Why Road Trips Matter

I was looking at my motoring schedule for the next few months, and I got to thinking about why I go through all the effort to prepare my cars for these events. I was reminded once again that it’s not really the cars that make these excursions so satisfying and enjoyable – it’s the great people with a shared common interest. The fact that we’re in wonderful cars on wonderful roads is a bonus.

If everything goes according to plan, I’ll Read More

Upgrade Your Classic With a 5-Speed?

Should you upgrade the transmission on your vintage car?

That’s one of the debates in today’s collector car world. The discussions revolve around “as built” correctness versus upgrades for driveability.

Most of the small-displacement, under-2,000-cc vintage cars from the ’50s and ’60s handle, stop and start reasonably well. You simply adjust your driving style to accept the car’s limitations.

But there’s nothing you can do about engine speed on the freeway. If your car doesn’t have an overdrive or a Read More

Crowdsourcing Our 911 Turbo

This all started innocently enough. A friend gave me a ride to a Porsche event in her black 993. I hadn’t had a sip of that clattering air-cooled elixir for some time, and it was intoxicating.

I immediately emailed my good friend and Porsche guru Jim Schrager, and asked him for the best buy in late-model air-cooled 911s (the 993 models).

His response was immediate and definite. Forget the 993s. A first-gen 996 turbo with a Tiptronic (automatic) was his Read More

The Alfa, Viper, Volvo, Méhari and Me

A Gearhead’s Trip Through A Vintage-Car Theme Park

You can tell the weather is getting better because I’m spending more time in the SCM/ACC garage.

It all started last week when seven-year-old Bradley asked if I would take him to school in the Viper. I asked why that car, and he replied that he had never been in it. Which seemed like reason enough.

The Viper has an airbag-disable switch on the dash, so taking a child in it doesn’t Read More

Old Cars: More Reliable Now Than Ever

I was giving a talk at the local MG club meeting last Friday evening.

We were discussing road trips, and the SCM “Road to Reno” adventure came up.

In 2011, we bought three 1972-73 MGBs (two convertibles and a GT), refurbished them and drove to Reno for the All-MG Register gathering and then back to Portland.

They performed flawlessly. Someone in the audience mentioned that they had caravanned down with 50 other MGs, and that only a couple of them Read More

A Badass Volvo 1800S Joins the SCM Fleet

“It’s black, and it’s slammed.”

That was my first thought when I set eyes on the ’64 Volvo 1800S. My daughter Alex and I had just arrived at iRoll Motors in San Martin, CA.

I purchased the car in July, but it took this long for the shop to address a variety of mechanical issues and for our schedules to align.

We took a 6 a.m. flight from Portland to San Jose. Mike Dudek, the owner of iRoll Motors, Read More

400 Miles in a Porsche Turbo

Our 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo arrived a week ago, and as soon as I was able to wrestle it away from my 23-year-old daughter Alex, I started scouting out reasons to take a road trip.

An email announcing “Deadly by Nature: Venom and Poison” caught my eye. It was a new exhibit at the High Desert Museum in Bend, OR, opening Saturday, January 31.

My favorite route to Bend uses Highway 26 over Mount Hood, through Government Camp, Read More

To Patagonia and Beyond In an E-type

We had just crested the 4,311-foot Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass, crossing from Argentina into Chile. The 1969 Series 1.5 Jaguar XKE we were driving was performing brilliantly.

It was a clear day, and we were surrounded by the snow-covered peaks of the Andes.

This was the second day of the 26th Annual 1000 Millas Sport de la República Argentina — the premier classic-car rally in South America. SCMer Martin Sucari introduced me to this rally eight years ago. This year, Read More

Should Your Child Drive Your Collector Car?

Kids crash cars.

They crash new cars and old cars. They will crash anything they drive.

But how do we expect young kids to grow up with a love for our cranky old cars if we make them wait until they are 25 years old to drive them? By then, if they’ve already had nine years of driving modern cars, then pulling out a choke, pumping a throttle and slipping a clutch are going to be alien, disconcerting concepts.

So Read More

The Arizona Whirlwind

Arizona in January is one of my busiest weeks of the year. The What’s My Car Worth? production crew shoots multiple episodes. I emcee the Arizona Concours d’Elegance. We put on Insider’s Seminars at Gooding & Company and Barrett-Jackson. We host a consignment tour at RM. And we run a week-long subscriptions booth at Gooding. It hardly leaves time to kick tires or visit with friends, but this year I managed to Read More