De Anza Auto Tech has been the single leading factor in my success,” Tucker said.

Aside from teaching at De Anza, Tucker is the project manager for Canepa Design, a motorsports shop and classic car museum in Scotts Valley for the past four years.

The cars in the museum are valuable, costing from $100,000 to $50 million.

The shop restores, repairs and modifies classic cars such as Ferrari, Porsche, Shelby Cobras, Lamborghini, Bugattis, Duesenbergs and more.

Many of the cars Tucker worked on are owned by famous people.

The cars’ owners include Jerry Seinfeld, Ralph Lauren, Tim Allen and Bill Gates.

“Many people say I have a dream job. I guess they are right,” said Tucker. “Who else gets to drive a $30 million 1956 Ferrari 250 Testarossa through the Santa Cruz Mountains and get paid for it?”

The Canepa Musuem is at 4900 Scotts Valley Dr. in Scotts Valley.

It is open to the public free of charge from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For information or questions regarding De Anza’s High Performance Engine Preparation class, students can reach Tucker at [email protected]