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Auction for car and music lovers

Prized pieces will go to the highest bidder, as a collection that would make the most avid collectors swoon is headed for auction. Dean Chow, a local dentist, is a self-described "hoarder.

Prized pieces will go to the highest bidder, as a collection that would make the most avid collectors swoon is headed for auction.

Dean Chow, a local dentist, is a self-described "hoarder." He doesn't ever throw anything out, a habit he's developed since childhood.

"I grew up in Radville, and we had a (family) restaurant there, so I started doing that back in the '50s and '60s, collecting coins and bottle caps, cards with hockey players heads on them, Rolling Stone magazine and comic books, stuff like that," he said.

But the items from his early days of collecting will not be available at the auction.

"And then I lost a lot of it because when I went away to college, my mother threw most of it away.She figured it wasn't worth anything. Ever since then, I've been kind of a hoarder, but a hoarder in the sense of collectible items. So that really got me on the course of collecting."

Among the items that will be available for auction are cars, like a 2003 50th anniversary Corvette convertible, acoustic and electric guitars, including a Gibson Les Paul, autographed sports jerseys and other sports memorabilia, Ducks Unlimited knives, among many other items. Some of the Coca-Cola items date back to the opening of his family's restaurant around 1911. Chow said in all, there are hundreds of items up for auction.

What he considers most when buying a new collectible, he said, is the rarity of a particular item.

"(I look for) something that is as unique as possible, where I would be the only one that would have it. If it strikes my fancy when I look at it, and I see something that I might be able to add to the collection, then I buy it. It would be kind of an addiction, but I'm trying to get over that right now. I'm trying not to buy anything."

He said once he started collecting a series of some kind he wanted to be able complete it.

"I'm definitely getting over that. I think August 27 will probably be ... a certain relief that I'm over that stage of my life. I don't know if it'll be tearful, but it will be a little bit sad to see everything go, after a lifetime of collecting."

Chow said he has a background as a musician, which explains the guitar collection, but noted he was more of a drummer. That means the guitars have been rarely used, if ever.

"The guitar players got all the glory, so I started to have this fondness for guitars, but I'm a brutal guitar player. I just like collecting them."

The guitars he's picked up all over the continent. Some of them were bought close by at Fuzztone Music in Yorkton. A lot of the really high-end, collectible pieces he bought at Willie's American Guitars in St. Paul, Minn.

"He's probably the largest vintage guitar dealer, in maybe the world. It's beautiful stuff there."

Most of these items he's picked up on travels, because he likes to be able to see the piece before buying. He's acquired a lot of the knives through wildlife and Ducks Unlimited auctions. For the sports memorabilia, he said he got collecting enough that he developed a few contacts who specialize in that area.

Chow is just at the point where he's ready to turn over his collection to others who cherish the significance of these items.

"I've been here for 32 years now, as a dentist, and it's just time to start downsizing and releasing some of that. My kids are grown up and they don't really seem to have the interest in holding a lot of (the collection) over."

He said he's running out of space for things, though he has a 1,600 square foot shop where he keeps most of his cars. He said his wife will be glad to be rid of everything as well.

Not everything is up for auction. He has decided to keep some items that have a particular sentimental value. A radio that his grandmother had, his electric train from when he was a child and a few others he will be holding onto. He guessed that between 70 and 80 per cent of his collectibles will be available.

The auction is Aug. 27 online and at the curling club. The cars will be auctioned through the Mack Auction Company website at Those interested in seeing the items ahead of time can go to the website to view most of the items that will be available next Saturday.

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