Columns (1933)

When introduced at the 1981 Frankfurt Salon, the 512 BBi brought about only minor changes from the outgoing 512 BB, with the chief among those being the addition of a Bosch K-Jetronic fuel-injection system. The BBi retained all of the 512 BB’s looks and character — but added exposed driving lights on the nose and rectangular parking lights adjacent to the exhausts at the rear. For many clients, the addition of the fuel injection was a welcome change, and the 512 BBi is often considered to be the most livable of Ferrari’s Berlinetta Boxer models. Naturally, performance remained incredible over…
This is the most famous Lagonda of all. Special competition variants of the LG45 were tailor-made at Staines Bridge for the Lagonda company’s experienced and battle-hardened quasi-Works racing team: Fox & Nicholl Limited of Tolworth, Surrey. Just as Enzo Ferrari’s private Scuderia ran the quasi-Works Alfa Romeo team cars from 1932 to ’37, so Fox & Nicholl represented Lagonda’s vital interests in International motor racing. For 1936, the production department at Staines Bridge built four competition cars specifically for Fox and Nicholl. This quartet comprised two 4-seaters, bodied to comply with Le Mans 24-Hour regulation requirements, and two 2-seaters, this…
Built for privateers to go international GT racing, the phenomenally successful RSR was one of the final developments of the Porsche 911 Type 964, which on its launch in 1989 had represented a major step forward in the development of Porsche’s long-running sports car. Two versions were offered — the Carrera 4 and Carrera 2 — the former marking the first time that four-wheel drive had been seen on a series-production model. Porsche had experimented with four-wheel drive on the 959 supercar, and many of the lessons learned from the latter influenced the design of the new Carreras’ chassis and…
That Spanish truck manufacturer ENASA should have built one of the most exotic sports grand touring cars of the early 1950s seems rather improbable. However, it becomes somewhat more understandable when you learn that the company’s chief technical manager’s last position was Chief Engineer, Special Projects, for Alfa Romeo from 1936 to 1944. Wifredo Ricart was often criticized for the complexity of the vehicles he designed, but in the case of the Pegaso sports car, that attribute was very much the aim. To showcase the skills of the company’s engineers and workers and to establish a level of credibility for…
The BMIHT Certificate states that this DB2/4 was completed on February 2, 1954, and it was originally sold to a Scottish customer. While its early history is unknown, its build sheet documents an early factory engine replacement. According to Anthony Forshaw, it is believed that its current engine is that period replacement unit. Aston Service Dorset has issued an amended build sheet and new chassis plate to cement the connection. The Aston was discovered in Virginia in 2008 by the current owner, who then promptly delivered it to Francis Warwick of Lea Francis Automotive Archaeologist in West Palm Beach, FL,…
The Mercer Automobile Company was established in 1909 by the Roebling family, creators of tensioned wire-rope suspension bridges — embodied by the Roebling-built Brooklyn Bridge. The company was crippled early on by the deaths of its Roebling family leaders, but it survived until 1925, when it was renamed the Mercer Motors Company, signaling its acquisition by Hare’s Motors, a joint venture with Simplex and Locomobile. During that short early period, however, it was responsible for one supremely important, successful and significant automobile. The Mercer Type 35R Raceabout defined the concept of “sports car” long before it became a common description.…
One unexpected consequence of today’s hot collector car market has been that many SCMers have been buying and selling more cars more quickly than ever before. They — and their accountants — have wondered if they have crossed the line from a collector to a dealer, which would carry some significant tax and legal consequences. Dealer licensing All states require car dealers to be licensed. The most obvious consequence of dealer licensing is the cost. Not only do you have to file an application and pay a licensing fee, but you need to carry appropriate insurance, post a bond and…
There are many stock phrases in the vocabularies of car collectors. They range from “that’s one of one” to “wonderful patina” to “I never should have sold it.” The one that seems to get me in the most trouble is, “Well, I’m not really looking, but…” You know the drill. You have a vague interest in a certain car. In my case, it was a Volvo P1800, the sports coupe Roger Moore drove in the television show “The Saint.” Not yet admitting that I was sliding down the slippery slope towards ownership, I started asking a few gurus what the…
Here at SCM, we take some space in every issue to look at affordable classics — great cars that you can get into without emptying your wallet. Affordable classics are great because they’re far more engaging than the average new grocery-getter, and you can drive them without worrying yourself to death about miles, damage and insane repair bills. But here’s one true fact: Affordable classics don’t always stay affordable. Whether this is a good or bad thing mainly depends on if and when you bought that classic. For most of us, it either means we are enjoying a big run-up…

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Written by November 2014
At the highest level of the U.S.-based catalog-sale collector car auctions, Gooding & Company and RM Auctions are the major players, with Bonhams now a hard-charging, fast-rising contender. All three of these companies are now going toe-to-toe in Monterey, Scottsdale and Amelia Island. There will be no shortage of high-dollar fireworks as billionaires compete for delectable multi-million dollar collectibles. That’s not to say that there aren’t other important, high-end players including Barrett-Jackson, Auctions America, Mecum, Russo and Steele, and Worldwide — and the first-time-effort of Rick Cole in Monterey deserves a nod. But during Monterey Classic Car Week, all eyes…
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