Which brings us to the 2006 Lotus Elise. I think it now shows just over 21,000 miles.

Based upon the recommendation of former SCM contributor Michael Duffey, I specifically wanted a 2006, with its better seat padding, LED taillights and drive by wire.

I went on the hunt for it after riding with SCM’s Legal Files contributor John Draneas in his gray 2005. I was smitten. Brilliant, light, powerful and with reliable Toyota power.

I found our yellow one in the Midwest after a couple of months, through a national Craigslist search site. It had never been hit, was completely stock and had a hardtop.

I contacted an SCM member in the area, and had them inspect the car and transfer the funds. I think I paid about $25k for it. This was maybe a decade ago.

My daughter Alex instantly fell in love with it. It was right-sized for her, and had dramatic looks.

For reasons still unknown to me, I sold it one night for about $28k to an SCMer back east. Alex was devastated.

To Alex’s delight, I bought it back for about the same price two years later. The car travelled more miles in car haulers going coast-to-coast than it did on the road.

She grabbed it out of the SCM garage last week to show it at an employee car show where she works.

I still believe this is the ultimate modern minimalist sports car. It is not only exhilarating to drive, it has working A/C and four airbags.

I have done on several 1,000-mile tours in the car, and if you pack carefully with soft-sided luggage, you can manage it.

I doubt I will ever be able to drive it again. But I won’t sell it. It is destined for Alex.

The logical part of me thinks the Lotus would be a far better choice for her than the much-more primitive and maintenance-intensive 1965 Alfa Giulia Spider Veloce. But once again, that’s not a decision I have to make at this time.

So here’s a list of the SCM collection, in chronological order and with their current status.

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce: Chassis dry-iced by Matt Crandall at Avant-Garde Collection, now being tuned by ace technician Larry Marks at Bill Gillham’s Hooligan Racing, waiting for steering bushings, then back to the garage.

1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto: New clutch installed, waiting for dry ice then off to Hooligan for inspection and fettling, then back to the garage.

1971 Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato: Dry ice done, now headed to Hooligan for inspection then the garage. Needs driver’s seat cushion restuffed and USB charging port installed.

1971 Mercedes 250C: Waiting for dry ice, then to Chip Starr at Race Car Resurrections to install Webers in place of Zeniths. Then back to Burback Motors for new tires, fix oil leaks and deferred maintenance. Needs to be road-tested and fettled after. Goal is April 2023 completion for 2023 SCM 1000 in June.

1971 Jaguar V12 coupe: In garage. Just needs to be driven. A gem of a car.

1991 Alfa Romeo Spider S4: New fan relay and thermostat waiting for Nasko to install to address hot running. Also need new check valve for fuel-tank fumes in hot weather. Then back to the garage. Another great car.

2000 Land Rover Discovery II: Needs CEL codes cleared and then underlying issue addressed. Otherwise just needs to be taken out for trail runs and enjoyed.

2004 Mercedes AMG SL55: On the button and ready to go.

2006 Lotus Elise: Alex wants to detail it before it goes back into storage at the garage. Need to have Mobile West figure out why the new Bluetooth stereo isn’t working. Would like to throw new tires on it for age-related reasons, but reluctant to do so at the end of the driving season.

Each car has its own stories and creates its own adventures. They each speak in their own unique voices to me, my family and friends.

Each car has been carefully chosen to fit my own particular needs and desires. Being a part-time car wrangler is in my publisher’s job description. Somewhere.



  1. I must say that I am utterly fascinated by the dry ice cleaning process. I watched a few YouTube videos and wow, the results are amazing!

  2. I know your passion is primarily Alfas, but it’s pleasing that, after these many years, you’ve become a Jaguar E-Type aficionado. Through all three series, these cars are beyond one’s cerebral grasp until you’ve had the privilege to both gawk at them from outside, and experience the thrum and response from inside.