Keith’s Blog: No to the Mini, Yes to an Amazon?

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Here’s a quick update on the SCM fleet. The 1989 Range Rover Classic is going to a subscriber in California – he’s looking forward to using the Rangie to haul some vintage motorcycles from Idaho to The Quail.

No luck on an Alfa Giulia Super yet, although I’ve had several sent my way. As with all old cars, price ultimately determines the acceptible level of imperfection. If a car has been poorly color-changed, but the price reflects that, it’s worth considering. (What doesn’t work is when the equation is out of whack – i.e., when someone wants top dollar for a less-than-top car.) Once again, if you’ve got one, send me an email.

A German Mini

Sunday was the annual All British Swap Meet at Montgomery Park in Portland. I once bought a 1980 Triumph Spitfire at this event years ago, and I trundled over hoping to unearth another gem.

This year the pickings were slim: a couple of MGBs, a Rover TC 2000 automatic on a flatbed, a couple of Morris Minors, a Mini and a Healey 3000 BJ8.

The Mini had the most curb appeal. Our family has always liked vintage Minis, perhaps because Bradley rode home from the hospital in one. This Mini was owned by an SCMer who also collects Unimogs, and he needed more space in his garage.

It was a German-built car, probably produced sometime in the 1990s but titled in Oregon as a 1960s car (which could be an issue in states like California that have more sophisticated databanks for VINs and will spot an irregular title number).

Asking price was $10,500, and I was tempted to make an offer in the high $8,000s until I noticed the rust bubbling by the windshield and at the rear body seam.

I had to remind myself that I really wasn’t looking for a Mini; that in fact I was downsizing and rationalizing the SCM Collection; and that whatever reservations I had about  the rust, the next buyer would have as well. So I passed.

Volvos “R” Us

I went home to finish preparations for the monthly meeting of the PDX Round-Fendered Volvo Club. The meeting, held at our home, featured the film Swedish Auto. We put out a spread from Ikea and some good Oregon wines.

Twenty Volvo owners and spouses turned up to watch the film, which centers around a young Volvo mechanic and his complicated love life. The commentary from the audience was far more interesting than the movie script, but if you’re into Volvos, you should get a copy.

Having so many Volvos parked around our house made me lonesome for one, and I have decided to look for a 122 or 123 sedan, or an early P1800. Yes, I know we just sold our lovely 1800 ES, but that doesn’t stop me from musing. If you’ve got something fun in decent condition, let me know.

Volvo-123

Even better, if you’re in the Houston area, stop by Keels and Wheels this weekend where I am emcee, and sell me your Super, your Amazon or your P1800! 

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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