Judging Steam Cars and Improbable Coachwork

The French just do things differently. This is my third year as a judge at the Richard Mille Chantilly Arts & Elegance Concours d’Elegance, and it is a delight to be back.

By now I have my routine. Fly overnight from Portland on Wednesday, and arrive at Charles De Gaulle Airport early on Thursday. Check into my hotel Thursday around noon, and catch the train into Paris. Wander around — like the wide-eyed tourist I am — during the Read More

The Barfmobile Hits the Oregon Trail

Among Alfista, the 4-door Giulia Super sedan has cult status. With the same race-bred suspension a the 105 Series coupes and spiders, the Super was advertised as “The Family Car that Wins Races.”

Earlier this year, I took the SCM Super on an Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon tour, and my son Bradley and his friend Grayson christened the car with dual sprays of kid-vomit — both of them falling prey to car-sickness at the same time. From that time Read More

Festivities and Finances at Monterey 2016

This is coming to you from San Francisco International Airport, where I’m waiting to board my direct flight back to SCM World Headquarters in Portland.

My ride from Monterey to SFO was a 2017 Chevrolet Volt, and driving this high-tech hybrid was a vehicular sorbet — a refreshing and relaxing change from a week of carbon-monoxide-spewing vintage cars (I admit that if I could find a cologne that smelled like racing fuel I’d probably own it).

My Car Week started Read More

My Monterey Car Week

It’s a good thing I like cars. Monterey Car Week is just about the busiest time of my year, and each day is saturated with cars.

This will be my 29th year of attending the festivities on the Monterey Peninsula. I missed one year, 1991, as Alexandra was born that year on August 15. I would assume that event qualified me for a hall pass, although some wags suggested I rent a mobile delivery room and park it in the Read More

Should Pristine Original Cars Be Banned from Vintage Racing?

We’re coming up on Monterey Car Week, and the great vintage car festival known as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

As entertaining as the races will be, we should ask ourselves if some of these vintage cars really belong on the track.

BMW is the featured marque, meaning at the Laguna Seca race track you’ll watch gaggles of M1s and 507s crest the Corkscrew and drop three stories in elevation as they hurtle down the hill towards the start/finish Read More

The Northwest Classic Rally is for Those Who Love to Drive

28 years ago, Sports Car Market (then the Alfa Romeo Market Letter) was a sponsor of the first Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally.

Along with magazine co-founder Cindy Banzer, I drove a 1965 Giulia Sprint Speciale. We completed the 600-plus mile route without breaking down — and didn’t finish last, which made the event a success for us.

Unusual among classic rallies, the NWC is a fairly rigorous TSD (time-speed-distance event), with multiple checkpoints and strict scoring. There are Read More

Should I Switch to Porsche 356s from Alfas?

While driving with Miles Collier in the Northwest Passage tour, we had a discussion about 4-cylinder Alfas versus Porsche 356s.

Miles felt that a well-sorted 356C would be every bit as delightful as one of the 105-series Alfas (1967 GTV, Duetto and Super) we were driving.

I’ve driven a few properly-prepared 356Bs and Cs, and I do find them pleasant. They are nimble and hold a line well through the turns, have enough power and brake adequately. I’m not fluent Read More

100 Miles in Four Old Cars on the Forest Grove Vineyard Tour!

Most concours weekends now incorporate some sort of driving event. Driving allows participants to enjoy the mechanical aspects of their cars — something that really isn’t a part of concours event.

Participation in a tour often serves as a tiebreaker in concours judging. If two cars have an identical scores (which is possible but unusual), the car that participated in the tour is awarded the “Best of Class” trophy.

This is done to recognize that an owner has done more Read More

Forest Grove Concours this Weekend!

There’s something special about a car event that happens in your own backyard. No planes to catch, no bags to pack. You get a chance to see a lot of local friends.

And, best of all, you can pull a few cars out of the garage to enjoy with your friends — without having to perform any extensive prep work.

This weekend is the 43rd Annual Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance, held on the campus of Pacific University in Forest Read More

The SCM Fleet takes Shape

There have been many cars in the SCM Garage over the years, and most go on to new homes — while a select few are members of the family.

For example, the 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo that we’ve enjoyed for almost two years has found a new home with ACC contributor — and Corvette expert — Michael Pierce.

The guided missile from Stuttgart is sitting comfortably between Pierce’s 1967 427/435 Corvette and his 1967 Corvette 327 Convertible in Lynndale Blue. Read More

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