What the SCM Cars Want For the Holidays: Part 1

1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been finding little notes folded up on my desk. Some are written in cursive, others in block letters. They all have one thing in common – they are being composed by the cars in the SCM collection.

Of course, all the cars asked for some seat time. My rotator-cuff surgery is well on its way to being 100% healed. I expect to be driving a stick shift by Arizona Car Week in late January.

Let’s see if we’ve made progress on last year’s lists, and see what new things have been added for 2016:

From your oldest car, your 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce: I’m a happy car. Last year my tach wasn’t working, but Tom Black brought it back to life. The little chip by the hood has been fixed. And ever since Tom adjusted the trim on the passenger’s door and made some tweaks to the window winder and the side glass, there’s really nothing on my list. Except that I would very much like to be taken out for a drive. I’m so quiet now that I have the Jon Norman-built 4.1 limited-slip diff that I actually enjoy running at 80 mph.

From the car you’ve owned the longest, your 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce: Last year I wanted a fuel sender installed and my rockers repaired. Well, now my message is short and simple: Please make me a car again! Restorer Bill Gillham says all my rust has been repaired, and they are getting ready to paint me. My guess is by late spring or early summer I’ll be back on the road and making memories again.

From your mud buddy, your 1984 Land Rover D90: Last Christmas I said I wanted to be taken out into the woods, and my request is the same this year. Thank you for installing a new CB radio and LED taillights. I still have a leaky power steering pump, but since you told me it will cost over $1,000 to replace, I guess you’ll just need to keep pouring ATF fluid into it. One fill generally lasts a day.

From your favorite Swedish car, your 1967 Volvo 122S: Thank you for all the neat things you wrote about in last week’s blog. I’ve since discovered that my new brake booster is defective, but a new one is already on the way. Soon I’ll be ready to come home to the SCM garage.

From your only car with a real engine, your 2000 Dodge Viper GTS ACR: As you might expect from a fairly modern American muscle car, I’m not demanding at all. I do wish you’d have the “skip shift” eliminated, mostly on philosophical grounds. I know it’s strange when I force you to shift from 1st to 4th just because you’re driving at low rpm.

From your 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo: I’m new to this holiday list thing, and like the Viper, I don’t have much to ask for. I’ve enjoyed being your daily driver since your shoulder surgery, and I’m glad you find the Tiptronic satisfying. At the moment I really don’t need anything. My all-wheel-drive kind of likes getting exercised in wet weather, and I know how much you enjoy my heated seats. I’d like to have a marque expert adjust my stance just a little — I feel like I’m riding a half-inch high or so in the front. But for the moment, I’m a happy car that really has no needs.

I’ll get to the rest of the cars and their wishes next week.

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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