Watching Formula One Champion Phil Hill tinker with the handbrake assembly on a 1929 Bentley three-liter open tourer was like being at a rehearsal in Manhattan while modern dance choreographer Martha Graham fine-tuned her ballets. Graham had an instinctive understanding of how to put a dance together for maximum artistic and intellectual effect. Hill, after a lifetime devoted to racing and restoring motorcars, can tell after a moment behind the wheel what a car needs to put it right.
It’s hard to kill a car you care about. Case in point: two years ago we bought our son Eric, then eighteen years old, a 1978 Mercedes 280 saloon. This car was chosen after his older brother managed to hasten the path of two more sporty automobiles, a Fiat 124 Spider and a ’65 VW Beetle, to the salvage yard. A larger car seemed prudent.
A European model, the 280 (123 body style) has the high-revving carbureted 6-cylinder alloy Read More
Can there be any time of year better than this for the enthusiast? As this issue of SCM is being put to bed, we are preparing our 1962 Ferrari 330 America for its vintage event debut on the Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally, and, simultaneously, the SCM staff is packing all of the requisite paraphernalia for our annual sojourn to Monterey. Both events will provide an opportunity to renew old friendships in the collector car community and make new Read More
The array of cars being offered by RM’s Monterey Sports Car Auction, Christie’s at Pebble Beach and Brooks at Quail Lodge during the Monterey weekend is unprecedented in its scale, scope and quality. There will be over $50M in cars crossing the block during a three-day period, a tribute to the American economy which continues to grow, despite the recent bursting of the dot-com, now dot-splat, bubble.
As shown in this issue’s Quarterly Price Guides, important, extremely limited-production cars Read More
With the driving rhythm of a Cole Porter tune, the names of the summer’s events unfold. Collectors are tidying up their bank letters of credit and consignors are performing last minute detailing. RM at Meadow Brook. Mecum at Road America. Silver at Reno. Kruse at Auburn. Spectrum at Palm Springs. Christie’s, RM and Brooks at Monterey. These are most of America’s premier auction companies, and July, August and September are when they put on their shows.
World records for Read More
We’re busy packing our bags for a pair of trips. First comes an overnight jaunt to Los Angeles for the presentation of the Meguiar’s Collector Car Hobby Person of the Year Award to Robert Petersen. While Petersen is best known for his creation of the car magazine industry with titles including Hot Rod and Motor Trend, perhaps his most significant contribution to the hobby will be the Petersen Museum.
Unlike Europe, where most car manufacturers maintain museums and private Read More
If you’ve got gasoline in your blood, and live in an area with four seasons of weather, it’s easy to tell when Spring has arrived. Suddenly all the vehicle maintenance projects you’ve been putting off since last October rear up and demand attention. Terminals are cleaned and batteries charged, oil changed, brake fluid flushed and tire pressures checked. They’re all part of the myriad of details that go into bringing a collector car back to life after a winter Read More
General Motors recently announced that it has purchased 20% of Fiat Auto, and that Fiat has, in return, purchased 5% of GM. Buried in the body of an article in the Wall Street Journal was the following statement: “In the U.S., where Fiat hasn’t played for years, the two are likely to team up. The first products consumers are likely to see will be Fiat’s Alfa Romeo sports cars, sold through GM’s U.S. dealer network.”
A little more sleuthing Read More
We’ve been using our 330 America as a daily driver. Picking up our daughter, Alexandra, from elementary school and taking her to gymnastics. (“Daddy, are you going to drive me in the noisy red car today?”) Going shopping. Running errands. A 29-gallon aquarium, perfect for rearing Apistogramma agassizi cichlids, fits nicely in the back seat and the trunk swallows the 60 lb. of gravel that accompanied it. The 1962 V12 Ferrari’s interior is littered with empty pop cans, squashed Read More
As we write this, we have just returned from the Detroit International Auto Show, and are preparing to make a quick turnaround and head to the four-auction carnival in Arizona. If one had to choose between the two places, certainly the baking heat of January in the Southwest would win over the blustery cold of the Midwest.
However, the allure of a major auto show has nothing to do with its location, but everything to do with vision. For Read More