Making the SCM Volvo Amazon Better Than New

This saga illustrates how much time and energy an old car can cost you — even when it’s solid when you buy it.

My 1967 Volvo 122S came from Volvo P1800 racer and retired academic Jim Perry. He had combined the rebuilt drive train of one car with the very nice body and interior of another.

I purchased it as a “needs-nothing, fly-to-Madison, Wisconsin and drive-it-home car.”

While not perfect, the car was very straight and attractive in a light cream color with a tan Read More

Keith’s Blog: La Dolce Vita in Modena

Today, I’d like to share this space with Mark Wigginton, a veteran SCM writer — I’m sure you’ve enjoyed his “Speaking Volumes” column. Wigginton recently traveled to Modena, Italy for a visit with Pierangelo Masselli of Modena Classic Works. Take it away, Mark…

So, when the boss says, “Can you go look at some vintage cars and a restoration shop for me?”

Something Lost, Something Gained

My 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce, s/n 390290, left the factory in Arese, Italy, on January 28, 1965. It was one of 1,096 Giulia Veloces built.

It was painted the unusual and highly attractive color of Grigio Mare, with a lipstick red/orange interior.

It was just a nice used car when I bought it for $22,000 in the early 1990s. Bill Gillham of Jefferson, OR, had performed some rust repair, and the car had been resprayed once in its Read More

Keith’s Blog: Doing Arizona Right

It’s bitterly cold today in Portland, and I’m just finalizing my room arrangements at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. The third annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance takes place on Sunday, January 24, and I’ll be there as co-emcee, along with SCM Editor-at-Large Donald Osborne.

I don’t think I have missed the Arizona auctions since SCM began, 28 years ago. It used to be simple: fly in, go to Barrett-Jackson (and maybe Kruse if you came a few days Read More

Keith’s Blog: What is it About Convertibles in Winter?

If I don’t drive my old cars in the winter, I feel like I am losing out on part of the ownership experience.

Growing up in San Francisco, with its temperate weather, I recall keeping a down-filled parka behind the seats of my Bugeye Sprite. I never put the top up, and the little bit of warmth that came from its Smiths heater, combined with my cold-weather jacket, was enough to allow me to keep the top down all year long.

Read More

From Wide-Eyed to Bugeye

Being a part of the collector car world offers a multitude of experiences, from the grand to the familiar. During the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the absolute high end of the collector car world, which included watching the car-as-art Maserati Boomerang sell as a part of the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille Concours. I’ve also had the opportunity to go back to my personal roots and experience how I got started with Read More

Desert Concorso 2015: Something For Everyone

I’ve just returned from the second Desert Concorso, which was in Palm Springs, CA, this year. The clear, sunny skies and 75-degree weather provided a perfect setting for more than 100 collector cars.

The weekend kicked off with a reception at Landmark Aviation, held at the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport at Thermal.

Palm Springs Stadium was the venue for the concours this year. The cars were displayed on the baseball field, which provided a visually and physically enclosed way to Read More

Exploding the “Needs-Nothing” Bugeye

It was just two months ago that I bought Bradley his first car, a 1960 Bugeye.

I drove the “needs-nothing” car home 65 miles from White Salmon, WA, made a short list of minor items in need of attention and gave Bradley a ride around the block.

The car didn’t idle well, so I sent it to Commonwealth Classics, owned by SCM contributor Reid Trummel, in Vancouver, WA. Surely, I thought, it just needs a little tweaking and will Read More

The 911 Makes a $2,500 Visit to the Mechanic

A few issues cropped up on SCM’s 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo after the 1,000-mile Northwest Passage tour this summer. The airbag warning light came on, and a few days later the PSM/ABS light joined it. Then I began to hear a low whirring sound from the engine.

And now the car is back from its visit to Sunset Porsche. Once again, Service Advisor Gabe Wiley took it under his wing and shepherded it through the “find, Read More

New Players on the Peninsula

Younger buyers want the aspirational cars of their youth

A new set of players ran onto the Monterey Peninsula this August. They were young, cocky, and didn’t give a rip about what we baby boomers thought they should buy or what they should spend. These guys in their 30s and their 40s reminded me of confident baseball players during their first season in the majors. They were going to show their elders a thing or two about playing the game.

Their bidder-paddle muscles rippled as they punched a 2005 Read More

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