Keith’s Blog: The SCM 1000 is Underway!

The SCM 1000 kicked off on Sunday after with a Cars in the Park Event at the Portland Art Museum.

Tour participants showed off their cars to Portland’s many vintage car enthusiasts. Portlanders are used to SCM parking flights of amazing cars outside of the Portland Art Museum. We started the first-ever SCM Tour outside the Museum last summer.

The weather was perfect, and everyone got a chance to make new friends and learn more about a lot of great Read More

Birth of an Obsession

A red 1972 Chevrolet Impala convertible was the very first car I bought at an auction.

It was 1995. My then-wife Cindy Banzer and I drove seven hours north from Portland to Bob LeFlufy’s AutoClassic auction in Vancouver, B.C. Alexandra, just 4 years old, accompanied us.

“LeFluf,” since deceased, was a classic-car raconteur, the Canadian equivalent of SCM regular Uncle Raymond Milo. When the two of them, both inveterate smokers, got together, the evenings were long, the wine consumption formidable — Read More

Keith’s Blog: Alex, the Spitfire and the BMW 2002

Alex, my daughter, and I had a pleasant Saturday planned in July of 2007.

At that time, Rob Sass was head of Business Development for SCM. As you probably know, Rob buys cars like the rest of us buy socks. Given my proclivity for accidental purchases, we were a dangerous pair.

There is a small all-British swap meet each spring in Portland. At it, Rob had come across a big-bumper Triumph Spitfire 1500, circa 1976-80. Orange over black, it was Read More

Keith’s Blog: Four Coupes and Three Garage Spaces

I’ve got a dilemma. Due to my profligate purchasing of Alfas, I now have more cars than I have spaces at SCM World Headquarters.

Something has to go.

I was counting cars the other night (a favorite hobby of mine), and realized I have four Alfas coupes and a 4-door sedan — plus two convertibles.

Since I can only drive one car at a time, perhaps one of the coupes could go.

I have built all four to my preferred Read More

Keith’s Blog: Buying the GTV

Eight years ago, on June 18, 2011, I was sitting in my office cleaning off my desk.

I was about to throw away a three-month old copy of the local Alfa Romeo Club Newsletter, “Alfa Bits.”

An ad for a Daytona Blue 1967 GTV caught my attention. It had a 1750 engine and an upgraded Rugh suspension. I knew the car instantly.

The seller was local Alfa engineering legend Dave Rugh. The price was $18,000. It didn’t say “firm,” but Read More

Keith’s Blog: 10 Years with Land Rovers

According to my notes, on June 18, 2009 — 10 years ago — I bought a 1973 Land Rover Series III 88.

The crude-but-entertaining 88 was the beginning of our exploration of the world of Rovers.

The Rover saga started with the 2009 annual Porsche Northwest Passage 1,000-mile tour. I was driving our 2002 Boxster S.

At the final dinner, the owner of the Rover came up to me and said, “I’m thinking of selling our Land Rover, and John Read More

Heart vs. Head

There are two cars that always pull at my heartstrings.

The first is a 1956 Mercury Montclair. My grandfather bought one new. I have fond memories of riding in the backseat of that car. It was two-tone Bumblebee Yellow and black. My grandfather loved that car — it was a step up from the Mercury he had owned before, and offered an upscale driving experience.

Some years back, I was working as the color commentator for the Barrett-Jackson auction broadcast. Read More

Keith’s Blog: Bye-Bye Bugeye

As I wrote in my last column, I have decided that it is time for the SCM Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite to go. I’ll be sad to see it leave, as we have done so much to make it exactly the excellent driver that we wanted.

At the same time, chances are it will go to a new home — one where it is a better fit in someone’s collection.

I’ve asked Matt Crandall at Avant-Garde Collection to sell the Read More

Keith’s Blog: Summer and the SCM Fleet

“Value in use.” That’s always been the motto of the cars in the SCM collection. What’s the point in having classic cars if you are not going to use them?

Most of the SCM cars were built more than 50 years ago. They were never designed to be in service this many years after they left their factories of origin. Consequently, keeping them roadworthy, comfortable and visually attractive has required a substantial investment in mechanical and cosmetic refurbishments.

It’s these Read More

Keith’s Blog: My Life With Cars: The 1963 Giulia Spider, Part III

This is the continuing saga of my first Alfa Romeo. It was a red 1963 Giulia Spider Normale. I bought it in 1968 when I was 17 years old.

It was an exotic, alloy-engine, twin-camshaft sports car. I tried to maintain it on a shoestring budget. This  lead to many types of improvised roadside repairs.

During the summer of 1968 I was following my friend Bjarne Holm, who was driving his mother’s white 1958 Giulietta Spider Normale. We started out Read More