I recently came across a photo taken just after the 1992 California Mille. It showed me in a Ferrari PF cabriolet S2, along with my grandmother, Dorel McDowell.
I recall exactly how she came to be in that car. When I finished the tour, in my 1958 Giulietta Spider Veloce, one of the participants asked if I’d like to take his PF cab for a drive. I said yes, went to the family home on 20th Avenue in San Francisco, Read More
When the old car thing bites, it bites hard. Those of us in search of of vehicles that turn ordinary trips into motoring adventures don’t stop with sports cars.
We just spent a weekend with the SCM’s RHD 1984 Defender 90 200 tdi.
Perhaps the Land Rover imprint happened while watching “The Gods Must Be Crazy” – although the Rover wasn’t quite as vintage then.
There’s something about the look of the front fenders, headlights, bumper, skinny tires and flat windshield that Read More
SCM and the Alfa Market Letter
In 1988, 26 years ago, I put an ad in Hemmings Motor News that said, “Subscribe Today to the Alfa Romeo Market Letter. Hundreds of Alfas for sale in every issue. One year, $33.”
I had just left my job as a sales manager at Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo, a dealership offering cars from Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Lotus.
The collector car market was reaching a white-hot boil, and I was Read More
I had the proud-father satisfaction of watching my daughter, Alexandra Dorel Martin-Banzer, graduate from Oregon State University this past Saturday.
She received a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship and a minor in writing. Two years ago, following a year studying in France, she earned a diploma in International Business from L’École de Management in Grenoble.
While at a reception hosted by her mother, Cindy Banzer, I came across a photo of Alex taken in 1992 in Read More
“I’m thinking of getting into collector cars. What’s the best car to start with?”
It’s a question we are asked all the time. There is no correct answer, just as there is no “right” choice for which pinot noir to pair with salmon, or which running shoes to wear for a marathon. There is a simple place to start, however. And that is, “Get ready for an adventure.”
Familiarizing yourself with old cars is no different than engaging in any Read More
As I shepherd the SCM fleet through its never-ending process of repair, restore and improve, I am constantly making judgment calls about when to upgrade and when to leave things alone.
For instance, I just delivered the 122S to Guy Recordon at Guy’s Interior Restorations to have the front seats restuffed and rebuilt.
While it’s there, should I have him uprade the seats with inflatable lumbar supports and seat heaters? In theory, because the Volvo will be a four-seasons car, Read More
The collector car market is steamrolling along with the largest price increases we’ve ever seen.
From 2009 to 2013, combined sales of all the auctions in Monterey jumped from $120m to $308m. That $188m increase in four years represents a 157% change, and a return of 26.6% per year.
For Scottsdale, from 2010 to 2014, combined sales went from $126m to $253m. That’s a 101% increase, and an annualized return of 19%.
The Dow Jones Index, which has reached record Read More
I’ve spent the morning checking with the shops caring for the various mechanically and cosmetically infirm members of the SCM fleet.
The shop that has the Amazon put the rear sport springs in the front perches, and that didn’t work out so well.
Tom Black reports that he was able to remove the Duetto‘s incredibly ugly add-on door-ding guards, and he won’t have to respray the whole car to get it looking much better.
The engine pieces for the Giulia Super Read More
The SCM 122S “Amazon” rolled off the carrier last week and was immediately pressed into service.
I’ve been surprised at what a good car it is, given some of my previous “sight unseen” purchases. The seller, Jim Perry of Wisconsin, races an 1800S, and this was his street car.
Before taking delivery, I had him install an overdrive transmission (sourced from Chris Horn in Portland) and go through the car completely, including charging the factory a/c unit.
It fired right Read More
It’s time for an update on the SCM fleet. We’ll leave the Alfas for last.
The D90 is at Ship’s Mechanical having a few little things attended to and getting a rear step installed to make it easier for Bradley to clamber into the back. The power steering pump has started leaking, but since it could cost up to $1,000 to replace, I’ve decided just to keep a case of ATF fluid in the back and top up at every stop.