It’s getting to be time to prune the collection.

At the moment, we have 11 cars in the SCM fleet, including my daily driver Hyundai Elantra. Eight are on the button, and three are in the midst of mild mechanical refurbishments.

For sheer ease of management — and perhaps to pretend I can be practical — I’d like to get that down to just three collector cars.

1. 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce

96k original miles, stock, numbers matching, three owners, owned 40 years, fully restored by Bill Gillham, engine by Conrad Stevenson, serviced by Nasko, many SCM 1000s and Northwest Classic Rallies

2. 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto

110k original miles, stock, numbers matching, combination survivor and refurbished, three owners, owned 20 years, cosmetics by Tom Black, service by Nasko, three SCM 1000s

3. 1971 Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato

1750-cc engine, 4.1 rear end, hand clutch by Fred Lux, restored, serviced by Bill Gillham and Larry Marks, ex-Gordie Hyde, one SCM 1000

4. 1971 Jaguar E-type V12 coupe

26k original miles, all original surfaces in and out, just serviced by Ed Grayson at Consolidated Autoworks, three SCM 1000 tours, ready to go

5. 1972 Mercedes 250C

217k miles, bought from original owner, suspension and drivetrain being refurbished for SCM 1000 by Chip Starr

6. 1975 Porsche 911 S

47k original miles, Sportomatic, original cloth interior, being refurbished for SCM 1000 by Al Blanchard at A & P Specialties

7. 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider S4

23k documented original miles, automatic, Bilsteins, serviced by Nasko, ready to go

8. 2000 Land Rover Disco 2

216k miles, kitted for mild off-road use including center diff-lock linkage, rock sliders and steel bumpers, the ski rig of choice, always maintained by Ship’s Mechanical, serviced and ready to go

9. 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

54k miles, fully documented, always collector-owned, stock except for Apple CarPlay, two trips to Montana, two SCM 1000s, fully serviced by Mike Burback at Burback Motors, ready to go

10. 2006 Lotus Elise

22k documented miles, serviced by Ron Tonkin Ferrari, three Oregon Region Porsche Club Northwest Passages tours, fully serviced and ready to go

If there were only room in the garage for three, which would you keep and why?



  1. Michael Ingelido

    If only able to keep three:
    1. The 2004 Mercedes Benz SL 55 AMG. The most reliable, comfortable, long distance cruiser of the bunch. Just hop in and go, no matter when or where with confidence.
    2. The 1965 Giulia Spider Veloce. You’ve owned it for 40 years. It’s part of the family and has priceless memories. Can be driven in almost any “vintage” rally. Oh yeah, and that red interior is spectacular.
    3. The 2006 Lotus Elise. A modern sports car. There will never be another like it. Impractical as hell, but who cares?

  2. Keith, The three I would keep:
    #3 the Alfa Jr. Zagato, #8 the Land Rover, and #9 the MB SL 55. One sports car, one off road car and one cruiser. However, any of the cars are worth keeping.

  3. My preferences will not be yours. However, if I were to try to understand your needs and wants (presumptuous as that might be), I expect you would want to keep one of the Alfa’s; which one depends on whether you put longevity of ownership over ease of driving for you and your abilities. Second in the mix, another sports car for a different driving experience – either the Jag or the Porsche Sportomatic. I am at the point where I can barely get in and out of my Miata, so I wouldn’t recommend a Lotus as a keeper. The way I look at it, for the third car it comes down to one of the two Benzes or the Land Rover, whichever best suits your needs as a weekend driver – or maybe get rid of all three if another, more interesting option come along.

  4. Well, you could just keep the three yellow ones and call your collection something like the amber assemblage, or the legion of lemon or the banana brigade or some other alliterative silliness. Personally yellow has to be my least favorite car color but the three you have all wear it well. All kidding aside, it must be hard to see any of them go. I have never owned more than three vehicles at at time so when I see those fortunate enough to have collections I feel a tinge of jealousy. Good luck on thinning the herd. I’m sure you will miss some the cars you part with but we’ve all been there.

  5. Giulia, Disco, SL55 would be my personal choices. If I didn’t live in north Idaho, would probably swap the Disco for the 911.
    Good luck to you, sir.

  6. You should keep one Alfa that you can drive–the Junior Z. And the 911, and both Mercedes. You can park one of those Mercedes outside, and keep three inside. Use the SL55 as a DD, and sell the Hyundai.

  7. There are three of you that form the family, I believe. You keep your favrav and one more for each of your children!

  8. Give the Lotus Elise to your daughter as you frequently mention it is her favorite. If Bradley seems focused on one set it aside for him

    Now you can select among the final nine. Keeping the 40 year Alfa does seem an obvious choice.

  9. According to your previously written (and somewhat life-changing) article, you need to keep four…..

    #1 (vintage convertible): 1965 Alfa Spider
    #2 (vintage car with a roof – I modified this one slightly): Alfa Zagato
    #3 (light duty off-roader): Land Rover Disco
    #4 (depreciated modern sports car): AMG SL 55

  10. Interesting choice of eclectic cars ,I was up to 6 a couple of times and it always seemed like 1 or 2 were always broken .Then add a bunch of Italian and English and I call feel the pain .You need an in house skilled mechanic.Best to stick to German and American,I have lots of fun with one Packard and my 550 CLK with 7speed and both are bulletproof and easy to source parts

  11. t guy? your mag is addictive

  12. anatoly arutunoff

    this old man would have no offroad vehicle, neverever a land rover or a 911. keepers: jrz, big merc coupe, dunno what else! be well!

  13. The point should be keeping only what you can drive. I propose the Junior Z, the AMG, and either the 911 or the 250c. Keep the Elantra for DD and when you need more than 2 seats. Give the Lotus to Alex and let Bradley pick one. Give the Giulia to Cindy Banzer.

  14. 1) 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto
    2) 2000 Land Rover Disco 2
    3) 2006 Lotus Elise

    Broadest range of driving experiences/function!

  15. Setting aside any financial considerations, keep the 3 to which you have the greatest emotional attachment and/or derive the greatest joy. I have a small single-make collection of 6 cars, and if you’re anything like me, while I love each one, I could tell you the exact order in which I would (reluctantly) part with them, if needed.

  16. Really? Just three, including your driver?
    I think I understand your reasoning. Isn’t the 65 Gulietta going to Alex?

    It is easy really. Make the SL55 your daily driver. If you need more than two seats and you have others driving with you, take their car. If you need a large car a few times per year, rent it. The other two cars are classic’s that need to encompass the types of events you participate in. A typical model year and brand of car should be considered. Maybe keep one open and one closed car? Do what works for you!

    I wish you luck on your decision.

  17. TURN BACK ! This way madness lies. Pretty soon, you’ll be down to two and then one and then, what ? Sell one, if you feel compelled. Then catch your breath and pause to reflect. If you must, sell another one the next year. Why hurry?

  18. If you decide the Jr Z is to be among the thinned, contrary to what many others have stated, I would like to request “right of first refusal”!! 😎

  19. Those cars are doomed great fun! I would keep the ‘65 Alfa, the Porsche with sportomatic and the SL55. Three different driving experiences!!!

  20. I’m an “if it’s older, it’s better” kinda guy, and also partial to sports cars over sedans. So, it’s cache over everything else. Thus:

    1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce or 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto, a toss-up
    1971 Jaguar E-type V12 coupe
    2006 Lotus Elise

  21. Ooops! I meant “cachet,” not “cache,” LOL! Spellcheck again takes control…

  22. Here’s what I would keep:
    1. 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce
    2. 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto
    3. 1971 Jaguar E-type V12 coupe – low mileage and rust-free – a DEFINITE keeper!

    Give the 2006 Lotus to your daughter and the 1991Alfa Spider to Bradley.

  23. Hi Keith
    All great advice! l am pairing down my 15 batteries as well. i am selling the oldest i don’t drive as much and putting the $ into more significant cars i always wanted. in my case out with 3 , in with one. Just started so not sure how that will play out but it has the wife fooled so far!

  24. Keith,
    My input would be one marque from Germany, One from Italy and the last being British. My choices would be the following:
    1. 1975 Porsche 911 S, alternate 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG
    2. Alfa Romeo Jr. Zagato, alternate 1965 Giulia Spider Veloce
    3. 1971 Jaguar E-Type V12, alternate 2002 LR2 Discovery
    The decision as always is layered with subjective aspects of driveability, pleasure factor, and value. My first picks have a better upside given the criteria in my estimation.
    Good luck and enjoy the process. Dan

  25. I will take this in a different direction but that’s how I view cars right now. Having owned a number of different marques over the years, at this moment I now find myself with only one, but four examples: Mazda. That may change but I have come to love what Mazda represents, connects me with my first car, and gives me pride in flying their banner in my garage. I have the sense you have loved and enjoyed Alfas over all others. I would suggest keeping all four of yours, sports car overload to be sure but a mix of sticks and automatic and you have your Hyundai for daily driver reliability. I’m guessing this won’t be the choice but it’s where my head is at these days. Thanks Keith.

  26. Clear the barn! Carefully examine a 1987 or 1988 (last of the torsion bar Porsche 911’s) Purchase a nice one no matter what it costs. These cars are unbelievable as drivers and are renowned in Porsche circles. If possible get the Turbo Look car. Over 60 years of association with this marque.