Keith’s Blog: Baguettes, Shoulder Harnesses and Jalopies

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See You in Paris

First, it’s not too late to call your pilots and get your Bombardier fired up for the trip to Paris. The annual SCM reception at Retromobile will be held on Wednesday, from 5:30 to 7:00. Join me, Wendie, Alex and sponsors Donald Osborne and Ed Fallon of Cave Creek Classics for a good time.

There will be a group photo at 6:15, with special SCM deluxe keychains awarded to the SCMer who traveled the farthest, the SCMer who lives closest, and the SCMer with the oldest French car.

Keeping Bradley Safe

The days when, as children, we rolled around like loose eggs in the back seat of the family car are long gone. Bradley has graduated from his all-encompassing child seat and is now on a booster.

To be able to take him with us on tours, we need to find a three-point belt that can be easily installed without affecting the car. Ian Lomax of Jewel or Jalopy  sent me this link, where he sourced belts for the backseat of his Berlina — one is pictured below. We’re looking for belts for the 1967 Alfa GTV and the 1972 BMW 2002tii. In addition, if anyone has created a three-point belt that will work in the front seat of a 1965 Alfa Giulia Spider Veloce or a 1958 Alfa Giulietta Sprint Veloce, let me know.

We really like to be using our cars, and we really like taking Bradley with us. I would hope that these two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

The Future of Touring

Speaking of “Jewel or Jalopy,” Alex and I, joined by friend and SCMer Doug Hartman in his 1967 Giulia Super, went on a tidy two-hour tour this past Sunday. Billed as a pre-Superbowl event, the roads were indeed empty, except when we went by supermarkets and watched people loading pallets of Doritos into their pickup trucks. There was a mix of about 30 cars on the event, ranging from new Audis to vintage Triumphs. The group was congenial, and rather than the nit-picking that sometimes happens in single-marque events (“Gosh, do you know you have late 1958 hoseclamps on your early 1958 whatchamacallit?”), everyone seemed to enjoy the variety of tires to kick.

The event was organized by Ian, his wife Kim and their company Jewel or Jalopy. The sponsor was our good friend Neil d’Autremont and his business, Sidedraught City. We won a raffle item, a nifty fender cover. Neil is a retail outlet for Griot’s and other fine products. If you’re in the area, stop in and say hi.

In any event, my thoughts on the tour were that the future of old-car use may continue to devolve from complicated, multi-day rallies to short-and-sweet two-hour runs. The cars get exercised, you get to chat, and everything is done by lunch, so you can attend to the rest of your activities.

If you are as careless as I was, you can still have some drama — at our first stop I noticed that I had forgotten to replace the oil filler cap, but duct tape and a hair band from Alex saved the day. When I got home (this wasn’t the first time I have done this) I carefully looked over the engine compartment and found the cap wedged between the sump and the front crossmember. Alfa: the car that never lets a part go missing.

Alex and I had a good time on Sunday, and were back home in time to watch the ‘49ers get cheated out of a win by a no-call on holding on their last offensive play. Well, since I’ve had the Niners disappoint me since the Y.A. Tittle and John Brodie days, I’m already waiting until next year.

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

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