Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I’m John Lyons, an auction analyst and contributor to Sports Car Market. I’m here on behalf of Keith Martin and Sports Car Market to accept this year’s Richard and Grace Bingham Award.
Keith is deeply appreciative that SCM has been selected for this award, and wanted me to pass along a few thoughts.
So here they are, in his words.
Twenty-five years ago, when we started the Alfa Romeo Market Letter in our basement, printed on a mimeograph machine, we never dreamed we would be here, tonight, accepting this award for exemplary quality in editorial, graphical or historical content. When my good friend Jack Juratovic called me to let me know that SCM had been selected, I was flattered, and pleased for the recognition for the staff and contributors at Sports Car Market, all of whom are key to putting out the magazine each month.
All of us in this room are very lucky to have lived through the golden age of automobiles, what I call the 1955-1967 period – when there were no limitations by government on design or performance. No safety bumpers, no airbags, no emissions. Of course that made for cars that were very unsafe and environmentally unfriendly by today’s standards, and if we were buying a daily driver for one of our children or grandchildren a new Ford Focus would probably be far above a 1966 MGB-GT.
But that was then. Cars were expressions of passions, and represented freedom. Your car made a statement about who you were – sports car owners were a part of an elite (or so we thought!) society and we flashed our lights and waved at each other, as my TR3 came across your MGA.
In our lifetimes, cars have gone from being merely machines to being highly collectible. Just think – Ferrari SWBs that were left parked on the street in the 1960s are now worth millions of dollars.
And as the cars have become collectible, they have become the reason that Sports Car Market exists. The best part of my job each month is helping to select the cars we are going to cover in depth. For instance, in recent issues we have covered a DeTomaso Mangusta, a Mercedes 540K special roadster, a Dodge Viper GTS-R and a Ferrari Daytona. Those are all pretty neat cars, and getting to have them all in the pages of one magazine is a treat.
What SCM also has going for it is that we are value oriented, in other words, reporting and analyzing the prices that cars sell for at public auction are what we are all about. It’s about the most important news there is in the old car market – when an Alfa Sprint Special sold for over $150,000 at a Gooding Amelia sale, it immediately affected the values of ALL Sprint Speciales. That’s news.
At SCM (and now with our new magazine, American Car Collector), we predict that the next 25 years will see modern cars become better and safer than ever, and less interesting day by day. We predict classic cars will continue to increase in value, and that car shows will have increased attendance. We predict that tours for collector cars will increase in number, as people look for ways to use their old cars.
So we’ve had a chance to live through the greatest era of cars, and coming up we see a growing appreciation for old cars. And we promise to you that Sports Car Market will continue to bring you first-rate, thoughtful commentary on the collector car market.
Thank you again for this award.