Winter and the SCM Fleet


Our unseasonably long, hot summer is finally coming to an end. The temperatures today are in the 60s with overcast skies and a light drizzle. While this would be considered summer weather in my native San Francisco, here in Portland it’s time to start prepping for winter.

I’ve begun shuffling the SCM fleet around, in some instances to take care of deferred maintenance after a summer of use, and in others to make major improvements.

Also, as I am still recovering from rotator-cuff surgery and can’t drive any of the manual-shift cars, it’s a good time for them to visit their various specialists.

I dropped off the 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo today at Sunset Porsche-Audi. The airbag warning light is on (I know the solution — just don’t crash), and it has a slight vibration at 75 mph. The vibration developed this summer while B. Mitchell Carlson and Paul Hardiman drove the car on the Northwest Passage tour.

Next week Bradley’s 1960 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite goes to Commonwealth Classics Ltd., located in Vancouver, WA and owned by SCM’s Director of Special Operations Reid Trummel. I’m going to have them give the car a major tune and basically survey it. It needs a gearbox overhaul, as it jumps out of first, but before I tackle that I want to get everything else up to snuff.

Jon Norman called to say that the engine overhaul parts for the 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale have been shipped to Nasko’s Imports, so assembly should begin soon. The engine overhaul will include an upgraded 1,400-cc kit and modern Pittatori cams. Tom Black has completed filling in the extra holes in the dashboard, so the body is ready to go. I’ve decided not to deal with the radiused rear wheel arches until the car is a runner.

The 1965 Giulia Spider Veloce is at Bill Gillham’s having a full body restoration. I’ll have more details on that later.

The 1967 Volvo 122S is slated to go to Cameron Lovre to have a brake booster installed and the temperature gauge calibrated.

Team SCM is getting ready for the Portland Urban Safari this weekend. The “Safari Méhari” and Land Rover Defender 90 are participating and will be festooned with inflatable jungle creatures.

Local Citroën specialist Bill Lonseth has been ministering to the Méhari. He’s replaced the alternator and fine-tuned the electronic ignition, along with a host of other things to make the little car reliable.

Old cars require a lot of love and attention to keep them on the road. I advocate using winter time as an opportunity to get them prepped for the spring driving days that are now just a few months away.

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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