Twelve Days in Florida — The Revs Symposium and Amelia

Over the past 12 days, I’ve traveled thousands of miles, seen hundreds of classic cars and shared the joy with countless gearhead enthusiasts.

My trip started with the 8th Biennial Symposium on Connoisseurship and the Collectible Car presented by the Revs Institute. It took place at the Revs Institute for Automotive Research in Naples, FL.

Scholar, collector and frequent SCM contributor Miles Collier founded the Institute. The Symposium brings together about 60 students and a dozen faculty to Read More

Why Road Trips Matter

I was looking at my motoring schedule for the next few months, and I got to thinking about why I go through all the effort to prepare my cars for these events. I was reminded once again that it’s not really the cars that make these excursions so satisfying and enjoyable – it’s the great people with a shared common interest. The fact that we’re in wonderful cars on wonderful roads is a bonus.

If everything goes according to plan, I’ll Read More

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