Evans says he’s got oil in his veins

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 8, 1999

All Michael Evans wants for Christmas is a set of automotive tools. The 12-year-old sixth grader at Morgantown Elementary School has been interested in auto mechanics for several years.

&uot;I mainly started with lawn mowers,&uot; Evans said, tinkering with his first lawn mower engine at the age of 4.

This summer, Evans dismantled two broken mowers and from the various parts, assembled one functional mower.

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It’s a good thing Evans can keep a lawn mower operating since he earns his spending money mowing lawns.

&uot;Once I&160;save some money, I want to go to Big Lots and buy some tools,&uot; he said. He has plans to use those tools to strip down a motor on a troublesome lawn mower.

&uot;If I had the right tools, I’d strip down that lawn mower motor and try to find out what messed it up,&uot; he said.

Melvin Gaylor, a friend across Oakland Drive from Evans family, has worked with Evans to restore an Oldsmobile at Gaylor’s house.

&uot;We don’t have a workshop,&uot; Evans said. &uot;We just work in his yard.&uot;

&uot;There’s a future mechanic on Oakland Drive,&uot; said Barbara Winston, one of Evans’ teachers at Morgantown Elementary. &uot;Mike insists he’s destined to be a ‘top notch’ mechanic, because he’s already good at it.&uot;

&uot;He does have a gift,&uot; she said.

Evans is nonplussed. His skill under the hood of a car comes from his basic curiosity about how things work.

&uot;I like to take things apart to see how they work and then put them back together again,&uot; Evans said.

In his family of six, he said he’s the only one mechanically inclined.

&uot;My parents hope that I’ll be able to make my living from it,&uot; he said.

Right now, mechanics is just Evans’ top hobby.

&uot;I used to work with radios,&uot; he said, adding that his room was filled with large speakers and electronic systems. He’s since moved all that out of his room.

Now he concentrates his time and energy on gas-fueled engines, auto body work doesn’t impress him.

&uot;I really would like to work on fuel-injected systems,&uot; he said with a smile. &uot;I work around my aunt’s car every once in a while.&uot;