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Tyler Harcott and his BMW X5. (Neville Elder for The Globe and Mail)
Tyler Harcott and his BMW X5. (Neville Elder for The Globe and Mail)

My Car: Tyler Harcott

Bachelor host's ride is coming up roses Add to ...

Tyler Harcott

  • Profession: TV Host, The Bachelor Canada
  • Age: 43
  • Hometown: Calgary
  • The car: 2011 BMW X5

Notable achievements

  • Launched his career as a radio disc jockey in Red Deer, Alta.
  • Hosted 14 shows in 17 years including The Complex: Malibu on Fox, and I Dare You! for UPN

Currently

  • The Bachelor Canada airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv

You’ve seen Tyler Harcott on TV hosting everything from A-Channel’s entertainment show, Wired, to the Emmy-nominated series Junkyard Wars to Miss America: Countdown to the Crown on TLC. He has also hosted TV shows as far away as India, Dubai, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.

More Related to this Story

Now he’s the host on the first season of The Bachelor Canada. He presides over the weekly rose ceremony as the bachelor, ex-CFL player Brad Smith, searches for his true love.

When Harcott isn’t filming the series, the Alberta native returns to his home in the United States driving around New York City in a 2011 BMW X5 SUV.

Isn’t a BMW X5 too much car for New York City?

Whether you’re driving a little Smart car or a pickup truck, New York City is about flow and knowing the etiquette of the road.

You must have a taxi driver’s mentality in New York, which means you have to be aggressive. Not too aggressive, but you have to be aggressive enough to get in and out of traffic. And you can’t flinch – if you flinch, you don’t get anywhere in Manhattan.

It doesn’t matter what size your car is as long as you’re aggressive enough and you’re not scared to put your foot on the pedal, you’ll be fine.

Why did you buy an X5?

I had a X3 before my daughter was born and then I moved up to an X5 because I needed more room for the child seat and all the other accoutrements to go with that.

I was really happy with the X3 and it seemed like a logical progression to the X5. I considered Mercedes and Audi, but I’m a loyal person. The X3 never let me down so I figured I’d go with the X5. It hasn’t let me down. So far, it has been a great car.

Do you know what’s under the hood?

I know as much as you can.

The thing about modern cars is you have to have a diagnostic machine to be able to understand what’s going on under there.

I used to go to a private boarding school and they used to have a vehicle crew. That’s where I learned everything I know about cars.

Back then, those were cars you could tinker with and work on. Nowadays, a light comes on and off you go to the BMW dealership because you’re scared to touch anything.

What does a BMW X5 say about you?

It says I’m mobile, I carry a lot of stuff, and I always want to make sure I have just enough room for one more thing.

It says I’m outdoorsy, adventurous, and utilitarian.

I like something that’s useful. It’s not just pretty, but it serves a purpose as well. We take it everywhere and we carry a lot of stuff in it.

So it’s not ideal for a bachelor?

It could be a bachelor car. If I asked Brad Smith, you want to have an X5 to cruise around in? He wouldn’t have a problem with that.

What was your first car?

A sweet, sweet 1980 Mazda 626 cream with tan upholstery and a really bad-ass tape deck. To me that was the most important thing.

It was an automatic and every time you put it into gear you could hear the transmission go clank! It would just drop and you’d think, ‘Is this the time the tranny is going to drop to the bottom of the car?’

It was a great car because it was my first car. There’s something very magical about your first car. Its yours – it represents so many things like freedom.

For me, I was going off to college and I bought it with my own money. It was the beginning of a new chapter of my life. I have a lot of fond memories with that car.

What’s your fondest memory?

Not hitting a deer on Highway 2 between Edmonton and Red Deer, when I was working at a radio station there.

I was going down the highway and this car came beside me out of the blue. As it did, this huge deer leaped across the road and missed me, but he crushed the thing. It disintegrated.

That was my first memory of the car – I was so happy I didn’t hit that deer.

What else have you owned?

Then I had a 1991 Pontiac Firefly. And what does that say about me? It says I’m cheap and thrifty.

At the time, it was all about saving money and being economical. I loved that car. I could do a thousand things with that car on a thimble-full of gas. Of course, I was a walking traffic fatality if I ever got hit by anything. But fortunately, I was lucky not to.

What do you listen to on the road?

I listen to whatever my daughter says. We’re listening to all the Disney Princess songs. Right now, it’s Rapunzel.

Quite frankly, I like it, too. It’s quite catchy. It’s easy to love it because it brings her so much joy.

I’ve tried to get my daughter to like some of the music I like so I can get a little something in there.

She loves this song by the Rolling Stones and it’s so crazy. It’s called Rip This Joint.

Lyrically, it probably couldn’t be a less appropriate song for a four-year-old. But luckily, he sings so fast you can’t quite understand it. She does the cutest Mick Jagger impression when she dances to it. I can’t help play it for her.

If I can bring you the keys to any vehicle what would it be?

If I was seven, I’d say the Batmobile.

But as it stands now, I would say a quintessential American muscle car like a Camaro, a Charger, or a classic Mustang would be fantastic. Something with a big Hemi that has a lot of power.

I’m an old-school guy. I like the classic lines and those beautiful pieces of art from the ’50s with the big fish-tail ends and the beautiful ornaments at the front. Those cars were just art. I don’t think we appreciated it at the time. Back then, they were just cars. Now you look back and you think what amazing engineering and beautiful moving art.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

pgentile@globeandmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @PetrinaGentile

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