Keith Martin

Keith’s Blog: Old Cars Give Me A Headache: Can You Help?

Old cars can be a pain in a lot of ways, but some of mine give me a headache. A real headache. And I’m wondering if I’m the only one who suffers from this, or if someone else has figured out how to solve it.

I know, the first thing that comes to mind is carbon monoxide, how old cars run rich, and the bad sealing around trunks and windows, and all the holes, large and small, that have developed in the body structure over the years.

But with some of my cars it is more than that – and, I’m the ONLY one driving them who gets the pounding in the temples, slight heartburn, etc. – everyone else drives them and doesn’t notice a thing.

Keith’s Blog: The Logic Behind Illogical Collecting

Chess Pieces in the SCM Garage Are About to Get Shuffled

As my daughter, Alex, pulled out of the driveway this afternoon in our 1967 GTV, en route to a 500-mile Labor Day weekend road trip, her parting words to me were, “Don’t buy too many cars while I’m gone!”

Last week she referred to me as the Cat Lady of Collecting. My feelings were hurt, so the only way I could make myself feel better was to post on Facebook that I was in the hunt for a vintage BMW 6-series (aka a Shark). With each new listing my enabling friends sent me, I felt a little better.

Keith’s Blog: The New SCM Accidental Purchase – Got Any Parts We Need?

The “duckling imprint” theory of collecting continues to rear its billed head around the SCM offices.

Many years ago, I had an Alfetta GT as my daily car. While it was a profoundly poorly-constructed vehicle and cost me thousands of dollars in my short period of ownership, nonetheless I was always taken with its rakish lines: the way the front edge of the hood protruded like the eyelashes of a sultry Italian vixen, and the curious placement of the instrument cluster between the driver and passenger. That it has a transaxle confirms the link between my car and the famous racing Alfetta GT monopostos of the 1950s.

Keith’s Blog: A Cornucopia of Corvettes in Bloomington

For the sixth consecutive year, I’ve been a part of Bloomington Gold—a mecca for Corvette enthusiasts in Pheasant Run, Illinois—and managed to come back to Portland without buying a Corvette.

For a car-a-holic, going to any marque-specific meet is tough. You think, “Everyone else has a Sting Ray, why don’t I?”

It gets worse if there is an onsite auction – in this case, held by Mecum. People just put their hands in the air, and suddenly they own a Corvette! Heck, I can put my hand in the air just like they are doing, and I’ll be a Corvette owner too.

Keith’s Blog: Back from Europe, Again – and Driving the 2002 tii to Seattle

I’ve said goodbye to my new best friends at United, Air Canada and Delta – at least for three days, when I check in with my other best friends at Alaska. But we’ll get to that in a second.

This weekend marked the high school graduation of Wendie’s youngest son, Drew. So the family trundled up to Auburn Memorial Stadium in Auburn, WA to watch the ceremony. Her oldest son Tyler drove his 2009 Chevrolet Camaro SS Transformer edition, Wendie and Bradley took her 2009 BMW 525i and Alex decided it was the 1972 BMW 2002 tii that we would hustle up in.

Keith’s Blog: Life is Good

Unbelievably – and happily – I’m back in Europe for the second time in less than a month. It seems like I’d just unpacked my bags from my trip to the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, where I saw many friends and wonderful cars, before packing up again and boarding a plane for France.

BMWs in the Alps, Concours on Lake Como, A Rolls-Royce to Goodwood

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, full of the old car stuff that we dream of.

I landed in Munich on a Wednesday evening, and Thursday morning I set off on a caravan of BMW 7-series old-timers, across the Alps to Lake Como in Italy.

I drove a variety of BMWs, the earliest being a 1939 335 four-door cabriolet. My favorite was a 3.3 iL, which, even though it was an automatic, had a crisp-feeling suspension and a terrific “sit-high” driving position. The most powerful was the late-model 750 iL. Although it was a wonderful performer, it didn’t have the personal connection offered by the earlier cars.

Keith’s Blog: See You at Lake Como

Every once in awhile, a gearhead’s fantasy trip comes along. And mine is about to begin.

Thanks to BMW, I’m heading to Munich tomorrow. There, I will join three other journalists from the U.S. and we’ll set out for two days of driving vintage BMWs from the BMW Classic Center. Visions of 328s and 507s are dancing through my head.

Keith’s Blog: Spend Your Time, Then Your Money

Porsche guru Jim Schrager has been my advance scout in the search for a 1984-89 911 Carrera. A lifelong Porsche man, he has a substantial collection himself, and has bought and sold literally hundreds of cars. This, of course, is in addition to his day job as Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business – and as the Founding Editor of the Institutional Investor’s “Journal of Private Equity.”

Schrager and I have been sharing horror stories (and good ones – but the scary ones are more fun) about 356s and 911s for more than two decades. In fact, when I was writing a weekly column for a wide-circulation car magazine, Jim helped me buy and sell a couple of 911s that became fodder for my column.

When I found a 1968 911 L, he took charge of my education, so that when the engine started making noises like a washing machine with a bucket of bolts loose in side of it, I knew the chain tensioners had collapsed. (Luck was with us – we had just completed the 1,000-mile NW Classic Rally and pulled into our driveway when the tensionsers let go.)