Bad Dog, Rover

At the end of the day, the Rover P6 counts as a “nice try.” It’s the equivalent of a brainy kid who’s always sick

Some of you may find this hard to believe, but I’m the last person to argue that all old British cars-regardless of how quirky or unusual-are collectible. There, I’ve said it.

Just because a car was made by a company that is now out of business, was Read More

Convertible Assets Indeed

Throughout the week of March 12-17, the demise of Bear Stearns sent a shudder through the world’s economy. If, like me, you consider The Economist fun reading, and you survived the 1974 and 1979 gas crisis and the 1980-85, 1990-95, and NASDAQ 2000 recessions, it’s been all-too-predictable. The U.S. economy went wrong again. So what, now what?
This mess started about 1998, when real estate, hammered by the 1990-95 recession, looked like a bargain. Wall Street, eager for higher Read More

Lazenby Lotus 17 Special

Jim Clark’s future mechanic had to design and build a suitable frame and scavenge everything else he needed. That appears to be what he did

Having created his first special while training as a mechanic with the RAF, it was perhaps inevitable that David Lazenby would embark upon a similar project once he began working for Lotus in 1961.

Although he was destined to become Jim Clark’s F1/Indy 500 mechanic and Read More

The Mystery of Morgan Prices

Big Healeys that cost $25,000 in 2000 are selling for $50,000 today; even pristine MG As, TR4s and TR6s cost more than Morgans

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In January 2000, a “good, clean example” of a 1966 Morgan Plus 4 sold for $26,620, and the SCM commentator remarked “Sold for quite good money. Is this the signal for an uptick in Plus 4 prices, or is it Barrett-Jackson fever?”

Seven years later, Morgan Read More

What Emerging Markets?

The flow of Ferraris to the U.S. began in October 1948 with Tommy Lee’s purchase of 166 MM Barchetta s/n 0002M at the Turin Auto Show, quickly followed by Briggs Cunningham’s purchase of 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 016 that November. For the next 60 years, Ferraris have gone back and forth between Europe and the U.S., moved by currency swings, economic booms and busts, smog laws, and ever-growing racing events. Over the last few years, there has been a slow Read More

Ten Rules for Porsche Flippers

Never fix anything. A true flippopath will risk his newly acquired bounty and even his life to make a flip

Last month, this column offered ten rules for Porsche collectors, people who are much better at buying than at selling, and who plan to keep their cars forever. Or at least until another one they “have to have” comes along and they run out of garage space.

This month, we have advice Read More

The Lost Generation

Pontiac Firebird SD, Buick Grand National GNX, Mustang 5.0­-highlights of the muscle flexed in ’70s and ’80s Detroit

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The American collectible car contingent has long argued over when the “real” cars stopped rolling out of Detroit. Collectible prices indicate Detroit’s muscle atrophied with astonishing speed after 1971. What followed was a period of wheezy darkness that included 165-hp Corvettes, and it didn’t fully recover until the horsepower wars of the Read More

Healey Prices on Cruise Control

Many cars sell for $60,000 to $75,000-about the cost to restore a solid original car, if you know what you’re doing

With only one “Gee whiz, what-was-he-thinking? over-six-figures” Austin-Healey sale price in Scottsdale in January and one fairly respectable car that sold for less than $25,000, some folks are asking whether the recent run-up in big Healey prices resembles the Jaguar and Ferrari bubbles of the late 1980s.

To gain perspective Read More

Crunching Ferrari’s Global Numbers

Decades ago, when negotiating with bankers for our first seven-figure credit line, I was asked, “What is the annual global Ferrari market, in both dollars and cars?” While I’ve long since forgotten the figures for that period, it was an interesting exercise to calculate then, as it is today.
We start by breaking Ferrari sales into two categories, first the primary or “new car” market, controlled by Ferrari SpA through their allocations to dealers worldwide. For 2007, that number Read More

Grokking the Porsche Collector’s Gestalt

Buy what you like and you can’t do that well unless you buy what makes you happy. It’s a blend of emotion and rational thought

Not everyone can make it as a successful Porsche collector. It takes a blend of emotion, knowledge, and temperament to put together the right cars at the right time to end up with something special.

Like most things in life that really matter-a great marriage, a Read More