In the Montana Dirt in a 1927 Vauxhall

“Vauxhalls were built for the wealthy to take them grouse-hunting in Scotland. So these dirt roads are what it was built for.” That was Peter Stevens’ first comment as four of piled into Miles Collier’s 1927 Vauxhall Type OE 30/98 Velox.

Peter knows a thing or two about cars; his portfolio as a designer includes being responsible for the interior and exterior of the McLaren F1. I was visiting Miles, a long-time collector and SCM contributor, in Montana. Read More

Keith’s Blog: The Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance – A Celebration of Cars and People

As I write this, the engine on the SCM 1958 Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce has barely cooled down from the 30-mile run home from the 43rd annual Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance.

All of the cars that were so carefully displayed are gone, and the fencing surrounding the concours field has been taken down.

Held at Pacific University in Forest Grove, this concours is the largest event of its type in Oregon, and it brings thousands of car enthusiasts Read More

When Did A Ferrari 328 Become a Classic?

Miles Collier’s Collecting Thoughts in the July issue of SCM discussed a 1989 Ferrari 328 with only 1,200 miles that sold at auction for $140,000. Five years ago, this would have been a $50,000 car. What’s happened?

A 1989 328 is now a 26-year-old car. I sold them new when I was at Ron Tonkin Grand Turismo. I recall learning that the updates for this last year of the now long-in-the-tooth V8 Ferrari included Read More

A Very Good Day Indeed

Last week, I had just arrived home from several days in Boston and wasn’t looking forward to the pile of work waiting on my desk.

A text message popped up from my daughter Alexandra. “Dad, I have the week off from Daimler, and I thought we should take the Duetto up to Mt. Hood tomorrow morning for a father-daughter drive.”

“Yep,” I texted back. There was nothing on my desk that couldn’t wait.

In the morning, Alexandra met the Duetto Read More

Bad Driving Is Here to Stay

Cars are safer than ever. The fatality rate per million miles traveled in 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, was 1.1 — a nearly 25% decline since 2004, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Not only do cars handle and brake better than ever before, they are also loaded with safety features including airbags, anti-lock brakes and stability control.

However, as cars have become safer, their drivers have become less so.

Some say this Read More

Seven Tips for A Successful Road Trip

Summer is the season for using our old cars. Portland’s 10-day forecast shows nothing but sunny days ahead with temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

This Wednesday, the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon have their annual summer tour, a relaxed two-hour affair that winds its way through the backcountry outside Portland. My eight-year-old son Bradley will be navigator, as he was last year. 

Last year’s tour was great, and Bradley did an excellent job, but due to a defective fuel Read More

The Sport SUV Comes of Age

I’ve never had much use for today’s “sport” SUV.

When I tested the Porsche Cayenne Turbo for the New York Times in 2003, I found that it had blistering acceleration but felt very heavy. With an as-equipped price tag of $96k, buyers weren’t likely to take the Cayenne on any serious off-road excursions. And it didn’t have the kind of interior space you’d associate with a Ford Explorer or Chevy Blazer. I doubted that automakers would ever combine SUV utility with sports Read More

Buying Cars By Accident

I have tried to keep the number of cars in my collection to a reasonable number. I. Really. Have. Tried.

But friends and circumstances are conspiring against me.

Was it really my fault that the 1972 Citroën Méhari I’ve always wanted was crossing the block at the same instant I arrived at the Silver auction in Fort McDowell? It was the fickle finger of fate, to be sure.

And the 1961 Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale? I was simply in Fort Read More

What Were You Thinking?

Having me co-host a television show about cars sold at collector-car auctions is like turning a chocoholic loose in the Hershey factory.

When evaluating cars for “What’s My Car Worth?” a TV show I co-host on the Velocity channel, I find myself slipping from the objective to the subjective. “This ’67 Healey BJ8 drives nicely and will probably sell for $80k” moves all too quickly to: “I’d really like to own this car. It’s been months since I’ve had a Read More

Heading to Italy for the Modena Cento Ore Classic

This Sunday I’ll be on a plane to Rome. I’m participating in the 15th running of the Modena Cento Ore Classic.

My copilot is Lilly Pray, and it’s her first time driving in an event in Europe.

I’ve driven in the MCO several times before, in an Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super (with SCMer Monte Shelton), an Alfa Romeo GT Junior (with SCMer Joe Tomasetti) and a European 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera — the car we will be Read More