Keith’s Blog: Going to a Swap Meet

There’s been a lot written about the demise of swap meets. We’ve all heard how the Internet is now the quick-and-easy way to find and or sell what you need.

However, the human factor is overlooked in all this. Just as I believe land-based auctions are a way for like-minded enthusiasts to come together, so are swap meets.

The Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon (www.alfaclub.org) host an annual swap meet each spring. This year I volunteered the SCM “Bat Read More

Keith’s Blog: A Concours in A Bunker Dodges the Rain

During the Cold War, a top-secret fallout shelter designed to house 1,100 people (every member of the U.S. Congress and one aide per politician) during a nuclear war was constructed under The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV.

This past Sunday, for the first time, The Greenbrier’s bunker became the home for a variety of sports and racing cars, including a 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC and a 1972 McLaren M8F CanAm.

The Greenbrier is a “Grand Hotel” in the traditional Read More

Keith’s Blog: A Bugeye Nose Becomes a Dinner

“Do you want the spare parts that go with it?”

It’s a familiar phrase when you make a new acquisition. More often than not, the seller is anxious to get rid of the spare parts that accumulated during their ownership. Sellers waving goodbye to a car are often happy to clear out their garage — and help fill yours.

When I bought Bradley’s 1960 Bugeye Sprite a couple of years ago, the seller threw in a 1,275-cc block, head and Read More

Keith’s Blog: 400 Miles in a 1965 Alfa

Just about 100 years ago, Bob McGill, one of the founders of the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon, was born.

Just about 60 years ago, McGill bought a new 1958 Alfa from Rambo Motors in Portland. A Normale, its serial number was 1495.02609.

McGill died at age 92 in 2011.

Exactly 40 years ago, Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon began to celebrate Bob and his Alfa by having a tour that featured “Old Spiders” (those built between 1955 and Read More

Keith’s Blog: 1,000 miles in a 15-year-old Porsche

When I bought my first car in 1967 — a 1960 Bugeye — it was just 7 years old. I bought my first Alfa in 1968, a 1963 Giulia Spider Veloce. It was 5 years old.

By 1975, when it was 15 years old, the Bugeye was hopelessly archaic. The same was true for the Alfa in 1978.

By comparison, the 2003 Porsche 996 911 that entered the SCM fleet over a year ago seems as modern and up-to-date as Read More

Keith’s Blog: Buicks, Rileys and Alfas – The La Jolla Concours

This past Sunday marked my 7th year as emcee of the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance.

In the bright morning sunshine, I looked over the 135 cars on the lawn at Ellen Browning Scripps Park, which is right on beautiful La Jolla Cove. The setting, which overlooks the beautiful Pacific Ocean, of this concours rivals that of Pebble Beach.

That same Sunday, it was 45 degrees and raining in Portland, with gusts of wind reaching 40 mph. Clearly La Jolla Read More

Keith’s Blog: Happy 60th Birthday to the Sprint

On April 3, 1958 — 60 years ago —  our Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce rolled off the assembly line in Arese, Italy.

In the small-displacement GT category, it was one of the most sophisticated cars in the world.

The Sprint coupe was also the car that saved Alfa Romeo as it made a post-WWII transition from building large cars in small numbers to small ones in large numbers.

The SCM Sprint, s/n 1493E.06524 was sold to a dealer in Read More

Keith’s Blog: Jurassic Park Meets Vintage Racing

The worst new car often performs better than the best old car.

To remind myself of that, I try to rent the most basic car possible when I’m on the road.

My ride for the past two weeks in Mexico has been a Hyundai Grand i10. This model doesn’t exist in the United States. The comparison tests I have found for it on the web list the Maruti Suzuki Swift as its main competitor. It is popular in Mexico, Read More

Keith’s Blog: From Amelia to Merida

Just 10 days ago, I watched as a spectacular 1929 Duesenberg J/SJ convertible and a 1963 Ferrari 250/275P were crowned as the winners of the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

One week later, I was climbing up the side of a 1,000-year-old Mayan pyramid in Yucatan, Mexico.

Earlier that day I had explored a cave in nearby Loltun, with a human and animal history that goes back 10,000 years. There were paint handprints on the walls that were 2,500 years Read More

Keith’s Blog: Judging Sports Cars at Amelia Island

The 23rd Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is in the history books.

Best of Show Concours de Sport was a 1963 Ferrari 250/275 P owned by the JSL Motorsports Collection of Redwood City, CA. Best of Show Concours d’Elegance was won by a 1929 Duesenberg J/SJ convertible entered by Harry Yeaggy of Cincinnati, OH. (Video available here).

For the second year in a row, dire weather forecasts forced the organizers to move the concours from Sunday to Saturday — Read More