When Restorations Go Bad

scm-legal-files-under-water

Disputes involving car restoration work are definitely in the upper echelon of the “Legal Files” Top 10 Hit Parade. That shouldn’t be surprising. Restorations have many elements that can easily lead to disputes:

1. It is really hard to know up front what level of work and cost most restorations are going to involve. For example, how deep the “surface rust” really goes can’t be discovered until you take things apart. No one has a crystal ball.

2. Given the Read More

No Regrets in the Morning

shifting-gears-alf-resto

I’m now into the restoration of my 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider over $50,000. What I have to show for it is a completely stripped body shell, with all the rust removed and damaged panels repaired. It is ready for paint and reassembly.

As I wrote in my January “Shifting Gears” column, I have been wrestling with the competing paradigms of “don’t erase a car’s history” and “repair the damage and degradation resulting from a half-century of use.”

There is Read More

A Sexy Beast Without an Entry Ticket

1964-66 Honda s600

The Honda S Series was Honda’s first real foray into automobile production.

Japanese Keiretsu politics threatened to limit Honda to motorcycle production only, so the company started the S600 as part of a broad development effort — one that led to greatness with the Honda Civic a few years later.

But in the early 1960s, Honda was still finding its way into the automobile market. Japanese motorcycle and automobile makers in this era had simultaneous tendencies to copy established designs Read More

1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

“Driving a 250 SWB is like wielding a hammer; it commands your respect through aggression and raw power. The Zagato, however, feels more like a tailored suit. It’s agile, sophisticated, and equally responsive… it’s a truly beautiful car to drive. And it fits perfectly.” — Peter Read

After restoration, chassis 0186R hit the concours circuit, where it immediately accrued an enviable record of accolades. On its very first outing at the Louis Vuitton Concours at the Hurlingham Club in June Read More

1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti

1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti profile

Ferrari’s sports-prototype racing cars are among the most legendary in motorsport history, as they epitomize the desire, passion and mechanical brilliance that the Maranello team could bring to bear on the track.

Most significantly, each and every design had Enzo’s personal handprint upon them.

For the past 12 years, chassis number 0626 has been regularly maintained, benefiting from a recent engine rebuild. The provision of a removable passenger screen has also allowed her to comfortably compete in the Mille Miglia Read More

1953 EMW 327 Cabriolet

1953 EMW 327 Cabriolet front

The acquisition of the Dixi Works at Eisenach in 1928 provided BMW, hitherto a manufacturer of aero engines and motorcycles, with a foothold in motor manufacturing. Dixi’s built-under-license version of the Austin Seven was gradually developed and improved, ending up with swing-axle suspension and overhead valves.

Then, in 1933, came the first true BMW — the 6-cylinder 303. This adopted a twin-tube frame and abandoned the rear swing axles in favour of a conventional live axle, while up front there Read More

2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP720-4 50th Anniversary Coupe

2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP720-4 profile

All Lamborghinis are rare, but some are more special than others. The 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP720-4 50th Anniversario Edition celebrates the 50 years of Lamborghini. Only 100 are said to have been produced, and to distinguish the 50th from just a regular Aventador, one will instantly notice the shocking yellow metallic paint, named “Giallo Maggio,” that was specially made for this supercar. Down-force and aerodynamics were improved by 50% with a new rear diffuser to improve airflow. New front air Read More

1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super Competition Saloon

1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super Competition Saloon passenger front

The Giulia TI (Turismo Internationale) was Alfa Romeo’s flagship high-performance saloon in the 1960s. Introduced in 1962 and outwardly almost indistinguishable from the outgoing 1.3-liter Giulietta, the Series 101 Giulia boasted a more powerful and much less fussy 1,570-cc engine. Despite their boxy, unitary construction body, the Giulietta and Giulia were paragons of aerodynamic efficiency and possessed a distinctly sporting nature.

Announced in April 1963, the Giulia TI Super was a lightweight, more powerful homologation special built for international touring-car Read More

People, Places and Things

Lighting up Museum Row in Los Angeles

Forty years ago, when I lived in a gritty section of New York City near Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas, I was happy when the cockroaches didn’t dance on my toothbrush at night. My space was so small that the refrigerator doubled as the headboard of my bed.

I couldn’t have imagined that one day, just a few blocks from my tiny studio apartment at 24 Thompson Street, I’d be looking at cars worth millions of dollars being Read More

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