Columns (1898)

  Last month’s Legal Files suggested that there are epidemic proportions of “matching-numbers” Corvettes (and other cars) that really aren’t matching-numbers cars. That attracted a lot of attention and comments, but what people say is not as important as what they don’t say. No one said the suggestion was sometimes wrong. First, let’s put “matching numbers” into perspective. Say we have a 1965 Pontiac LeMans with a 4-speed transmission. We source a correct 1965 Pontiac 389-ci GTO motor, a Tri-Power setup, and all the necessary body parts, trim and badges — all of which were readily available from the factory…

The Perfect Pairing

Written by August 2014
As the SCM fleet continues to grow, I am beginning to wonder just why we need so many old cars. We currently have eight collector vehicles, ranging from a 1958 Giulietta Sprint Veloce to a 2000 Viper GTS ACR. That means eight insurance bills, eight parking stalls, eight sets of maintenance records, eight battery chargers and more. The cars spend most of their time sitting, like a faithful dog looking out the window hoping his master will soon be home to take him for a romp. In a way, it’s no different than a wardrobe with 100 purses, or a…
The 928 occupies a peculiar place in Porsche history. Conceived as a replacement for the venerable 911, the factory soon discovered that their customers would never prize a front-engined, water-cooled alternative — even if it did make more power than the company’s bread-and-butter sports car. Maybe the 928, with its upward-staring headlights, was too strange-looking to appeal to Porsche buyers. This is really an accomplishment in itself, given the unique designs common to the marque. Maybe it was obvious that, similar to the 924 in the same era, the 928 shared too much with down-market VW and Audi offerings. Remember…

1964 Alpine M64

Written by August 2014
In 1955, Alpine was founded by Jean Rédélé, who originally modified and campaigned Renault 4CVs but quickly found success in many of the world’s most illustrious sports car races. Soon enough, Rédélé started building his own cars on the 4CV chassis and mechanicals, with the A106 being produced in 1955. Nevertheless, Rédélé’s passion for racing never wavered, and in 1962, he introduced the M63, which was developed specifically for sports car racing. An updated version, dubbed the M64, was released for the 1964 season, and it was largely based on its predecessor. Just three examples were built, chassis 1709, 1710…
A prolific collector of fine automobiles, Mansour Ojjeh was ideally placed to secure for himself from Porsche a specially modified version of the German manufacturer’s ultimate road car: the fearsome 911 Turbo. Group 4 homologation rules, which required 400 road cars to be built, had spurred the development of Project 930 — the original 911 Turbo. In production from April 1975, the Turbo married a KKK turbocharger to the 3.0-liter RSR engine, a combination which, in road trim, delivered 260 hp for a top speed of approximately 246 km/h (152 mph). The engine was enlarged to 3.3 liters for 1978,…
The SA Aperta was announced at the Paris International Motor Show in 2010. It carried on Ferrari’s tradition of creating limited-edition, drop-top V12 grand tourers, which included the 550 Barchetta and the 575 Superamerica. Only 80 examples would be made, and they had all been spoken for by the time they were announced publicly. The SA Aperta offered here wears the distinction of being the last SA Aperta constructed, number 80 of 80. It shows just 290 kilometers (180 miles) and features all the available options as well as Ferrari Classiche certification. SCM AnalysisThis car, Lot 127, sold for $955,564,…
Italian Ferrari dealer Romano Artioli dreamed of resurrecting one of the most storied marques in automotive history: Bugatti. Artioli’s Bugatti Automobile SpA was established in October 1987, and construction of a new, state-of-the-art factory in Campogalliano, Italy, began the following year. When it was ready, the EB110 — Ettore Bugatti 110, honoring the great man’s 110th birthday — debuted on September 15, 1991, in front of the Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris. The EB110 GT was a supercar in the truest sense of the word, as it was powered by a 3.5-liter V12 with four turbochargers, which was…
This famous Aston Martin DBS was manufactured in the spring of 1970, complete with special modifications for its role in the British television series “The Persuaders!” in which star Roger Moore drove it in almost all of the 24 one-hour episodes. Moore had expressed an interest in the Aston Martin, which he felt would be ideally suited to the character of Lord Brett Sinclair. Aston Martin was keen, and filming commenced with the DBS featuring in a memorable race against Tony Curtis’s Ferrari Dino from Nice Airport to the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. “The Persuaders!” was pure escapism, and…
  The Chrysler Airflow was a brilliant and revolutionary creation with the promise of cutting-edge design and technology. Easy flowing lines swept to the rear and allowed air currents to slip by while passengers relaxed and settled into seats as big and soft as divans. Artistry of the highest order was apparent in every detail of the refreshing, new-style interior. Chrysler was proud to proclaim that the new Airflow was the result of master craftsmen working with untiring hands to set a new standard for a custom-built motorcar, endowing the model with “the atmosphere of a smart, modern penthouse.” Credit…
I recently came across a photo taken just after the 1992 California Mille. It showed me in a Ferrari PF cabriolet S2, along with my grandmother, Dorel McDowell. I recall exactly how she came to be in that car. When I finished the tour, in my 1958 Giulietta Spider Veloce, one of the participants asked if I’d like to take his PF cab for a drive. I said yes, went to the family home on 20th Avenue in San Francisco, got Grandma Dorel into the car and took her for a spin. It was a typical San Francisco day, clear…
Page 1 of 190