1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe by Ghia

Admiring the car offered here, one would be hard-pressed to guess its origins as anything but Alfa Romeo in the early 1950s. Only its very American size and presence belie its roots, as do the subtle Cadillac script and badging.

Underneath its design, the creation of Ghia principal Luigi Segre is the same Series 62 that the average neighborhood banker drove to work in 1953. Such is the power of a coachbuilder to make over a car’s entire personality, transforming Read More

The Best Deals in the Desert

With crude-oil prices tanking, election rhetoric soaring, the stock market teetering and certain collector-car segments already correcting, Scottsdale 2016 was among the most keenly watched auctions since 2009. As described in Publisher Keith Martin’s column on p. 16, in aggregate, though, the effect was neither terrible nor terrific. Certain 1950s and 1960s bellwether investments, such as Ferraris and muscle cars, seemed down from previous highs. Then again, 1980s through 2000s sports cars continued to soar.

With some cars climbing, others Read More

1966 McLaren M1B Can-Am

In 1961, Bruce McLaren applied his design skills to the M1 sports racer, developed at the same time as the Lola T70. The two mid-engine cars would fiercely contest the new Canadian-American race series.

McLaren launched the M1 at the Mosport Grand Prix for sports cars in September 1964, where he led the race until throttle problems dropped him to 3rd. McLaren contested the rest of the season, and the car attracted customers. The first customer car was delivered in Read More

The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling! (Well, Maybe Not)

“We’ve got to separate the signal from the noise.” That’s what collector car connoisseur Miles Collier says when we are trying to find our way to the core of a challenge.

Miles’ saying refers to tuning a vintage radio, where you adjust the dial until the static disappears and a voice can be heard clearly.

As we sift through the information coming our way about Scottsdale 2016, we’ll find lots of noise — surrounding a very clear signal. This issue Read More

When Restorations Go Bad

Disputes involving car restoration work are definitely in the upper echelon of the “Legal Files” Top 10 Hit Parade. That shouldn’t be surprising. Restorations have many elements that can easily lead to disputes:

1. It is really hard to know up front what level of work and cost most restorations are going to involve. For example, how deep the “surface rust” really goes can’t be discovered until you take things apart. No one has a crystal ball.

2. Given the Read More

No Regrets in the Morning

I’m now into the restoration of my 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider over $50,000. What I have to show for it is a completely stripped body shell, with all the rust removed and damaged panels repaired. It is ready for paint and reassembly.

As I wrote in my January “Shifting Gears” column, I have been wrestling with the competing paradigms of “don’t erase a car’s history” and “repair the damage and degradation resulting from a half-century of use.”

There is Read More

A Sexy Beast Without an Entry Ticket

The Honda S Series was Honda’s first real foray into automobile production.

Japanese Keiretsu politics threatened to limit Honda to motorcycle production only, so the company started the S600 as part of a broad development effort — one that led to greatness with the Honda Civic a few years later.

But in the early 1960s, Honda was still finding its way into the automobile market. Japanese motorcycle and automobile makers in this era had simultaneous tendencies to copy established designs Read More

1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

“Driving a 250 SWB is like wielding a hammer; it commands your respect through aggression and raw power. The Zagato, however, feels more like a tailored suit. It’s agile, sophisticated, and equally responsive… it’s a truly beautiful car to drive. And it fits perfectly.” — Peter Read

After restoration, chassis 0186R hit the concours circuit, where it immediately accrued an enviable record of accolades. On its very first outing at the Louis Vuitton Concours at the Hurlingham Club in June Read More

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