Alfa 4C: The Right Car for the Right Time?

I’ve been around Alfas for a long time.

When I was at Ron Tonkin Grand Turismo in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the Alfas we were selling were the Milano, the 164 and the beloved-but-aged Spider.

At that time, corporate Alfa had, in its infinite wisdom, decided that since Americans bought a lot of four-door sedans equipped with automatics, they would send four-door automatic sedans to the U.S. They were sure buyers would snap them up in Read More

Tips for Car Club Survival

I’ve been thinking about what it takes for a club to survive in the 21st century. I belong to a fair number of automotive marque clubs, and I regularly attend meetings for other clubs as a guest. Here are my tips for making a club a more effective organization.

Make it Appealing

Car clubs have to offer enthusiasts more reasons to attend meetings and events than simply “Gosh, we all own MGs!”

The local Alfa Club, Alfa Romeo Read More

Hilton Head Motors Forward

How often do you get to discuss advances in Civil War artillery with Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal while driving in his 1962 Porsche 356 twin-grille roadster under a canopy of Spanish Moss?

Over the past 13 years, the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival has grown from a car show to an entire week celebrating the vintage car world, including vintage races, a tour, elegant receptions and of course the concours itself.

This was my second time attending. Read More

Priced Fresh Daily

At the highest level of the U.S.-based catalog-sale collector car auctions, Gooding & Company and RM Auctions are the major players, with Bonhams now a hard-charging, fast-rising contender.

All three of these companies are now going toe-to-toe in Monterey, Scottsdale and Amelia Island. There will be no shortage of high-dollar fireworks as billionaires compete for delectable multi-million dollar collectibles.

That’s not to say that there aren’t other important, high-end players including Barrett-Jackson, Auctions America, Mecum, Russo and Steele, and Worldwide Read More

Winter’s Coming – Store Your Car or Drive It?

We had an unseasonably hot summer in Portland. I went so far as to buy a vintage Volvo 122S with factory air-conditioning just to beat the heat. It’s been dry as well – the desiccated skeletons of the potted plants on my deck bear mute testimony to the futility of my normal watering routine.

But in the last three weeks, summer finally decided to leave, and we’ve skipped early fall and gone directly to near-winter.

Sheets of rain have washed Read More

Should Alex Say Goodbye to Her BMW?

My daughter Alex has had her trusty 1995 318i BMW for more than six years. The car is white over tan with a 5-speed, and Alex has put over 50,000 miles on it.

I find that the 4-cylinder engine is a perfect match for the chassis, offering enough speed for any situation, good gas mileage and low maintenance costs.

The engine is showing its age, with some oil seepage; it takes a quart of oil now and again. Read More

Drag Racing a Parsnip at the Concours de Maryhill

Car shows happen in the most unlikely places.

This weekend, the Goldendale Motorsports Association hosted the 16th annual Concours de Maryhill and hillclimb. The venue was the Maryhill Museum of Art, 103 miles east of Portland, overlooking the Columbia River. Entrepreneur Sam Hill built Maryhill and dedicated it to the public in 1926.

Saturday’s events included an eclectic gathering of 200 collectible cars, a parade of the race cars participating in the Sunday hillclimb escorted by the Washington Read More

When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Is it fair to say that we love our cars? Over time, we develop relationships with them based on the things we have done with them — from changing spark plugs to repairing upholstery to going on tours and rallies.

In a way, a favorite car is like a faithful Labrador retriever. It sits and waits for us, and when we turn the key, it jumps to its wheels and wags its exhaust pipes. Our favorite cars exist to be Read More

Every Day is Alfa Day – Exercising the Duetto and the GTV

When it comes to driving old cars, some weeks are better than others. Between producing the magazine, running the business, traveling and doing non-car activities with Bradley and friends, the days fill up quickly.

That’s why I am so appreciative when things fall together and I’m able to get serious seat time.

During the past week, I ended up with three “Alfa days,” and the cars in the garage that have been patiently waiting their turn got a chance to Read More

The Making of a Next-Gen Gearhead

Bradley’s first crash wasn’t his biggest one, but it was a wake-up call. When you go down on a motorcycle, even on a little one and in the dirt, you go down hard.

We talk a lot about how to get kids involved in our world of cars and motorcycles (and by extension, boats and planes). I have long maintained that the only way to infuse some gasoline into the blood of the next generation is to give them first-hand Read More

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