It was the fall of 1969. After spending a year after high school working part-time as a mechanic with Rubber Chicken Racing, I headed to Portland, OR, from San Francisco to attend Reed College.
During my first couple of weeks at Reed, there were SCCA regional races at Portland International Raceway. Team Rubber Chicken decided to make the trek north.
The team consisted of a homegrown caravan of tow vehicles and trailers. When they arrived at the Reed Campus in Read More
I’ve been driving sports cars and going on road trips since 1966.
I sometimes forget what it’s like for someone to go on a road trip in an old car. It’s sensory overload in so many ways.
In an old car, you are not passing through the landscape, you’re part of it. You smell the change as you move from forest to fields of wheat.
You feel the undulations of the road, shifting down for more power as you reach Read More
One thousand miles and two thousand great conversations.
The second annual SCM 1000 is now a part of the magazine’s history.
Last week, 82 enthusiasts in 42 cars drove 1,000 miles in four days. They explored nooks and crannies of Oregon that are well off the beaten path.
However, as spectacular as the cars and the roads were, even better was the camaraderie that developed among the participants.
A new feature this year — and unique to our tour — Read More
The SCM 1000 kicked off on Sunday after with a Cars in the Park Event at the Portland Art Museum.
Tour participants showed off their cars to Portland’s many vintage car enthusiasts. Portlanders are used to SCM parking flights of amazing cars outside of the Portland Art Museum. We started the first-ever SCM Tour outside the Museum last summer.
The weather was perfect, and everyone got a chance to make new friends and learn more about a lot of great Read More
A red 1972 Chevrolet Impala convertible was the very first car I bought at an auction.
It was 1995. My then-wife Cindy Banzer and I drove seven hours north from Portland to Bob LeFlufy’s AutoClassic auction in Vancouver, B.C. Alexandra, just 4 years old, accompanied us.
“LeFluf,” since deceased, was a classic-car raconteur, the Canadian equivalent of SCM regular Uncle Raymond Milo. When the two of them, both inveterate smokers, got together, the evenings were long, the wine consumption formidable — Read More
Alex, my daughter, and I had a pleasant Saturday planned in July of 2007.
At that time, Rob Sass was head of Business Development for SCM. As you probably know, Rob buys cars like the rest of us buy socks. Given my proclivity for accidental purchases, we were a dangerous pair.
There is a small all-British swap meet each spring in Portland. At it, Rob had come across a big-bumper Triumph Spitfire 1500, circa 1976-80. Orange over black, it was Read More
I’ve got a dilemma. Due to my profligate purchasing of Alfas, I now have more cars than I have spaces at SCM World Headquarters.
Something has to go.
I was counting cars the other night (a favorite hobby of mine), and realized I have four Alfas coupes and a 4-door sedan — plus two convertibles.
Since I can only drive one car at a time, perhaps one of the coupes could go.
I have built all four to my preferred Read More
Eight years ago, on June 18, 2011, I was sitting in my office cleaning off my desk.
I was about to throw away a three-month old copy of the local Alfa Romeo Club Newsletter, “Alfa Bits.”
An ad for a Daytona Blue 1967 GTV caught my attention. It had a 1750 engine and an upgraded Rugh suspension. I knew the car instantly.
The seller was local Alfa engineering legend Dave Rugh. The price was $18,000. It didn’t say “firm,” but Read More
According to my notes, on June 18, 2009 — 10 years ago — I bought a 1973 Land Rover Series III 88.
The crude-but-entertaining 88 was the beginning of our exploration of the world of Rovers.
The Rover saga started with the 2009 annual Porsche Northwest Passage 1,000-mile tour. I was driving our 2002 Boxster S.
At the final dinner, the owner of the Rover came up to me and said, “I’m thinking of selling our Land Rover, and John Read More
There are two cars that always pull at my heartstrings.
The first is a 1956 Mercury Montclair. My grandfather bought one new. I have fond memories of riding in the backseat of that car. It was two-tone Bumblebee Yellow and black. My grandfather loved that car — it was a step up from the Mercury he had owned before, and offered an upscale driving experience.
Some years back, I was working as the color commentator for the Barrett-Jackson auction broadcast. Read More