Keith’s Blog: Summer and the SCM Fleet

“Value in use.” That’s always been the motto of the cars in the SCM collection. What’s the point in having classic cars if you are not going to use them?

Most of the SCM cars were built more than 50 years ago. They were never designed to be in service this many years after they left their factories of origin. Consequently, keeping them roadworthy, comfortable and visually attractive has required a substantial investment in mechanical and cosmetic refurbishments.

It’s these investments of tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in skilled technicians that has brought them to the condition of being “on the button.”

Last year, all six of the SCM Alfas participated in the SCM 30. And over the 1,000 miles – 6,000 cumulative miles) of twisty back roads, there wasn’t a single mechanical issue of any kind. Indeed, the headliner of the 1961 Sprint Special collapsing onto the heads of the driver and passenger at speeds above 80 mph was the only excitement.

But this is a new year. And the events are beginning. Here’s what we have lined up:

SCM has long been a sponsor of Northwest Passage. Put on by the Oregon Region of the Porsche Club of America, it’s a 1000-mile-plus romp through the backcountry of Oregon and Washington. It begins on June 20.

While this is a Porsche-centric event, SCM has always been a contrarian outfit. Last year I drove our 2006 Lotus Elise.

This year, SCM contributor and vintage Mercedes specialist Pierre Hedary is coming from Florida to drive the ex-Colleen Rugh 1967 GTV on the event. Pierre has never put a vintage Alfa through its paces before. He’s in for a memorable trip.

While the GTV is a contemporary of the 230/250/280SL line, the Alfa is a completely different animal. We look forward to his reading about his experiences.

The SCM 1000 begins on July 14 with a display of 45 classic cars in front of the Portland Art Museum. While Porsche is the featured marque, other cars are accepted as well.

Tim Gallagher, a repeat entrant from last year, will drive the SCM GTV. Two students from McPherson College will drive the 1971 Junior Zagato. SCM 1000 entrant Bill Scheffler had a schedule conflict, and he generously gave his spot to the students. SCM is donating the use of its Alfa.

McPherson College offers one of the top car restoration programs in the nation. In fact, McPherson students can earn a bachelor’s degree in car restoration. What better way to reward their students than to have them behind the wheel of a classic Alfa for 1,000 miles?

My plan is to drive the SCM Giulia Super. It’s such a comfortable sedan for long-distance touring that I can’t pass it up.

Once again, the SCM fleet will be racking up the miles this summer, with its classic cars being used in the best possible way — on the road again.

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 and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

Posted in Blogs, Keith Martin

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