Keith’s Blog: Portland to London to Scottsdale and Home Again


It’s that time of year, when we start racking up frequent-flyer miles. We’re also buying a few more lottery tickets so that after we win we can put a Gulfstream G650 into the SCM corporate hangar. While we’re at it, we’ll buy a corporate hangar as well.

Today I’m headed to London, for a private dinner on Thursday at the new Bonhams world headquarters on New Bond Street. There will be 16 of us in attendance, including Chairman Robert Brooks and Group Director of the Bonhams Motoring Department, James Knight.

The exact topic of discussion remains closely guarded, but I expect the assembled editors of all of the key European buff books (with yours truly the only representative from the colonies) will be keen to hear about Bonhams’ plans for the coming year.

Bonhams is experiencing explosive growth in the U.S., with their Monterey auction zooming to $31m in 2013, up from $9.5m in 2012. I’ve known Robert Brooks since he was an auctioneer at Christie’s and admire the way he has, starting from scratch, assembled a global team that is one of the world’s top auction houses for automobiles, fine art and antiques.

The next day, I take a direct flight from Heathrow to Sky Harbor, to prepare for the Arizona Concours. Director Kevin Cornish tells me all is in order, and I look forward to seeing great cars and meeting new and old friends at the dinner on Saturday night, and at the event on Sunday. 

Then, it’s time to get down to business. There are five auctions to attend, seminars at Barrett-Jackson and Gooding, consignment tours and more. SCM and ACC will both be jumping into the auction world with all eight wheels, as we are selling the ACC 1964 Nova at Barrett-Jackson on Thursday (Lot 684) and the freshly-restored SCM Isetta at Gooding on Saturday (Lot 106). They are both tasty cars; If you want any more information about either of them, please contact me directly. On Tuesday, January 14, I’ll be a panelist at the Phoenix Automotive Press Association’s Arizona Auction Week Preview, along with Corky Coker and John Carlson. Tickets for that event are available here.

Sunday, I’ll board a flight back to Portland, where I have two weeks to see family, work on the long-range plans for the magazine, see if any of my cars have restored themselves while I was away, and generally enjoy the Northwest. Then it’s off to Paris for Rétromobile with my daughter Alex. We look forward to seeing you there at our annual reception, along with Donald Osborne and Ed Fallon from Cave Creek Classics. We’ll enjoy wine and refreshments at the Café Le Jambon à la Broche on Wednesday, February 5, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 p.m. To RSVP, email Donald Osborne. We will be attending the Artcurial, Bonhams and RM auctions, taking place that week.

It’s the beginning of the season for old-car lovers, and it stretches non-stop from now until October. I look forward to our paths crossing, more than once I’m sure.

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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