Keith’s Blog: Strange Times

It’s an odd time to be talking about classic cars.

Our whole world has been turned upside down in a matter of weeks.

We are holding our collective breath, waiting to find out what is going to happen next.

But, in fact, many service and restoration shops are open. People are buying and selling cars online (I’ve bought one myself). Private sales are still happening (I sold the GTV and the Sprint Speciale to SCMers).

Since I decided to buy cars with automatics while working through the rehab of my clutch leg, we’ve added a 1965 Volvo 122S and a 1971 Jaguar E-type, both with automatics, to the SCM fleet.

Sports cars from the 1960s and 1970s with slushboxes are at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to desirability. Hence, they are often more affordable.

But since I have become a champion of these unloved artifacts, I’m now deluged with offers. From a 1965 Jaguar MK 2 to a 1994 Mazda, owners of these two-pedal cars have decided I am the next best home for their auto autos.

While I was able to put 1,000 miles onto the Volvo before the virus, the Jaguar arrived from Georgia after Oregon entered lockdown. So, while it is just two miles from me, it’s been sitting for a week, and it may be another week before I get my first visitation.

And then, I won’t be able to drive anywhere.

So it might be months before I get to hear the sound of the V12 engine.

This is going to be the longest period in my life between buying a running car and driving it.

As I said, these are strange times.  All we can do is be safe and have patience. We will be back on the road again within months.

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market, now in its 33rd year. Keith has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and had his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity. He has received many honors, including the Lee Iacocca Award, the Edward Herrman Award, was inducted into the Concorso Italiano Hall of Fame and more. He is on the boards of directors of The LeMay Museum and Oregon Ballet Theater, and was formerly the chair of the board of the Meguiar's Award.

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7 comments

  1. What are the details on the Miata with the Daytona front end?
    I’ve never seen one of those before. Intriguing!

  2. Keith – glad to hear the Jag arrived. Sorry you can’t see it. That must be driving you crazy. In the meantime, you can look at the hundreds of photos, and the videos on BaT.

  3. Luckily I live in a state that has chosen to not go down the over-restrictive “shelter in place” path that many states have taken. As the weather’s warmed up and traffic has all but disappeared, I’ve been enjoying my cars and taking them out for for twice weekly (or so) drives since this all started in early March. Regardless of the rules, I fail to see how taking one’s private automobile out for drive and going back home, is somehow wrong and should be forbidden. Gimme a break! It is actually the definition of “social distancing.” So, drive on and stay well!

  4. Wait, whut? When did you get that MK2 with the Coombs louvres? That one snuck by me. I know you got a MK1 project last year, but this 1965 MK2 sweetheart is a new one, right?

  5. A suggestion. I considered an automatic Jag, but would try to convert the old clunky 3 speed to one of the much newer, smother, multigeared automatics that we all enjoy in our modern everyday drivers.
    Get all the engineering done by your favorite shop, then let me know how to do it. I would like for once to avoid all the engineering expense I have spent over the years building my restomods.

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