Columns (2027)

The 599 GTB Fiorano was a ground-breaking achievement for Ferrari. Although it was touted as a dual-purpose grand touring and sports car, the 599 could easily outmatch the performance of Ferrari’s iconic F40. The 599’s engine was derived directly from the Ferrari Enzo supercar. The 6-liter V12 produced 620 brake horsepower at 7,600 rpm, sprinting the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 205 mph. Like all modern Ferraris, the 599 is just as luxurious as it is fast. The interior is spacious and comfortable, with incredible attention to detail throughout.…
  In 1941, the station wagon body was only offered by Oldsmobile on the bottom-of-the-line Special 60 Series. Sharing its wheelbase and dimensions with the Chevrolet Special Deluxe Wagon, it offered the brand engineering for which GM was famous. As was the standard practice then, coachbuilding for special models such as the labor-intensive wagons was contracted out to outside body companies. One such company was Mid-State Body Company in Waterloo, NY, which had been building custom commercial bodies, including special wagons, on GM chassis for years before the General formally contracted Mid-State to manufacture the wagon bodies. This 1940 Oldsmobile…
Most motoring enthusiasts are aware of the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 16-valve cars. These models have acquired several nicknames, such as “Cosworth” or its diminutive “Cossie.” Although they have become famous, good examples remain elusive. But these are tough little cars, and refurbishing a driver is affordable, so you don’t have to “buy the best.” These cars only came in Smoke Silver and Pearl Black. Powered by the Mercedes M102 4-cylinder engines, U.S.-market Cossies made 167 horsepower and European versions made 185. Production was from 1984 to 1987, with U.S. market introduction in 1986. From raceway to freeway Mercedes-Benz wanted to…
  The market has redefined itself over the past decade. We’ve watched it happen from the SCM crow’s nest. From multi-million-dollar catalog auction sales to text-only postings on Craigslist, we keep a finger on the ever-changing pulse of the market. Prices have soared in the category we follow most closely — sports cars from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Yet, we find a logic to most of these high fliers, and I believe they are indicative of a healthy, thoughtful market. Collectors, voting with their dollars, have neatly divided all collectible cars into three primary categories. I call them “The…
The Type 904, born of Porsche’s disappointing foray into Formula One in the early 1960s, was produced to bring the company back to its racing sports car roots. In 1962, the immensely talented Ferdinand A. “Butzi” Porsche was tasked with designing a new two-seat competition coupe that could also be driven on the street by utilizing the mid-engine chassis configuration that had proven so successful with the racing department’s lightweight Spyders. The beautifully balanced 904 GTS was introduced in early 1964, and it enjoyed a brilliant inaugural season, scoring victories at Sebring, the Targa Florio, Spa, the Nürburgring 1000 Km,…
  Collector car insurance policies are the coverage of choice for car collectors. The premiums are very low, and you get better service and claims treatment. But while collector car insurance policies, as a class, are almost always superior to your basic consumer auto insurance policy, they are not all created equal. Are you covered? Here’s a few examples of what to check in your policy: Other Drivers: With one notable exception, all insurance policies cover you for anything that happens when your car is being driven by someone you have authorized to drive it — a “permissive user.” The…
The Mercedes-Benz 230SL, immediately recognizable for its Pagoda top, was an extremely popular car within the circles of the rich and powerful. In 2013, the 230SL celebrated its 50th birthday, and it is still an iconic car today, with fans around the world. The 230SL, built to fill the gap between the 190SL and the flagship 300SL, was a ground-up project that began with a whole new platform. Initially, the engine was to be a 2.2-liter inline 6-cylinder, but technical difficulties pushed the development of the platform back several years. Eventually, Technical Director Fritz Nallinger ordered the marriage of two…
By the late 1950s, Pininfarina had established itself as not only the creators of the “Ferrari look” but also as the favored design house in Maranello. However, whilst the coachbuilder was rapidly expanding, it was not yet ready to meet the demand for increasing Ferrari production. As such, the first series-built “production” Ferrari models were farmed out to Carrozzeria Boano, a coachbuilder established by Mario Boano, which built 82 “Low Roof” coupés of the Pininfarina design. At the end of 1957, Mario Boano left his company to establish a styling department at Fiat, leaving his son-in-law, Ezio Ellena, to take…
The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport was an exciting, fast sports car that combined minimum weight with sparkling performance. The chassis was low and lightweight, featuring semi-elliptical springs that passed through the front axle. The 6C 1750 would go on to be victorious over much larger and more powerful machinery in a triumph of balance, quickness and almost thought-control responsiveness. The 1750’s sporting career, aided by its mechanical longevity, extended far beyond its production, amassing numerous wins, including 1-2-3 finishes in the Mille Miglia and top results at Targa Florio, the Tourist Trophy and Spa 24 Hours in 1930.…
The XJ 220 prototype was unveiled to the world in Birmingham in 1988. The car was greeted with enthusiasm, and the decision was taken to produce a limited series of 350 examples. As Jaguar was not set up to produce such a small series, the build project was given to Jaguar-Sport, a joint venture between Jaguar Car Ltd and TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing). The heavy 12-cylinder setup gave way to a derivation of the lighter and less bulky V6 racing engines, allowing the wheelbase to be shortened. For the same reason, the four-wheel-drive option was also abandoned. The weight of…