July 1999

Car Collecting in the 21st Century

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Isn't it time to give the Monterey weekend an official name? Let's get the folks from Pebble Beach, Concorso Italiano, the auctions and Laguna Seca together and keep them sequestered until the white smoke from the chimney indicates they've chosen something that encompasses the myriad activities that go on. It doesn't have to be complicated; Monterey Historic Festival would be fine. As the sum of the events grows far larger than all the parts, it would be fitting to have a symbolic grouping of the events under a single banner to present to the world.
We've been having our own adventures with vintage racing recently. Our 1968 Alfa Duetto emerged from a year of storage to test the track during the recently completed Zupan's Historic Races in Portland, Oregon, presented by New Tech Electric. Under the stewardship of Jill Campbell and Campbell Productions, the Portland races have grown to stand shoulder to shoulder with the SOVREN-produced Seattle vintage races on the preceding weekend to become a first-rate two-weekend mini-series. Nearly 300 cars were entered in Portland, including Peter Giddings' 1935 Alfa 8C-35 and Craig Jackson's Shelby GT 350.
We unintentionally provided the track announcers with some excitement as, having the master-cylinder fail at a high-rate of speed while entering the sweeping Turn 12 on the track, we motored more-or-less straight on until we nose-planted the Duetto into the tire wall. The damage to the car was slight, but the announcers (whom I joined to provide race-commentary) gleefully referred to "Keith Wallbanger" for the rest of the weekend. And when, after the body damage was hastily repaired, during the qualifying race a line from our oil cooler came loose and a stream of smoke issued from the Duetto, killing every mosquito within miles, my cohorts in the booth had just a single question for me when I returned. "Tell us, in the next race, are you going to smash into a tire wall or try to set yourself on fire again?"