Giuliettas, GTs and Gullwings

Imagine a car collection to be like a well-stocked wine cellar, with each flight contributing its own particular palate, body and boquet. During the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to drink deeply from three quite different appellations, that of the Ford GT, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing.
I was just 17 when I got my first Alfa, a 1963 Giulia Spider Normale. During the last three decades, I don’t think there has been Read More

You Can Never Have Too Many Rotors

The SCM E-type has come and gone, but its brief time with us was memorable.
White with black leather, it was a 1967 4.2-liter Series I coupe. My co-conspirator in this latest adventure was Dave Stewart, of Aurora, OR, whom I met when he attended an SCM Insider’s Seminar at Barrett-Jackson some years ago. (At that same event, Stewart bought a 1934 MG PA coupe, which he described as being, “Perhaps the most stylish and undriveable car on the Read More

Forever Young

Austin-Healey was really a one-trick pony, a company that produced a single design and a few variations on that theme. From the first svelte, unadorned 100-4, with its graunchy three-speed gearbox and fold-down windshield, to the final ornate and luxurious BJ8, all the models we now call Big Healeys shared the same basic look. But the company of Donald Healey lasted barely more than 13 years.
That’s not very long for a car marque to live. After all, Mercedes Read More

Ferraris as Everyday People

I remember the first time I saw a Ferrari being used to haul lumber. It was in the late ’80s and I was in the midst of rebuilding my front porch. I’d driven my 1983 Jeep Grand Wagoneer to the local lumberyard for a couple of sheets of plywood.
In the parking lot, a fellow in blue jeans and a plaid Pendleton shirt was loading a half-dozen eight-foot 2x4s into his red 308 GTS. One end went down Read More

Monterey, Then and Now

It was July of 1985, and the Monterey Historics were just a few weeks away. The featured marque was Alfa Romeo, and for the first time in a decade, I didn’t own one. My 1969 boat-tailed Spider with rusty floors had just gone away, and I was desperate.
In those days when my day job was directing the Keith Martin Ballet Company, anything to do with Alfas was a really big deal. And the 75th anniversary celebration was about Read More

Lucky Drives Again

It was 18 months ago that SCM Legal Analyst John Draneas and I bought a 1965 three-cylinder, two-stroke Saab 96 on eBay, plucked it out of a barn in Rimini, MT, and tried to drive it home to Portland.
Readers may recall that we covered 400 of the 700 miles with little drama aside from a shredded rear tire, broken ignition key, permanently open air vent that gave sub-zero a new meaning, and windshield wipers that confused streaking with Read More

E-Types, E55s and XR-75s

I recently spent two weeks streaking across Florida in a Mercedes E55 AMG, one of today’s definitive high-performance full-size sedans. From its 469-horsepower supercharged V8 to its crisp-shifting, manually-controllable automatic transmission, the car is a finely-tuned machine that delights in gobbling up vast distances effortlessly.
Aside from its expectedly pathetic navigation system, the E55 is so well set up that after a few minutes of familiarization, you feel as if you could be turning hot laps at the Read More

Reality TV, Barrett-Jackson Style

I like auctions as much as the next guy. In fact, I probably like them a little more than that-a good thing given my day job. But even for me, an hour or so at a time is about all I can take of the cacophonous babble emanating from most auction podiums.
But I put in 15 hours in the Barrett-Jackson tent this year, as part of the live broadcast of its Scottsdale auction on the Speed Channel. Along Read More

America By Fiat

Chalk it up to the power of the press.
Two months ago, I mentioned that I was looking for a Ferrari GTC/4. In response to that, SCMer Howard Jacobs, of suburban Cleveland, wrote us advising that rather than a C/4, we should consider a 456 GTA, similar to the one he used as a daily driver. (“You Write,” March 2004, page 14.)
A few days later, as part of a continued e-mail exchange, he dropped this fatally baited hook Read More

“At The End Of The Day, The Best Car Wins”

We all love cars of such varying types, shapes and accoutrements that it’s hard to generalize what makes a car appealing when new, or to predict whether it will become collectible as it ages.
The North American International Auto Show is a litmus test of attitudes, of each car company’s ability to achieve that hallmark of success, a production car that excites and delights and could one day be parked in a garage next to a ’57 Chevy, Read More

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