It’s been 30 years since SCM made our first 2,000-mile roundtrip from Portland to Monterey Car Week.

For many years, we drove a van with boxes of magazines strapped to the roof. More recently we have shipped our materials ahead and flown down.

However, my son Bradley turned 16 this past June, and was most eager to go by car. And so we did.

Our intrepid foursome consisted of me, Bradley, his friend Joe and my partner Schön.

During my student years at Reed I would often banzai between Portland and my hometown of San Francisco in my 1967 Duetto. The goal was always covering the 630 miles in under nine hours.

This year, however, we were treating the drive like a Carnival Cruise.

To alleviate my old car paranoia, we decided to take our 2021 Hyundai Elantra. I sadly but gladly traded the fun of a classic car for the certainty of actually getting somewhere on time, and with working A/C and nav, as well.

On our first day, we wound down the Oregon coast. Joining us was good friend Luke Chennell from McPherson College. SCMer Brad Miller needed his Mercedes SL 55 AMG ferried from Portland to Fantasy Junction in Berkeley, CA, which Luke graciously volunteered to do.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, we found an obscure café serving freshly-caught prawns with chips in the seaside town of Bandon.

We met up with SCMer and Citroën fanatic Greg Long in Eureka, CA. He was driving down from Seattle in a Citroën DS.

The second morning, we made our obligatory visit to “The Trees of Mystery” and paid our respects to Paul and Babe. From there it was on to Leggett, CA, and our passage through the “Drive-Thru Tree.” It’s a ritual I first performed with my grandfather when I was a child. I never forgot the experience, and I have repeated it with each of my own children.

The road from Leggett to Ft. Bragg on the California coast is one of my all-time favorites from the California Mille. That next hour was bliss.

We ended the day in Novato, where my family had a small “gentleman’s farm” that I spent all my summers at in my pre-teen years. It’s also where my grandfather taught me to drive a Ford 9N tractor when I was five.

The next day Bradley drove across the Golden Gate bridge for the first time. I recalled the magic of crossing it when I was his age, with the top down in my Bug Eye Sprite.

A few hours later we had checked into the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, just in time to make it to the annual SCM contributor get-together.

From that point on, it was “Let The Games Begin,” as another Monterey Car Week was underway. We took out our thumbed-through copies of the SCM Insider’s Guide to Monterey and targeted the previews and sales at Bonhams, Broad Arrow, Gooding, Mecum and RM Sotheby’s.

Our objective was clear:  Look at cars, cars and more cars!



  1. Ken Gross sighting.

  2. what was Bradley’s favorite moment ?

  3. Hans Kleinknecht

    Sounds like fun! I hope to take part in a drive to Monterey, perhaps next year. I was watching Pebble on their great livestream and enjoyed the interview with Ken Gross, that’s a great picture of he and Bradley.

  4. Creating more memories. Awesome Keith! Looks like you had a great time!!
    🚗 🏎️ 🚘

  5. Cars and kids what can be better !