Scottsdale – Tales of a 540K, Corvette L88s and Frank Lloyd Wright


I’m sitting in Bruce Covill’s 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4. It’s my mobile office as I write this blog while on the Arizona Concours d’Elegance Tour. (Covill’s company Cyberitas Technologies, developed the mobile app for the concours, available here.) We’ve just finished a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.

This marathon began with shooting cars for What’s My Car Worth? Last Thursday and Friday, my co-host Josh Nasar and I drove 28 cars that will sell at Barrett-Jackson.

We have found that if we consolidate the driving of the cars into a focused couple of days, we can examine a larger number of cars in a shorter period of time.

The cars I drove included a couple of Chevrolet Chevelle 454 LS6s, a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro 396/375 convertible, an Austin-Healey 3000 Mk II BT7, a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88, a Corvette L89 and a 1983 Porsche 911 Turbo.

I learned a lot about a variety of cars, many of which I had never driven before.

We’ll shoot the evalutions of the cars and interviews with their owners on Tuedsay, Wednesday and Thursday.

The Concours

Saturday night, SCM Editor-at-Large Donald Osborne and I were emcees of the gala dinner that kicked off the second annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance.

Sunday, Donald and I joined forces again to emcee the Concours. Best of Show went to a 1937 Mercedes 540K Special Roadster brought by Thomas Taffet.

That night we were emcees of the Afterglow celebration and dinner. The Arizona Concours raises money for Make-A-Wish Arizona. Last year, they raised $39,000, far exceeding the expected $7,500. I’m pleased to report that this year’s event raised over $70,000.

The Concours continues to show all of the elements of a first-class event. The Arizona Biltmore is the perfect setting for classic cars. The field, limited to just 80 vehicles, is an accessible size and lends itself to thoughtful curation.

Most of all, the organizers, headed by Kevin Cornish, Ed Winkler and Chuck Stanford Jr., have a clear vision for the event, and they have assembled a remarkable team of volunteers and sponsors.

After the Gala, it was a quick hop over to Barrett-Jackson for their bash. I had a chance to visit with Craig Jackson, and he remarked that they have over 4,000 bidders registered for this week’s auction, and more than 700 of them are new.

It’s a busy time, but I get to be around a lot of very cool old cars and gearhead enthusiasts in the warm Arizona weather. It doesn’t get any better.

(To my Facebook album of the shoot at Barrett-Jackson, click here. To see my Facebook album of the Concours and the Tour, click here. You do not have to be a FB member to view the photos.)

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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