Alfa 4C: The Right Car for the Right Time?

I’ve been around Alfas for a long time.

When I was at Ron Tonkin Grand Turismo in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the Alfas we were selling were the Milano, the 164 and the beloved-but-aged Spider.

At that time, corporate Alfa had, in its infinite wisdom, decided that since Americans bought a lot of four-door sedans equipped with automatics, they would send four-door automatic sedans to the U.S. They were sure buyers would snap them up in Read More

Tips for Car Club Survival

I’ve been thinking about what it takes for a club to survive in the 21st century. I belong to a fair number of automotive marque clubs, and I regularly attend meetings for other clubs as a guest. Here are my tips for making a club a more effective organization.

Make it Appealing

Car clubs have to offer enthusiasts more reasons to attend meetings and events than simply “Gosh, we all own MGs!”

The local Alfa Club, Alfa Romeo Read More

Hilton Head Motors Forward

How often do you get to discuss advances in Civil War artillery with Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal while driving in his 1962 Porsche 356 twin-grille roadster under a canopy of Spanish Moss?

Over the past 13 years, the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival has grown from a car show to an entire week celebrating the vintage car world, including vintage races, a tour, elegant receptions and of course the concours itself.

This was my second time attending. Read More

An E-Ticket Ride at the Best Place on Earth

If I had to sum up my trip to Monterey for the “big car week” in two words, they would be “exhilarating” and “exhausting.” And at most times, it really was a combination of the two.

It’s not like I hadn’t been before. This was actually my fourth time to Monterey in August over the past 25 years. But what made this trip entirely different was that this was my first as an SCM staffer.

This is like handing someone Read More

A Glimpse of Pure Passion

The SCM Monterey Insider’s Seminar is always a good experience, but this year it was a great deal better than good — it was fascinating, inspiring, and — of course — highly instructive.

This year’s theme, “Preserve or Restore? The Three Tipping Points to Making the Decision” brought out principal speaker Miles Collier’s intense passion on the subject. Collier’s evangelical comments about unmolested cars providing “documentary evidence” of the times in which they were created — in terms of technology, Read More

Flying High Without Leaving the Ground

The Motorworks Revival — known simply as the Jet Center Party — has been hosted for the past 23 years by Gordon McCall and takes place on the Wednesday preceding the Pebble Beach Concours.

In the beginning, it was a low-key, invitation-only party for concours entrants and select friends that set the tone for the coming week. It was the unofficial kickoff for the week, but things have certainly changed. Tickets are still hard to get — and not cheap. Read More

Winter’s Coming – Store Your Car or Drive It?

We had an unseasonably hot summer in Portland. I went so far as to buy a vintage Volvo 122S with factory air-conditioning just to beat the heat. It’s been dry as well – the desiccated skeletons of the potted plants on my deck bear mute testimony to the futility of my normal watering routine.

But in the last three weeks, summer finally decided to leave, and we’ve skipped early fall and gone directly to near-winter.

Sheets of rain have washed Read More

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