It’s time for my annual fly-and-buy road trip with my daughter, Alex. She’s returning home for Christmas break after a semester studying marketing and business management in Grenoble, France, and she’s already asking what we’re going to buy this year.
Last year I was on the hunt for a Range Rover to use for our “civilized” off-roading; the crude part was served by our Series III rig (which has since gone to Colin Comer’s father – I know, if Colin REALLY loved his dad why would he stick him in a mobile Waring Blender?). The SIII was replaced by our turbo-diesel D90.
SCMer Jeffrey Stout of Manhattan Beach contacted me, and I was immediately seduced by his 1989 Range Rover Classic – in fact he had even taken Sir Stirling Moss for a ride in it (presumably not off-road). Alex and I flew down and drove it back to Portland, where it has become a much-beloved member of the SCM stable.
For those in need of a reason to buy a car, the holiday season offers the perfect excuse. As my birthday comes near Christmas, I conjure up even more fantastical justifications.
It’s the time of year that you’re likely to hear phrases like these from around the SCM office:
“It’s Christmas, I deserve an Alfa Sprint.”
“I haven’t bought a car in months, and I need one more Lotus before the year is out.”
“If I buy a TR6 before the end of the year—for business purposes of course—I can take an entire year’s depreciation.”
Well, 73 blog comments later, my search has narrowed. I appreciate the knowledge, enthusiasm and opinions you’ve all shared during the past week, and you have definitely propelled things forward.
Here’s where we stand. I’ve located a gray / gray 1995.5 Audi Avant in the Pacific Northwest that seems like a good candidate for the SCM fleet, with an asking price of $7,000. I’ve forwarded the information to my new-best-Audi-friend, Mark Weiner, President of Concours Cars of Colorado. He is the SCMer responsible for the Audi shenanigans; his email to me mentioned that he had extensive experience with all three of the cars I was considering—the BMW 2002tii, the Volvo P1800 and the Alfa Berlina—with two in his shop at that very moment.
As much as he liked the cars, he thought the one-year-only S6 Avant would trump them all and offer a worthwhile new driving experience for us here. The one I’m currently considering is the only Avant I’ve found available in the entire country. So I’ve sent him the pictures and history, and I’ll let you know his recommendation.
At the same time, three gurus from the local Portland Round Fender Volvo Club have banded together to help me sift through the surprisingly large number of P1800s for offer on both Craigslist and eBay. Dean Koehler, Cameron Love and Peter Eulau are evaluating the links I’m sending them, and Dean has even gone so far as to make a couple of phone calls on my behalf. It’s the first time I’ve ever had my own personal scouting team!
The search has narrowed. There is a white/blue 1973 wagon (ES) listed in Washington; same owner for many years, properly maintained, with a Buy-It-Now price of $15,000. It looks nicely used.