Tips for Car Club Survival

I’ve been thinking about what it takes for a club to survive in the 21st century. I belong to a fair number of automotive marque clubs, and I regularly attend meetings for other clubs as a guest. Here are my tips for making a club a more effective organization.

Make it Appealing

Car clubs have to offer enthusiasts more reasons to attend meetings and events than simply “Gosh, we all own MGs!”

The local Alfa Club, Alfa Romeo Read More

Hilton Head Motors Forward

How often do you get to discuss advances in Civil War artillery with Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal while driving in his 1962 Porsche 356 twin-grille roadster under a canopy of Spanish Moss?

Over the past 13 years, the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival has grown from a car show to an entire week celebrating the vintage car world, including vintage races, a tour, elegant receptions and of course the concours itself.

This was my second time attending. Read More

Winter’s Coming – Store Your Car or Drive It?

We had an unseasonably hot summer in Portland. I went so far as to buy a vintage Volvo 122S with factory air-conditioning just to beat the heat. It’s been dry as well – the desiccated skeletons of the potted plants on my deck bear mute testimony to the futility of my normal watering routine.

But in the last three weeks, summer finally decided to leave, and we’ve skipped early fall and gone directly to near-winter.

Sheets of rain have washed Read More

Should Alex Say Goodbye to Her BMW?

My daughter Alex has had her trusty 1995 318i BMW for more than six years. The car is white over tan with a 5-speed, and Alex has put over 50,000 miles on it.

I find that the 4-cylinder engine is a perfect match for the chassis, offering enough speed for any situation, good gas mileage and low maintenance costs.

The engine is showing its age, with some oil seepage; it takes a quart of oil now and again. Read More

Drag Racing a Parsnip at the Concours de Maryhill

Car shows happen in the most unlikely places.

This weekend, the Goldendale Motorsports Association hosted the 16th annual Concours de Maryhill and hillclimb. The venue was the Maryhill Museum of Art, 103 miles east of Portland, overlooking the Columbia River. Entrepreneur Sam Hill built Maryhill and dedicated it to the public in 1926.

Saturday’s events included an eclectic gathering of 200 collectible cars, a parade of the race cars participating in the Sunday hillclimb escorted by the Washington Read More

Every Day is Alfa Day – Exercising the Duetto and the GTV

When it comes to driving old cars, some weeks are better than others. Between producing the magazine, running the business, traveling and doing non-car activities with Bradley and friends, the days fill up quickly.

That’s why I am so appreciative when things fall together and I’m able to get serious seat time.

During the past week, I ended up with three “Alfa days,” and the cars in the garage that have been patiently waiting their turn got a chance to Read More

The Making of a Next-Gen Gearhead

Bradley’s first crash wasn’t his biggest one, but it was a wake-up call. When you go down on a motorcycle, even on a little one and in the dirt, you go down hard.

We talk a lot about how to get kids involved in our world of cars and motorcycles (and by extension, boats and planes). I have long maintained that the only way to infuse some gasoline into the blood of the next generation is to give them first-hand Read More

The 1958 Sprint and a 5,128-Foot Summit

It’s been a little over two years since I bought the SCM 1958 Alfa Sprint Veloce, s/n 1993E.06524.

It was an accidental purchase as I was leaving Concorso Italiano, and the little Alfa appeared to need nothing. I’d been looking for an “eyebrow” Sprint Veloce for more than a decade and was delighted to have finally found one.

As always seems to be the case, the “needs nothing” car turned into a “restoration through discovery,” with the entire Read More

The Chantilly Concours – Already a Winner

I am on the plane home from the inaugural Chantilly Concours d’Elegance, and I feel a little bit like a gearhead Cinderella having to leave the ball. Participants began arriving at the Chantilly Chateau, located 35 miles north of Paris, on Friday, September 5th. Cars were unloaded the morning of the 6th, with many of them participating in a 100-km tour. The welcome dinner was that evening, and the concours itself was held on Sunday, the 7th.

For the past Read More

Alex, the Viper and Timberline Lodge

My 23-year-old daughter Alexandra has had a summer of milestones. First, she graduated from Oregon State University, with a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship and a minor in Writing. (Two years ago, following a year studying in France, she earned a diploma in International Business from L’École de Management in Grenoble.)

Then, just last week Daimler Trucks North America offered her an internship in project coordination in their IT department. She starts September 8. Read More