Columns (1924)

Introduced at the Geneva Salon in March 1963 as replacement for the 190SL, the 230SL is a landmark model that founded a sports-car dynasty that would prove an enormous commercial success for Mercedes-Benz. Soon christened by the public the “Pagoda” after the distinctive shape of the removable hard top that evoked the roof of a Japanese temple, these SL models were among the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and continue to be highly sought after by discerning collectors. This matching-numbers 230SL Pagoda has the manual-transmission option and was exported to Spain when new. The car was purchased by the vendor…
Alfa Romeo’s successful Giulietta range debuted in 1954 with the arrival of the Bertone-styled Sprint coupe, the Berlina (saloon) not appearing until the succeeding season. Veloce models with improved performance followed, and the agile Giulietta SV quickly established an enviable record in production-car racing, notable victories including a Gran Turismo class win in the 1956 Mille Miglia. Nevertheless, to fully exploit the car’s potential, lighter and more aerodynamic bodywork was deemed necessary — a requirement which resulted in the ultimate Giuliettas: Bertone’s Sprint Special and the Sprint Zagato (SZ), both built on the short-wheelbase Spider platform and powered by the…
It’s almost an axiom of the automotive world that an unloved make or model can gain respectability over time. The reasons for this phenomenon are many —changing tastes and fashions can transform a formerly ugly duckling, or advancing technology and engineering may reveal that a particular car was ahead of its time. But mostly, when all the models around a particular car have appreciated enough, they’ll bring the less-loved units along with them — to an extent, anyway. That may become the case with the mid-1980s Nissan/Datsun 300ZX (1984–89 Z31). Prices for the early edition Datsun Z-cars (1969–78 S30) have…
At times, the SCM offices resemble an automotive confessional. Emails, texts, Facebook postings, faxes and sometimes even old-school, hand-written letters flood in — each missive asking for collector-car absolution or permission. “Dear SCM, please forgive me as I have sinned and bought a car over the Internet without seeing it in person… again.” “Keith, I am offered a great deal on a Ferrari. It’s a 308 GT4, friends tell me they are the last undervalued Ferrari, and they’re sure to jump in price soon. This one has been color changed from yellow to red. I’m told the engine was recently…
An SCMer wrote asking about potential liability if he sells his vintage Formula One car and the buyer is later injured as a result of a defect in the car. He knew he could clearly state that the car was being sold “as is” but wondered if that would be sufficient. He was particularly concerned because vintage parts are not readily available and often have to be built from scratch, creating greater risk of design and manufacturing defects. One’s first reaction is: Why worry? It’s a race car, racing is a dangerous activity, and everyone knows you take the risks…
By any standard, Harry C. Stutz was an unlikely artist. Perhaps a few in the stands at Indianapolis in 1911 saw Stutz’s creation coming, but they were in the minority, as they were engineers and fellow veterans of the early automobile industry, and they knew Stutz’s genius. The car that he built under his own name averaged 62.375 mph for 500 miles in that first running of the Indianapolis 500, running with only minimal mechanical adjustment and 13 pit stops, with 11 of them for tire changes. Although the Stutz car did not win the race, its durable performance was…

1964 Ferrari 250 LM

Written by February 2014
As Marcel Massini, the pre-eminent Ferrari historian declared, “Ferrari’s 250 LM is one of the most spectacular mid-engined sports cars ever built — a true competition race car rarer than the legendary 250 GTO, and the last Ferrari to win the grueling 24-hour race at Le Mans.” Chassis number 6107 is the 24th car of only 32 Ferrari 250 LM examples produced, and it is particularly special because its first owner did not have racing in mind when he acquired the car. In fact, the car was used exclusively as a road car and enjoyed as such on open California…

1980 Porsche 911SC

Written by February 2014
This is a gorgeous 1980 Porsche 911SC coupe that runs and drives beautifully. This car features a very desirable color combination of ivory with brown leather. Well-optioned, with a factory power sunroof, original chrome wheels, air conditioning, 5-speed transmission and AM/FM/CD player. This is a one-owner, rust-free California car, and it still retains its original California blue plates. With only 15,000 original miles, this car is a very rare find. SCM AnalysisThis car, Lot 92.1, sold for $35,750, including buyer’s premium, at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas auction on September 26, 2013. People have asked how far out of bounds that price…
The 250 GT SWB was an automobile that could be driven to the racetrack, easily decimate the competition, and then be driven home. Although there were detail differences from car to car, the 250 GT SWB was fundamentally a standardized design. However, that did not stop the demand for custom coachwork. Six chassis utilized custom bodies, with four of those being designed by Pininfarina and the other two built by Carrozzeria Bertone. Offered here is the first Bertone-bodied SWB, chassis number 1739GT. This chassis was graced with a one-off body that was designed by a 21-year-old Giorgetto Giugiaro. Chassis 1739GT…
The highlight of the 1971 Geneva Salon was undoubtedly the sensational new Maserati Bora. With the Bora’s introduction, the great Modenese manufacturer followed other supercar constructors in going mid-engined, while at the same time abandoning its traditional tubular chassis technology in favor of unitary construction. Named after an Adriatic wind, the Bora was the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design, at least as far as its bodyshell was concerned. The mid-mounted engine was Maserati’s familiar 4-cam V8 in 4.7-liter form, the 5-speed transaxle came from ZF and the all-independent double-wishbone suspension was penned by Giulio Alfieri, co-designer of the legendary…