It was the summer of 1968. I was 17-years-old and had just graduated, as class valedictorian, from Lincoln High School in San Francisco. I was accepted to Reed College in Portland OR, but there was no financial aid available.
Tuition, along with room and board on campus, was about $3,000 a year — the same price as a new car. I couldn’t afford it, nor could my maternal grandmother, Dorel McDowell, who had raised me.
I decided to stay out Read More
My son Bradley was 10 when I bought him a 1960 Bugeye Sprite two years ago. I was setting us up to make father-and-son memories together.
I chose a Bugeye because that was my first car. The day I turned 16, I was first in line to take my driving test. An hour later, after shelling out $30, I owned my first sports car.
Getting Bradley a Bugeye was no different than a father wanting his son to play the Read More
My first two cars were British — a 1960 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite and a 1958 MGA.
“When are you going to get a real sports car?” asked my good friend Bjarne Holm.
Bjarne was driving his mother’s 1958 Giulietta Spider Normale. We were parked outside Lakeside Presbyterian Church near Stonestown in San Francisco. This was in 1969.
Bjarne walked me around the car. He proudly showed off its amenities — wind-up windows, a top that stayed attached to the car, Read More
Last Saturday my daughter Alexandra and her mother Cindy Banzer took the SCM 1967 Giulia Super on an Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon tour. It was a 112-mile dash from Portland to Astoria on the Oregon coast and back.
This was the 41st running of The Old Spider Tour, celebrating the founder of the club, Bob McGill, and the sky-blue 1958 Giulietta Spider Normale he bought new.
Neil d’Autremont, owner of Sidedraught City and official car herder for SCM, Read More
I had a chance to go for a drive in the SCM Giulia Super last weekend. We took a scenic, winding route, starting on Portland’s curvy Skyline Boulevard and passing through the tony Pearl District downtown.
From there we headed out through an industrial area on Highway 30 and then crossed the cathedral-like St. John’s Bridge before heading home.
I have owned over 100 Alfas. I currently have seven. I hate to think about parting with even one of them.
I’ve recently been asked about the sale of a 500-mile 1987 Buick GNX on Bring A Trailer for $130,000 on March 25 of this year. On March 18, a 1986 Grand National (a very different car, I was reminded by Colin Comer) with 5,700 miles bid to $38,750 and did not meet reserve.
The buyer of the 500-mile car paid nearly a $100,000 premium to get 5,200 fewer miles.
There are a couple of reasons why this makes no sense Read More
We are in the middle of a sea change in the collector-car world. In my three decades of publishing Sports Car Market, I have never seen anything like it.
Much has been written about the changing of the collector-car guard, with Millennials and Gen Xers rapidly joining Baby Boomers as front-line buyers and sellers.
It’s happening right before our eyes. Take a look at major auction company catalogs.
Up until five years ago, their catalogs pretty much ignored cars built Read More
The Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato is now back from Nasko’s Imports.
I decided to ignore the factory specs that concours judges adhere to and make it a better for my style of driving.
Nasko installed a 4.1 rear end in place of the 4.5 it came with. Not only will this give us a more relaxed engine speed on the freeway, it has the added benefit of being a limited-slip differential.
A 1971 model, the Z is now 48 years Read More
For his 10th birthday, I bought my son Bradley a 1960 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite. My first car was a Bugeye, and I was indulging in a romantic recreation of my own past.
I paid $15,000 for it because it needed nothing. Another $15,000 later, specialist Chip Starr had built and installed a 1,275-cc engine and a 3.7:1 rear end — along with freshening the suspension, electrical and wiring systems.
In a striking example of collector car math, after a total Read More
I once asked Craig Jackson why he thought that Restomods were so popular. He said that buyers got the looks of a classic car with the comfort, convenience and performance of a modern one.
Sometimes people new to collecting would buy a restored old car — say a 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. Then how an old car drives gave them a big surprise.
By modern standards, many old cars are slow, have terrible brakes and squishy suspensions. They don’t Read More