21st Oregon Festival of Cars

Great car shows don’t happen by accident.

The ingredients that go into a successful car event are similar all over the world. You need a good location, great cars and a thoughtful, hard-working team to pull it all together.

Bend, Oregon is located 162 miles south and east of Portland, Oregon. With a population of just 87,000, it might seem like an unlikely place to find more than 150 vintage and classic cars on display. But last Saturday, the driving Read More

Wallowing in Vintage Cars

I’ve been an Alfa Pig this past week, wallowing in a twin-cam world of twisting roads and five-speed gearboxes.

Last Thursday, the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon held their annual Red Duetto Tour. Organized by Fred and Lisa McNabb, participation is limited to long-tail Alfas (1966-69) painted red. If you own a blue Duetto, you’re out of luck.

This year there were nine long-tails on the tour, and they created a visually striking scene as we lined them up. Among Read More

Monterey Week Isn’t Just About the Money

The pundits didn’t wait for the Monterey Car Week auctions to end before weighing in with banshee-like wails of market distress.

“Saturday night auctions fail to meet 2015 levels” The Los Angeles Times headlined before the Gooding auction on Sunday.

Bloomberg weighed in on Monday, “Monterey Auctions Continue to Slide after 2014 Peak.”

“Next month, if these trends continue, Cobras will be free!” (Okay, I made that one up.)

If you Read More

An Afternoon in Sports Car Paradise

For more than 20 years, enthusiast Ken Ivey and his wife Bernice have hosted an informal gathering of car fanatics at their home in Aurora, Oregon, just south of Portland.

Ken, a long-time 289 Cobra owner, recently exchanged his car for a Ferrari 246 GTS — and a completely different driving experience. I sit with Ken on the board of directors of Oregon Ballet Theater. He’s a CPA, and I find his comments about the arts and the community thoughtful Read More

Judging Steam Cars and Improbable Coachwork

The French just do things differently. This is my third year as a judge at the Richard Mille Chantilly Arts & Elegance Concours d’Elegance, and it is a delight to be back.

By now I have my routine. Fly overnight from Portland on Wednesday, and arrive at Charles De Gaulle Airport early on Thursday. Check into my hotel Thursday around noon, and catch the train into Paris. Wander around — like the wide-eyed tourist I am — during the Read More

The Barfmobile Hits the Oregon Trail

Among Alfista, the 4-door Giulia Super sedan has cult status. With the same race-bred suspension a the 105 Series coupes and spiders, the Super was advertised as “The Family Car that Wins Races.”

Earlier this year, I took the SCM Super on an Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon tour, and my son Bradley and his friend Grayson christened the car with dual sprays of kid-vomit — both of them falling prey to car-sickness at the same time. From that time Read More

Festivities and Finances at Monterey 2016

This is coming to you from San Francisco International Airport, where I’m waiting to board my direct flight back to SCM World Headquarters in Portland.

My ride from Monterey to SFO was a 2017 Chevrolet Volt, and driving this high-tech hybrid was a vehicular sorbet — a refreshing and relaxing change from a week of carbon-monoxide-spewing vintage cars (I admit that if I could find a cologne that smelled like racing fuel I’d probably own it).

My Car Week started Read More

My Monterey Car Week

It’s a good thing I like cars. Monterey Car Week is just about the busiest time of my year, and each day is saturated with cars.

This will be my 29th year of attending the festivities on the Monterey Peninsula. I missed one year, 1991, as Alexandra was born that year on August 15. I would assume that event qualified me for a hall pass, although some wags suggested I rent a mobile delivery room and park it in the Read More

Money is Big, But Passion Drives the Hobby

Each year, this issue falls in the lull just before the great Super Bowl contest that is Monterey Car Week. Each of the auction companies on the Peninsula has its lineups set. All the seven- and eight-figure, market-defining cars have been extensively promoted and the potential bidders courted.

Within a few days after you read this, we’ll all know if this year’s totals exceed the $400m of last year (I predict they will, by at least $25m), and like a Read More

Should Pristine Original Cars Be Banned from Vintage Racing?

We’re coming up on Monterey Car Week, and the great vintage car festival known as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

As entertaining as the races will be, we should ask ourselves if some of these vintage cars really belong on the track.

BMW is the featured marque, meaning at the Laguna Seca race track you’ll watch gaggles of M1s and 507s crest the Corkscrew and drop three stories in elevation as they hurtle down the hill towards the start/finish Read More