Upgrade Your Classic With a 5-Speed?

Should you upgrade the transmission on your vintage car?

That’s one of the debates in today’s collector car world. The discussions revolve around “as built” correctness versus upgrades for driveability.

Most of the small-displacement, under-2,000-cc vintage cars from the ’50s and ’60s handle, stop and start reasonably well. You simply adjust your driving style to accept the car’s limitations.

But there’s nothing you can do about engine speed on the freeway. If your car doesn’t have an overdrive or a Read More

The Alfa, Viper, Volvo, Méhari and Me

A Gearhead’s Trip Through A Vintage-Car Theme Park

You can tell the weather is getting better because I’m spending more time in the SCM/ACC garage.

It all started last week when seven-year-old Bradley asked if I would take him to school in the Viper. I asked why that car, and he replied that he had never been in it. Which seemed like reason enough.

The Viper has an airbag-disable switch on the dash, so taking a child in it doesn’t Read More

Old Cars: More Reliable Now Than Ever

I was giving a talk at the local MG club meeting last Friday evening.

We were discussing road trips, and the SCM “Road to Reno” adventure came up.

In 2011, we bought three 1972-73 MGBs (two convertibles and a GT), refurbished them and drove to Reno for the All-MG Register gathering and then back to Portland.

They performed flawlessly. Someone in the audience mentioned that they had caravanned down with 50 other MGs, and that only a couple of them Read More

A Badass Volvo 1800S Joins the SCM Fleet

“It’s black, and it’s slammed.”

That was my first thought when I set eyes on the ’64 Volvo 1800S. My daughter Alex and I had just arrived at iRoll Motors in San Martin, CA.

I purchased the car in July, but it took this long for the shop to address a variety of mechanical issues and for our schedules to align.

We took a 6 a.m. flight from Portland to San Jose. Mike Dudek, the owner of iRoll Motors, Read More

400 Miles in a Porsche Turbo

Our 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo arrived a week ago, and as soon as I was able to wrestle it away from my 23-year-old daughter Alex, I started scouting out reasons to take a road trip.

An email announcing “Deadly by Nature: Venom and Poison” caught my eye. It was a new exhibit at the High Desert Museum in Bend, OR, opening Saturday, January 31.

My favorite route to Bend uses Highway 26 over Mount Hood, through Government Camp, Read More

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