Keith’s Blog: The Essence of Old

Without question, cars today are extraordinary. The Audi A6 I drove this weekend is surprisingly quiet inside, accelerates nicely, handles superbly and has copious interior room.

It is also safer, by an exponential amount, than any of the cars in our fleet from the ’50s and ’60s.

(Here at SCM, we get two new cars a week to test and report on. You can find our thoughts on these cars in Read More

Keith’s Blog: SCM Alfa Tour!

2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the Giulietta. We at SCM are considering organizing a three- to five-day tour through the remote areas of Oregon and Washington to celebrate this milestone.

I’ve driven my Alfas thousands of miles over the scenic two-lane backroads of the Pacific Northwest. I think these roads are some of the best you’ll find anywhere.

I’d like your input as we start to plan this event; Please take a moment to complete this brief Read More

Keith’s Blog: Winter and the SCM Fleet

Only one member of the SCM Fleet is truly excited about the onset of Oregon winter, with its cold days, rain and occasional snowfall. Yes, it’s the 1984 Land Rover D90 200 Tdi. It has started to act like an automotive bully in the garage, accusing the Alfas of being fair-weather pansies wrapped in designer outfits by Pininfarina and Bertone.

It’s been a busy year for our cars, with quite a few coming and going as we settled Read More

Keith’s Blog: A 36-cylinder, 5,400-hp Cruise

I was flipping through a boating magazine last year, looking for new ways to squander my wealth. I came across a small article noting that the only functioning PT boat in the world was based in Portland, and that its supporters were offering rides on the boat in exchange for a modest donation.

I did a little research  and found that PT-658 was in fact one of the final PT boats delivered, “fitted with all of the latest armaments Read More

Keith’s Blog: Knee-deep in the Big Muddy

Sometimes You Just Need a Break From Sports Cars

I arrived back in Portland from a quick two days in Maranello on Sunday, October 6. The next morning at 6 a.m., I was throwing recovery gear into the back of our trusty RHD 1984 Defender 90 200 Tdi. Snatch blocks, recovery strap, winch extender, tree strap, shackles and leather gloves were just a part of the equipment.

Then it was wheels-up for the 90-minute drive to Brown’s Camp in the Read More

Passing Into History

We just put 1,611 delightful miles on our 1965 Giulia Spider Veloce. It was our first real road trip in years, and it brought home the reasons we fool around with these old cars.

The occasion was the Alfa Romeo National Convention, held in Rohnert Park, CA, south of Santa Rosa. Good friend Doug Hartman was my co-pilot on the way down, and Wendie flew down to ride with me on the way back.

We’ve owned the Spider nearly 30 years, selling it once and buying it back during that period. Conrad Stevenson in Berkeley did the engine and transmission several years ago, Bill Gillham oversaw the redo of the interior using original materials sourced by Matt Jones, and Tom Black put the finishing touches on preserving the aged paint. In short, it has never run nor looked better.

The trip down was uneventful. Our convoy of Northwest Alfas drove Interstate 5 to Eugene, Highway 126 across to Florence, then 101 to Santa Rosa with an overnight in Eureka. All the Alfas performed well except for a 750 Giulietta Spider that lost its water pump in Eureka; it was towed to the convention, repaired and driven home.

I’ve known most of these club guys for decades, and we remarked on how much better prepared our cars were than in the 1980s. As they have evolved into collectible artifacts, we have started lavishing unprecedented amounts of care and money on their maintenance.

Keith’s Blog: Good Times in Bad Weather

Just a week ago we were rolling along on the Colorado Grand, surrounded by millions of dollars of exquisite machinery. The past weekend was a little different.

Roger Dilts, the president of the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon, hosted the annual “President’s Tour,” a half-day event that sends those who love to drive down scenic two-lane Oregon roads.

The old car offerings were few – our 1967 GTV, an alloy-bodied Lancia Fulvia Zagato 1300cc, an Read More

Keith’s Blog: The Pre-Colorado Grand 300-Mile Dash

We’re beginning the Colorado Grand today, a four-day, 1000-mile romp through some of the most breathtaking mountains and plains in the U.S. This will be my fifth time on the Grand, and I’m looking forward to it as an escape from the ordinary, and a chance to see old friends.

What better way to get ready for the Grand than a quick dash through some undulating Oregon Read More

Keith’s Blog: The Kirkland Concours, Held at America’s Car Museum, Comes of Age

I’m in one of the conference rooms at LeMay — America’s Car Museum, waiting for a meeting of the marketing committee of the Board of Trustees, of which I am a member.

I’ve been involved with the museum in a variety of ways since its first public meetings over a decade ago. It has been immensely satisfying to watch the LeMay team, led by David Read More