A Very Good Day Indeed

Last week, I had just arrived home from several days in Boston and wasn’t looking forward to the pile of work waiting on my desk.

A text message popped up from my daughter Alexandra. “Dad, I have the week off from Daimler, and I thought we should take the Duetto up to Mt. Hood tomorrow morning for a father-daughter drive.”

“Yep,” I texted back. There was nothing on my desk that couldn’t wait.

In the morning, Alexandra met the Duetto Read More

Seven Tips for A Successful Road Trip

Summer is the season for using our old cars. Portland’s 10-day forecast shows nothing but sunny days ahead with temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

This Wednesday, the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon have their annual summer tour, a relaxed two-hour affair that winds its way through the backcountry outside Portland. My eight-year-old son Bradley will be navigator, as he was last year. 

Last year’s tour was great, and Bradley did an excellent job, but due to a defective fuel Read More

The Sport SUV Comes of Age

I’ve never had much use for today’s “sport” SUV.

When I tested the Porsche Cayenne Turbo for the New York Times in 2003, I found that it had blistering acceleration but felt very heavy. With an as-equipped price tag of $96k, buyers weren’t likely to take the Cayenne on any serious off-road excursions. And it didn’t have the kind of interior space you’d associate with a Ford Explorer or Chevy Blazer. I doubted that automakers would ever combine SUV utility with sports Read More

Buying Cars By Accident

I have tried to keep the number of cars in my collection to a reasonable number. I. Really. Have. Tried.

But friends and circumstances are conspiring against me.

Was it really my fault that the 1972 Citroën Méhari I’ve always wanted was crossing the block at the same instant I arrived at the Silver auction in Fort McDowell? It was the fickle finger of fate, to be sure.

And the 1961 Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale? I was simply in Fort Read More

Heading to Italy for the Modena Cento Ore Classic

This Sunday I’ll be on a plane to Rome. I’m participating in the 15th running of the Modena Cento Ore Classic.

My copilot is Lilly Pray, and it’s her first time driving in an event in Europe.

I’ve driven in the MCO several times before, in an Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super (with SCMer Monte Shelton), an Alfa Romeo GT Junior (with SCMer Joe Tomasetti) and a European 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera — the car we will be Read More

Moment of Truth for SCM’s 1958 Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce

There comes a moment of truth for any old car that has been restored: the day you put that car on the road.

This past weekend, the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon and the Northwest Alfa Romeo Club (headquartered in Seattle) put on a joint tour, “Motore Alfisti Avventura NW.” Dennis Torgeson, Forrest Whit and Gordy Hyde were the organizers. The tour was to be a weekend of reckoning for SCM’s 1958 Sprint Veloce. Was the Sprint really Read More

The $3,700 Turbo Tune-Up

My rule of thumb is that you can expect to spend about 10% of a car’s purchase price on it within the first few months of ownership.

Sometimes the expenditures are necessary, such as for repairs. Tuneups, tires, oil changes and the like fit into this category.

Other times they are just things you do to the car to “mark it” as yours, the way a dog lifts his leg on a tree. “Yes, I put in new carpets.” “The Read More

Keels & Wheels – Stutzes, Bugattis and a Pontiac Solstice

I’ve just returned from the 20th annual Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance. It’s held in Seabrook, Texas which is about an hour’s drive southeast of Houston.

It was a busy weekend in Texas, as just 260 miles north in Fort Worth, RM Sotheby’s sold the 78-lot Andrews Collection for a staggering $54m with 100% of lots hammered sold — an indicator that the market continues to be strong.

Back in Seabrook, enthusiasts enjoyed some of the world’s nicest classic cars Read More

Help SCM Buy a Japanese Car

It’s time for SCM to consider adding a Next Gen Japanese car to its collection.

Japanese cars from the ’80s and ’90s have been popping up on my collector-car radar screen for the past couple of years. When I go to an auction and post pictures of the cars on offer to Facebook, the ones that get the most comments are invariably late-model Japanese.

This was the case in late March at Auctions America Fort Lauderdale, where a slightly ratty Read More

Perfect Sunday — 291 Miles in a 50-Year-Old Alfa

Sometimes all the pieces just fit together.

Each year, the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon (AROO) begin the spring touring season with the “The Old Spider Tour.” The event originated as a tribute to club founder and longtime newsletter editor Bob McGill and his wife Margaret, and it always takes place around April 19 — the day McGill bought his beloved French Blue Giulietta Spider Normale in 1958.

Alfa owner Eric Roe organized this year’s run. The one-day Read More

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