Another Soft Adventure

The two emotions dominating the market today are exuberance-especially from new collectors-and wariness, from those who have seen this all before.
I’ve just finished participating in the three-day, Miles Collier-hosted symposium, Connoisseurship 2006. This was my third time attending, and the second time I have been privileged to be a member of the faculty.
In addition to Collier, who offered thoughtful presentations on the current state of collecting and restoring, other instructors included auctioneer and now collector-car financier Simon Read More

It’s Not a Bubble, It’s a Wave

For the past decade, we’ve been watching the price of real estate escalate, seemingly without an end in sight. Some houses seem to double every decade, and, despite the increases, there appears to be no shortage of eager, willing buyers.
So why are we so surprised when GT350s, worth $50,000 five years ago, routinely sell for $200,000? Or when Z/28s, worth $35,000 in 2003, go for $100,000?
A great deal of the increase in values is due Read More

The Year of the Car

The 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit heralded the return of the car. As gas prices soar, customers are looking for-and manufacturers are competing to offer-products that are decidedly European in flavor. Compact size, styling, affordability, efficiency, and performance all seemed equal parts of the equation, and were a welcome respite from the unending deluge of supersized SUVs we enthusiasts have endured for the past decade.
Ford debuted the Reflex, its first notable new model in Read More

You Can Go Home Again

If knowledge is power, SCMers are about to become an even more formidable group of collectors. The information on all 40,000 cars in our database will soon be available to you 24/7, from anywhere in the world, via your handheld devices.
Starting at the Scottsdale auctions in January, anyone with a Treo, Blackberry, or similar device will be able to query our database by sending an e-mail to search@scmgold.com.
If you enter “1967 Jaguar XKE” in the subject Read More

Frommer, Zagat, and Me

What makes a car collectible? And what makes one car more desirable than another? We all might agree that a 1967 911S is more desirable that a 1977, but exactly why? At SCM, we have long felt there was a need for an evaluation and rating system for collectible cars that considered more than just transaction prices.
After all, market value can fluctuate wildly. Consider the Maserati Ghibli. Its value has gyrated from $150,000 in 1990 to $35,000 Read More

An Affair Revisited

Just after Monterey, I got a call that delighted the enthusiast in me, and terrified what remains of the sensible adult. In 1995, I sold one of my favorite cars, a 1965 Alfa Giulia Spider Veloce, to Ken Metzger, a friend in Belvedere, CA, for $22,000. Now, a decade later, he offered the car back to me at the same price-after putting $10,000 into it. He cautioned that, despite being coddled, it was showing its age.
Owning this car Read More

Shredding Rubber and Shedding Parts

I took the SCM 1963 Corvette split-window out for a spin last week, a shake-down for this year’s running of the Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally.
I stopped to pick up my good friend Steve Sargent, who, although not a full-bore car guy, does drive a four-cylinder BMW Z3 convertible in addition to the practical Volvo and Subaru wagons his family of five requires.
He slid into the ‘Vette, noting the “safety by Gillette” protruding lip over the glovebox Read More

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale

As described by the seller on eBay Motors: Up for auction, a beautiful 1965 SS. She is one of the few in the world. She is just lovely-anywhere she goes all heads turn on her.

This 1965 Giulia Sprint Speciale was in the family for 18 years in south Orange County and kept in a garage most of the time.
She looks and runs great, starts right up. Paint is old but nice, all lights, gauges are in good Read More

Pick Six

Alfa Romeo is the featured marque at a variety of events in Monterey this year, so sprinkled throughout this issue you’ll find a focus on Alfas. Putting all this stuff together had me itching to write yet another chapter in my long saga with the marque, so last week I tried to buy a Spider before going to lunch.
I had found it on Portland’s Craig’s List, where the picture showed a rubber-bumper car with the year unstated. In Read More

How My Bimmer Turned into a Pacer

I drove to Seattle on a Saturday morning in a 2006 BMW 325i, and by the time I returned the following day I was behind the wheel of a 1977 AMC Pacer wagon. And yes, it was by choice.
The BMW is a fine car, with a pleasing appearance less Bangle-ized than its upmarket stablemates. As you might expect, the drivetrain and suspension are world-class, capable of handling anything you or I might throw at them. Perhaps Mark Webber Read More