Author: Ken Gross

Ken Gross is a Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Chief Class Judge and a founding member of the International Chief Judges’ Advisory Group (ICJAG). He served as Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, and his 15 critically acclaimed auto exhibitions have drawn record crowds at major fine-art museums nationwide. The author of 25 books, Ken has been contributing to SCM for more than three decades.

Body Double

After languishing for years in California’s high desert, the 1948 Norman Timbs Special — a Motor Trend cover car in October 1949 — was restored to a fare-thee-well and won its class at several major concours. Timbs was an acclaimed race-car engineer who’d designed the Indy 500-winning Blue Crown Specials […]

1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60HP “Roi Des Belges”

In 1890, after parting ways with Deutz AG, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach established Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG) in Cannstatt, Germany. DMG revolutionized the design and manufacture of internal combustion engines, inventing the world’s first four-stroke petrol engine and float-feed carburetor. Despite groundbreaking developments, Daimler and Maybach initially attracted little […]

Understanding Resto-Mods

Resto-mods have become prevalent, particularly at sales conducted by Barrett-Jackson and Mecum Auctions. At the annual giant Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas last November, every crate-engine variant or upgraded component possible for resto-mod conversions was on display, even drop-in electric powerplants. There are many websites and […]

1901 Milwaukee Racer 6HP Steam Car

Founded in 1899 by WH Starkweather, Herman Pfiel and W.G. Smith to build steam-powered cars, the Milwaukee Automobile Company produced its first car in 1900. Having overestimated the demand for its products, the company was soon declared bankrupt, and it closed in 1902. This “Milwaukee Racer” was built by the […]

1933 Auburn 12-160A Salon Speedster

In the tradition of great artists who became truly famous only after their death, Alan Leamy of the Auburn Automobile Company left behind 33 brief years of startling innovation in body contours — a portfolio that was appreciated in its time, but which only became legendary decades after his passing […]

1929 Packard Series 645 Deluxe Eight Sport Phaeton

Always built to the highest standards, the Packard was unquestionably one of the finest American cars of the pre-war era. The Packard’s innovative engineering and superior build quality were soon attracting the attention of wealthy clients, with William D. Rockefeller purchasing two at the New York Automobile Show in November […]

1914 Mercer Type 35-J Raceabout

The Mercer Type 35-J Raceabout offered here, chassis 1967, hails from the final year of T-head production, 1914. This car features many subtle improvements that were implemented since the model’s introduction, most notably the desirable 4-speed gearbox that was unveiled in 1913. The car’s history is known since the mid-1930s, […]

1906 Thomas Flyer 50HP 7-Passenger Tourer

One of the most recognizable automobiles of this era and arguably the most important of all the pioneering brands, the Thomas was the car that conquered the globe and put the American industry on the map. For the 1906 season, all Thomas cars were built on a 118-inch wheelbase and […]

1932 Chrysler Imperial Series CG Custom Eight Roadster

Seldom is an automobile more closely linked with its original owner than this 1931 Chrysler and Dr. William F. Whelan. A respected Philadelphia ears, nose, and throat doctor, he served for years both in private practice and as an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School before his […]

1957 Chrysler Ghia Super Dart 400

Proudly offered as one of the most important cars from the renowned Ramshead Collection thoughtfully curated by the late John White, this stunning and impressive one-off Ghia-styled concept car boasts not just uniqueness in its visual presence and auto-show history, but also impeccable originality and preservation, having been collected by […]